Policy Brief: Making the Off-Grid Solar Lighting and Appliances Sector More Inclusive

This brief aims to provide essential guidance and considerations for critical stakeholders to ensure greater inclusivity in the off-grid solar lighting and appliances sectors.

Inclusivity is the ongoing act of creating environments in which any individual or group feels welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate, thrive, and succeed. In the context of the solar sector, this involves greater inclusion of women as agents, retailers, managers, leaders, and investors, as well as deploying proactive strategies to ensure inclusion of marginalised groups such as people with disability, youth, or ethnic minorities.

This brief provides guidance to governments and other programme implementers regarding how to make the off-grid solar lighting and appliances sector more inclusive. It builds on Efficiency for Access’ report, Appliances for All: Assessing the Inclusivity of the Solar Lighting & Appliances Sector, which establishes a baseline for how inclusive the off-grid solar sector is in terms of gender, disability and affordability. It encourages decision-makers to adopt a more ambitious approach to inclusivity across the programme cycle, from initial market scoping to programme design, implementation, monitoring
and evaluation. It explores five strategic areas to consider:

1. Building inclusivity into market scoping, target setting, and monitoring efforts

2. Raising solar product company awareness of the benefits of inclusivity

3. Promoting inclusive solar products and services

4. Supporting inclusive business models, workforces, and workplaces

5. Targeted interventions to serve marginalised groups