As COVID 19 tears its way through communities across the globe, and as fears about the virus and its impact increase, we hope that all of you - our members and partners, and your families - are safe and healthy in these very uncertain times. To any of our members who have been affected in one way or another, our thoughts are with you.
During the ongoing pandemic, CSOs world over are facing several constraints on their ability to carry out their work as a result of lockdown, distancing, and quarantine measures. Despite these restrictions, CSOs continue to demonstrate their resilience and capacity to innovate as they strive to meet the needs of those they serve.
Here are updates from the secretariat in the last 3 months. As always, we'd love to hear from you regarding any of these updates. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you. Meanwhile, do keep safe.
From the ACCESS Secretariat,
Jacqueline Kimeu & Edith Karimi
In early June, ACCESS Coalition in collaboration with the Coalition’s Learning Group carried out an online survey for its members spread across the globe. The survey was aimed at assessing the coping mechanisms for CSOs during COVID 19 - as a bridge between governments, public and private sector actors, and the communities they seek to serve.
A total of 24 organizations spread across 18 countries globally took part in the survey. One of the glaring challenges was the lack of finance and the existing inequalities in funding - a lot of funding is geared towards the ‘big’ organizations while leaving grassroots CSOs and SMEs out of the picture.
This webinar will share the results of the survey, facilitate the experience sharing among CSOs and highlight available funding opportunities; how to address the existing inequalities; and what strategies CSOs at the community the level should employ to access these funds.
ACCESS WEBINAR ON KENYA'S FINANCE BILL
The clean cooking sector in Kenya has enjoyed fiscal incentives which have enabled millions of citizens to access clean cooking technologies and fuels. Introduction of VAT on clean cookstoves and solar products at the rate of 14% in the Finance Bill 2020/2021 threatened to erode numerous gains that had been made toward the achievement of universal energy access by 2022 and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 which aims at ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
To shed light on the issue and to lobby Parliamentarians on the negative impact of the proposed amendment, the ACCESS Coalition through the East African node – Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG) – convened a webinar that brought together Kenyan stakeholders in the clean cooking sector. These included CSOs, representatives from the private sector, Kenya Ministry of Energy, and the wider public.
As a result of sustained advocacy efforts by CSOs, including targeting the media, the taxation of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) was postponed for one year until July 2021. ACCESS will work with the East Africa node to ensure that we continue to lobby the government to scrap off the levy in the 2021 Finance Bill. You can find more information on the ACCESS blog.
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS - RECRUITMENT OF WEST AFRICA REGIONAL NODE
ACCESS invites applications from CSOs with a strong track record on energy access advocacy in Ghana and the wider West Africa region, to lead national and regional advocacy activities. This is part of the ACCESS global strategy that will see CSOs in sub-Saharan Africa self-organize around regional hubs in East, West and Southern Africa.
We are seeking a coordinating organisation to work with members and other development practitioners and key stakeholders to develop and implement advocacy and capacity-building activities at a national level in Ghana with a limited number of wider regional activities to be scaled up over the medium term, subject to additional funding.
The ACCESS Secretariat hosted by the Kenya Climate Change Working Group supports the coordination of activities in Kenya and the wider East Africa region. The recruitment of the Southern Africa node will be done towards the end of the year.
ACCESS WORKING GROUPS
The ACCESS secretariat is working closely with the Working Group leads to revive the SDG 7 and AfDB/ World Bank, and Learning groups. This year, the focus is on reviewing the strategies and engaging Southern CSOs in the Working Group. Below are the leaders of the Working Group:
Learning Group - Chaired by IIED and Energypedia
SDG 7 WG - Chaired by Hivos and CAFOD
AfDB/ World Bank - Chaired by SYND, Oxfam to co-chair the Group
NEW ACCESS MEMBERS
We'd like to extend a heartfelt welcome to the new members who have joined the ACCESS Coalition. These are:
Clean Cooking Alliance of Kenya (CCAK)
Arid Land Information Network
The ACCESS secretariat is still accepting applications for the West Africa regional nodes in the month of July. If your organization is interested, please apply and reach out to the secretariat if you have any questions.
ACCESS has conducted interviews with prospective consultants who will document how CSOs are using the civic space to raise the voices of the people without access to energy. The results will be shared with ACCESS members in the month of August.
We have engaged a consultant to revamp our website and make it more interactive. The new site will be a resource hub for members to receive and share updates. The site will be completed in July and we will notify our members once it's up and running.
ACCESS is hosted by the Kenya Climate Change Working Group.
Our offices are located at the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority plaza, Dunga Rd., Nairobi Kenya. You can reach us on +254 (720 739 775).