Project Title

Empowering Women as Managers of the Renewable Energy Sector 

Project Year

2017   

Project Number

PPWE 03 2017A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

PPWE 03 2017A 

Project Title

Empowering Women as Managers of the Renewable Energy Sector 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Energy Efficiency 

Project Year

2017 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

174,357 

Co-funding Amount

15,000 

Total Project Value

189,357 

Sponsoring Forum

Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) 

Topics

Gender 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

Energy Working Group (EWG) 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

United States 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Canada; Chile; Japan; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Chinese Taipei; Thailand 

Expected Start Date

01/11/2017 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2018 

Project Proponent Name 1

Elena Thomas-Kerr 

Job Title 1

Senior Advisor 

Organization 1

US Department of Energy, Office of International Affairs 

Postal Address 1

1000 Independence Ave, SW, Washington DC 20585, USA 

Telephone 1

1-202 5866566 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

Elena.Thomas-Kerr@hq.doe.gov 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Elena Thomas-Kerr 

Project Summary

Women join the energy sector in smaller numbers than their male counterparts, which is often due to unequal access to education and technical training opportunities. Once in the workplace, women face discrimination or implicit gender bias, which discourages them from seeking opportunities to remain and advance their careers in the energy sector.  The objective of this project is to build the skills, knowledge, self-confidence, and professional networks of mid-career-level women working in the energy sector in APEC economies, through their participation in a 6-month training curriculum, culminating in the development of a business plan and pitch competition. In addition, the project will establish a peer-to-peer mentoring network and a platform to share accomplishments and encourage a professional exchange of opportunities and ideas. An alumni network will ensure that women continue to benefit from the support and personal validation that this program provides.

Relevance

APEC Leaders have long recognized that the full potential of women’s contribution to economic development in the region remains untapped, and have committed to expand economic opportunities for women in APEC economies, including through improving women’s access to finance, education, training, and technology, and by promoting women’s entrepreneurship and economic engagement. (Such themes were reiterated in the 2016 Leaders Statement.) Gender inequality persists within the energy sector, yet there are many opportunities to encourage women’s participation along the entire value chain in the burgeoning renewable energy sector. Women join the energy sector in smaller numbers than their male counterparts, which is often due to unequal access to education and technical training opportunities, or because of cultural norms that discourage women from seeking employment outside the household. Once in the workplace, women may face discrimination or implicit gender bias, which discourages them from seeking opportunities to remain and advance in their careers, and from contributing to our societies’ social, economic and environmental wellbeing.

Addressing gender imbalances in the energy sector is a challenge globally, including across all APEC economies. Participants from APEC economies will benefit from technical training, expert guidance on developing effective business plans for renewable energy projects and businesses, real-world feedback from stakeholders, and development of an alumni network to continue professional exchanges. Peer-to-peer feedback and mentoring is one of the most effective ways to hone individual skills and increase confidence and skills for career advancement.

This project is relevant to both Rank 1 and Rank 2 as well as cross-cutting issues as noted below.

Rank 1: promoting regional economic integration via free and open trade and investment

·    Human capital development, including implementation of the Strategic Plan on Capacity Building to Promote the Trade and Investment Agenda, cooperation on education, skills development, science and technology and capacity building, alignment of education and training to the regional labor market needs and youth employment. With the expansion of renewable energy worldwide, and in APEC in particular, increasing the skills of women in these particular technologies aligns well with the current and future labor market.

Rank 2: Strengthening Quality Growth:

·    Inclusive Growth, on women and the economy. By specifically targeting women and supporting the development of their career paths, this project fosters inclusive economic growth.

·    Sustainable Growth, to support low carbon technology and alternative energy sources through renewable energy project development. The project has a specific focus on increasing knowledge and skills on renewable energy, supporting the goal of low carbon growth.

.  Cross Cutting issues: Capacity building, gender equality, and private sector engagement are at the core of this project; through skill development and technical support the women will be supported in further development of their career paths in the energy sector.

Objectives

The objectives of this project are to:

·   increase the skills, knowledge, and self-confidence of mid-level career women working in the energy sector of APEC economies;

·   improve the skills of female energy specialists on developing sound business plans for renewable advancement in their home economies

·   promote more women to high ranks in energy management; and

·   facilitate professional exchanges and peer-to-peer mentoring. 

