V I V I A N G E O R G E
This photograph is from Imperial College London
DO INCOMES FOR FEMALE-LED HOUSEHOLDS INCREASE WITH RURAL ELECTRIFICATION? A STUDY OF A SOLAR MICRO-GRID PROJECT IN KENYA
September 2016- June 2017
London School of Economics
Imperial College, University of Southampton
2.1- Upper Second Class Honours
In my final year of undergraduate at LSE, my dissertation was on rural electrification in rural Kenya. I got access to the E4D (Energy for Development) data conducted by Imperial College Business School and University of Southampton. The E4D project provided an entire community of Kitonyoni an off- grid solar panel system in the community centre. After studying Spatial Analysis, Global and Sustainable Development courses during my education I wanted to question the effectiveness of the project, focusing on females.
The data for this study is from a field experiment in a UK-government sponsored project in electrification of two communities in rural Kenya, namely, Kitonyoni (electrified) and Mwania (control). The data were collected over a three-year period pre- (2011) and post-electrification (2014) respectively. Using census data from 497 households, this study estimates the effects of gender on household income. I found that energy provision increased the overall income by 11.5% for female- led households in comparison to Mwania.
Results from my thesis were published in:
Vernet, A., Khayesi, J.N.O, George, V., George, G., Bahaj, A.S. (2019) “How does energy matter? Rural electrification, entrepreneurship, and community development in Kenya.” Energy Policy 126: 88-98.
Click here to go to my Research Gate:
Why Is Design So Important?
As simple as it sounds, this finding has implications for more than $100 Million spent annually on rural electrification projects. If aid agencies and donors had evaluated how rural electrification services could potentially be designed, we would have greater success in its implementation.
In fact, this dissertation was the primary reason for why I applied for an MA in Service Design. Large investment project should be carefully executed in order to balance between feasibility, desirability and viability.
Poverty alleviation and the paradigms of thinking about gender and development is integral to discourses on economic empowerment.
Sustainable Development Goals is inherently integrated within these kinds of projects as we all collectively want to address these targets. E4D project aligns itself with 4 of the goals- poverty (1), gender equality (5), affordable clean energy (7) and reduced inequalities (10)
This study focuses on the intersectionality of gender, energy and development.
Women and Development
In the study, I research the historical and political context behind the progress of thinking about females as the ignorance of past discourse can have implications on the wellbeing of females. From how the WAD approach acknowledges females in development but in terms of patriarchy and capitalism. Followed by this notion of “third world feminism” whereby the northern feminist scholars dictate the feminist agenda. I also refer to this notion of “triple burden” and how women have domestic, reproductive and entrepreneurial work within the household.
Core-Periphery Model and Distance
Cairncross (1997) “death of distance” thinking implying that the evolution of technology has enhanced the flow of knowledge such that geographical or physical distance is no longer a roadblock to economic growth.This is not the case for the E4D project as the distance premium in the developing world where electricity is not as widespread means that this notion of core-periphery still holds.
Hypotheses and Regressions