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Partners Surpass Promises. Thai-Danish INFORSE Cooperation
By Morten Blarke, Thai-Danish Cooperation on Sustainable Energy. The story of the most successful and promising partnership in South-East Asia, where INFORSE members changed the entire basis of the Thai NGOs in the energy sector.
When the project “Thai-Danish Cooperation on Sustainable Energy” was launched 2 years ago, it was not possible to name any local or national grassroots organisations focused primarily on sustainable energy. Today, NGOs, the energy authorities, utility companies, and educational institutions all regard the
project partnership as the most influential and technically-economically qualified energy NGO group in Thailand.
This is one of the most successful projects in which INFORSE member organisations work together. Subsequently to this success, the new SENT network has been appointed regional co-ordinator for the INFORSE (SEN issue Nr 27). SENT is expected to play a major role in spreading and collecting regional NGO experiences with sustainable energy in Asia.
Energy & Environment Office
One of the cornerstones of the project’s activities involves the establishment of a local Energy and Environment Office in Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat).
The primary results include:
• distributing information to some 10,000 individuals with a demonstration bus,
• organising and implementing the NGO training and support scheme outlined below,
• developing analyses and plans of action, - preparing teaching material, like handbooks, CD-Roms, videos and slide shows,
• creating a database, a homepage,
• publishing newsletters in English / Thai.
NGO Micro-support Scheme
With great success, the Energy and Environment Office is implementing a micro-support scheme which has already resulted in 15 local energy projects in the first round of allocations. Among other things, these projects include the development of biogas plant, youth camps focusing on energy and the environment, the development of solar power plants for use in drying crops, the development of low-energy charcoal cookers, recycling campaigns, and local study trips for decision-makers. Each project has applied for a maximum of DKK 5,000, and the degree of voluntary work required is considerable.
The support scheme is used in conjunction with training workshops, where local grassroots interests are given the opportunity and the relevant assistance to develop their own local energy- and environment activities. Initially, the office provides technical and organisational assistance in connection with the training itself, but the support scheme also lays groundwork to ensure that the new know-how can be converted successfully into specific local activities.
Firm Anchor
In our experience, this model encourages and commits participant NGOs to keep working, and prevents them from losing interest. A focus on results and daily commitment to the project provides a firm anchor for the development of local capacity, the most important objective of the process. The projects quickly and cost-effectively generate visible results as new knowledge, techniques, and organisation, convincing us of the usefulness of this model.
• The project was launched in December, 1997 as a 3-year cooperation program between the Danish Organization for Renewable Energy (OVE) and the Appropriate Technology Association (ATA) in Thailand.
• The foundations of the project can be traced right back to the basis for international energy and environment partnerships created at the Rio Conference in 1992.
• Both organisations are members of the INFORSE network and INFORSE helped to bring them together.
• The project is financed by Denmark’s environmental assistance to developing countries (DANCED).
• The primary target group of the project consists of NGOs in Thailand (including ATA) that have expressed a wish to work on Thailand’s large energy and environment problems.
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ISSUE #28 (981KB) 20 pages (2000-02-28)
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