Alignment

APEC Leaders and Ministers recognize that women’s full economic participation is critical to the achievement of sustainable economic development goals in the region, and that gender is a cross-cutting priority.

·    “We recognize women’s vital contribution to economic and social development and we commit to strengthen our efforts to support the mainstreaming of gender equality and women’s empowerment across APEC’s work, to ensure that women enjoy equal access to quality education and economic resources.” (Leaders 2016)

At the 2015 APEC Women and the Economy Forum (WEF), APEC members reaffirmed their commitments to:

·    Realize the full potential of women as economic actors, with specific actions including promoting education and training, capacity building programs and mentoring services.

·    Enable women as entrepreneurs and employees within international markets and global value chains, through integrating a gender perspective in overall business models.

·    Acknowledge women’s and girl’s role as leaders in sustainable development, and to provide them with equal opportunities to participate in decision making.

This project supports the goals of the PPWE to advance the economic integration of women in the APEC region and addresses barriers to women’s economic participation in the PPWE’s “Skills, Capacity Building, & Health” and “Leadership, Voice, and Agency” pillars. This project also implements relevant recommendations of the APEC Women in STEM Framework, such as the recommendation to “Encourage networking among women who work in the various STEM fields, including for the following purposes: Information-sharing; mentoring, coaching, training, or financial aid opportunities; taking on projects that individuals might not be able to manage themselves; identifying new opportunities for advancement; advocating on behalf of shared interests.”  This project seeks to foster women’s full economic participation by providing them with the support they need to become effective entrepreneurs, employees, decision makers and leaders in the burgeoning global renewable energy sector. This project seeks to address many of the underlying social and cultural barriers that prevent women from achieving their full potential. Mentoring networks have the capacity to provide women with skill and confidence building opportunities that a workplace cannot typically provide, therefore allowing women effectively contribute to our societies’ social, economic and environmental wellbeing. 

The project also supports the Leaders’ energy priorities to build the capacity of APEC members to strengthen energy security, develop cleaner energy sources and reduce carbon intensity, including by supporting the Leaders’ goal to double renewable energy in the regional energy mix by 2030. The project supports the Energy Working Group’s (EWG) Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 to “develop the human resource base within APEC Member Economies, including full engagement of women in green development, to improve their analytical, technical, operational and policy capacity in the area of clean energy development.”  

This capacity building project supports the goals and missions of both the PPWE and EWG with a blended learning approach.  Through an online interactive training series, trainees will achieve a common knowledge base on renewable business development, conduct home assignments, receive feedback by experts and discuss different business models in webinars. The online trainings will be followed by the development of business plans for renewable sector advancement in their own economy combined with consultancy on business plan proposals by experts. At a week-long workshop, trainees will receive face-to-face training with experts followed by sessions to pitch their project ideas to external stakeholders to receive real-world feedback and peer-to-peer mentoring. This project will also establish a peer-to-peer mentoring network and a platform to share both questions and accomplishments and encourage a professional exchange of opportunities and ideas. An alumni network will ensure that women continue to benefit from the support and personal validation that this program provides, long after project completion.

