Partner Spotlight: HIVOS

Hivos is an international organisation that seeks new solutions to global issues like sustainable food, renewable energy, freedom of expression, sexual rights, women empowerment, transparency, and accountability. Headquartered in The Hague, with a regional office in Nairobi, Hivos is active in 43 countries and has over 700 partner organizations such as Akili Dada, Amani Institute, International Center for Journalists, Women Working Worldwide, and wPOWER.

Hivos “stimulates sustainable development fuelled by clean, renewable energy” through advocacy, supporting NGOs in developing countries, and running programs such as “Sumba Iconic Island”, the Energy Change Lab and the “African Biogas Partnership Programme.”

Grace Malipe in her Manyatta. Using firewood caused her frequent trips to the hospital to have her eyes treated.

Advocacy forms a cornerstone of Hivos’ work, through organized campaigns at the national and international level, in close collaboration with their partner organizations. Their advocacy strategy is divided into two parts:

  1. Urging donor countries, the European Union and the World Bank to support decentralised, renewable energy solutions that supports the poor.
  2. Supporting NGOs in developing countries in their capacities to improve and demand (renewable) energy access in remote locations. For instance, in East Africa, Hivos and its partners are bringing together civil society organisations to develop joint strategies to influence governments and donors, identify problems and come up with policies and activities to scale up existing and new renewable energy projects.

Hivos has also launched a five-year strategic program – Green and Inclusive Energy – in 2016 in partnership with the Dutch government. The program focuses on lobbying and advocacy to influence the public and political debate on energy issues with the goal of transitioning towards green and inclusive energy systems. It would involve influencing the energy policies at international, regional and national level. Its strong focus on advocacy seeks to strengthen ‘citizen agency’ and public debate to help push the transition from centralised energy production based on fossil fuels towards more decentralised and inclusive energy systems in which citizens take central stage. The inclusive component of the partnership also includes increasing opportunities for women that will allow them greater and more productive participation in politics, society and the economy.

In this partnership, Hivos works together with ENERGIA, International Institute for Environment and Development and national civil society organisations in Indonesia, Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Access to green and inclusive energy is a crucial element for development, and ensures a clean and sustainable future for households and communities. Hivos is working to make smart and clean off-grid technologies accessible to poor people in remote areas to improve livelihood & health, communication & education and to support (economic) development.