A master’s thesis on Alianza Shire, recognised by the UPM with the award for best master’s thesis in the field of International Cooperation for Sustainable Human Development

Within the framework of the 3rd Call for Undergraduate Thesis (TFG) and Master’s Thesis (TFM) awards in international cooperation for sustainable human development, promoted by the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 2022, the TFM “Energy and participation in refugee and displaced communities: The case of Alianza Shire” was awarded a prize.

The author of the work, Carmen Pascual Reyero, after completing her Master’s in Strategies and Technologies for Development and doing an internship with Alianza Shire, is now a member of the itdUPM team, dedicating her efforts mainly to Alianza Shire’s operations.

She received the award from the dean, Guillermo Cisneros, at a ceremony held in the auditorium of the School of Agricultural, Food and Biosystems Engineering (ETSIAAB) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid on 9 March.

The award-winning work is based on two observations. On the one hand, in a humanitarian response, access to energy for refugees and displaced populations is very important because it is a fundamental need and because it is linked to multiple dimensions. On the other hand, addressing the response without generating dependency and offering a good level of access is a challenge for the humanitarian energy sector.

The case of Alianza Shire is therefore presented as an example of the trend towards service delivery models to develop sustainable energy solutions, with non-traditional actors such as the private sector.

The direct inclusion of the refugee and displaced population is key to this challenge, and therefore participatory methods and inclusive planning tools are used to ensure the highest and best possible participation. Based on an analysis of the participation achieved in Alianza Shire, and after identifying that the greatest barriers are human, social, cultural and religious (rather than technological), proposals are developed to improve the participation of the refugee population as well as host communities.

Download the thesis