TILF/ASF Justification

While all APEC member economies will benefit from the proposed training program to facilitate women’s participation in the energy sector and develop business cases for renewable technologies, developing economies will particularly benefit as they often face a greater lack of resources for skills development for women in this sector generally as well as attracting investment in renewable projects. Women’s participation in a skills development program will ensure access to knowledge required for advancing renewable energy technologies in APEC economies. Moreover, the program is expected to have a ripple effect, as these mid-career women will also acquire peer-to-peer and mentoring skills. It is expected that they will both share their newly acquired knowledge and serve as role-models for other women. This program will allow APEC economies to test and learn about the impact of investing in women’s career development and may serve as a model for moving forward in the identification of appropriate strategies for boosting the retention rates of women in the energy sector. Finally, this will also help economies cultivate lasting skills for developing strong business cases for clean energy projects in the future that will contribute to economic growth.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: The PO will select a contractor with expertise in both renewable energy development (including industry perspectives for developing sound business plans) as well as skills for empowering women to management positions to develop a strong core curriculum. The RFP will include specific qualifications required for the designers of the curriculum, trainers and facilitators to meet the project’s objectives. External stakeholders with specific experience in RE project development will also be engaged to help evaluate and provide real-world feedback on project proposals developed by the trainees. The target location for the workshop where key external stakeholders will be engaged is the annual Asia Clean Energy Forum sponsored by the Asia Development Bank. That event brings together clean energy experts, with expertise on RE technologies and markets and RE business development. These experts would be ideal to provide real-world feedback. If this event is not feasible, a similar target of opportunity will be pursued. The contractor will help build capacity among trainees on the key elements of strong RE business plans, the policy and regulatory environment, the impact of diverse market conditions to consider, as well as regional and international examples of successful RE projects. The online training will be interactive to allow for ongoing feedback on trainee’s assignments, general learning progress and questions.  The individual projects will be advanced in the intensive multi-day face-to-face training.

The project will include the following outputs:

-  Curriculum for online training to achieve common knowledge base – the RFP will require a satisfactory medium for completing the online training.

-   Core elements of the curriculum may include an overview of the RE industry, RE technology development, operations, RE value chains, business models, key stakeholders, understanding investment decisions, addressing project risks, successful RE procurement practices, and other key elements for developing successful RE projects. (Note: RFP process will request and evaluate curriculum proposals, associated number of training hours, and other elements to ensure a sound training program.

-  Business plan development for renewable sector advancement in home economy.

-  Face-to-face training: deepening knowledge on business plan development, experience sharing, project pitches to external stakeholders, discussions, networking

-  Examination & Certification of program completion – the project will include an examination and certification of completion of the training program. Certification could include both completion of online training and how the business plans have been evaluated within the pitches. The RFP will require a proposal for collaboration with a recognized international organization or experts that will be engaged in the program as training facilitators and/or stakeholders to provide real-world feedback.

-  Introduction of an alumni network – the network of trainees and stakeholders developed from this project will be introduced to existing networks within international fora that engage women in clean energy, (e.g., Clean Energy Ministerial’s C3E network, Initiative Gender Equality for Climate Change Opportunities (GECCO), and others).

-  Final Report for publication will include a summary of the training program and curriculum, summary of the business plans developed, and recommendations/best practices resulting from feedback from stakeholders. It will also include general recommendations for continuing further development of women as managers in clean energy development.

Outcomes: The training/coaching program is expected to give the participants the skills and confidence to further their career development in the energy sector. The mentoring is expected to continue and expand to support skills development of other women in the field, using a train-the-trainer mentality. Trainees will be encouraged to mentor other women in their field. An alumni network will enable trainees to continue collaboration with the program implementer, external experts, and one another. A longer term outcome would result in a higher ratio of women in leadership ranks or as entrepreneurs in the RE sector. 

Beneficiaries: Beneficiaries will include mid-level female professionals in the energy field who will participate in the extended technical trainings and the week-long workshop. Funding will be provided for female professionals from the 11 travel eligible economies with other female professionals from the APEC region being invited to participate on a self-funded basis. The skills developed will be applied to future clean energy project development and facilitate continued advancement in their careers as energy managers.

Dissemination

Training materials will be made available electronically to PPWE and EWG POCs for broader dissemination in their home economies for the benefit of other APEC professionals in the energy sector. Lessons learned will be disseminated in a final summary report, which can serve as the basis of a training model to be replicated across the region. These will be made available electronically to circulate to the PPWE and EWG and posted on the APEC website for broader dissemination. Other regional and international initiatives such as the Low-Emissions Strategy Development Global Partnership (LEDS-GP) and its Asia LEDS Platform (ALP) will be used as channels for even broader dissemination of the project report and be contacted for potential collaborative efforts beyond the scope of this project. There is no intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

This activity is specifically focused on empowering women as energy managers. Engagement of both men and women will be sought in the development of the training team, stakeholders to provide feedback on business cases and in the sharing of lessons learned to share the benefits of and seek champions for women’s further engagement in the energy sector. The PO will seek particular engagement of women in the development of the training program as well as the stakeholders evaluating the business plans.

Work Plan

Time

Task

Deliverable

November-December 2017

Procurement of Direct Labour

RFP issued and selections made

January-March 2018

Full program design, including participant selection criteria and advertising plan

Detailed program plan

March 2018

Final announcement of training and call for applications

Training announcement and call for applications

April 2018

Application Process – review of applicants based on qualifications included in training announcement

Summary of applicants, selection criteria, list of trainees accepted

April-August 2018

Online training to achieve common knowledge base  

Training materials, updates on online training

May 2018

Business plan development for renewable sector advancement in home economy

Summary of business plans developed

June or July 2018

3-day face-to-face training and 2-day project pitches to external stakeholders, discussions, networking

1 week (training/pitches) workshop on margins of Asia Clean Energy Week or similar forum

July-August 2018

Examination & Certification of program completion

Examination, Feedback plan, results, certificates developed

July-November 2018

Introduction of an alumni network

Network plan and identification of reputable international  networks to engage; contacts made

September-October 2018

Preparation of Project Final Report for publication

Draft report

October-November 2018

Submission, review and approval of Project Final Report for publication

Final report

Risks

The project implementation is considered low risk. However, one risk could include not being able to achieve training of all selected participants and obtain at least 10 bankable business plans, if participants drop out during the process. To diminish this risk, we will seek to ensure that selected participants understand that they need to engage fully in the program if they are to graduate from it; applicants will be asked to sign an Agreement of Understanding on the requirements of the program for full completion.  At the introduction of the program, they will be briefed on the benefits of the training and networking established at the end of the program to their career advancement. Regional diversity will be one of multiple selection criteria to ensure the diversity of participating economies. Another risk is a lack of finance for bankable projects by home economies. The project will aim to develop the necessary skills for developing project attractive to domestic and international investors, and build upon the real-world feedback from stakeholders engaged in the program. Industry experts will be engaged in this program as stakeholders providing feedback and as part of the networking program to help build the connections and instill aspects that would make projects most attractive to investors. Finally, if the online platform is not accessible by some economies, the contractor will be asked to provide electronic copies of training materials and another mode for feedback to trainees (via calls/emails with trainers) to provide a backup. The PO will make sure that the contractor has a demonstrated experience to develop high-quality training curricula, can provide the technical backend that is easy to access and runs reliably.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The project will seek feedback from the training participants before and after the training on the knowledge gained, as well as a question on the increase in their level of confidence to advance in their energy careers at the conclusion of the project. Participants will also receive stakeholder feedback on their business plans, which will help strengthen the plans for consideration in their home economies. 

The number of participants trained (at least 10) and graduating from the program (at least 80% of enrollees), as well as the number of well-developed bankable renewable energy projects developed (at least 10), and the number of projects given serious consideration in their home economies will be key indicators on the project’s success. Projects should be attractive for financing by domestic banks or investors and/or international partners or organizations. Follow up on the advancement of women in their careers will be conducted through the ongoing professional network. A year after completion of the project, the PO or designee will try to follow up with trainees to learn progress in their career development.

Linkages

This project is beneficial for two fora: Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) and Energy Working Group (EWG) and the PO will ensure close collaboration with these throughout the project design and implementation. The project will also seek to leverage off potentially relevant existing initiatives and resources within APEC and beyond, such as WE-APEC (PPWE), Green Energy Financing Initiative (EWG); Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E under Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM)); IRENA’s work on Women’s Leadership and Renewable Energy; and others as appropriate. 

APEC support for this project is particularly beneficial as it directly supports capacity building in two APEC priority areas—women’s empowerment and clean energy development.

Sustainability

Near-term progress on the project outcomes will be measured by the number of female managers trained and the number of bankable RE projects developed.

The coaching and alumni elements of the program would facilitate its sustainability. Through the coaching, business plans would be supported and if/when funded would ensure implementation. Success of the plans would increase retention of women in the sector and hopefully contribute to their professional advancement. 

As these women will already be working in the energy sector, it is expected that their new skills will contribute to the development of the energy sector. By supporting their coaching and mentoring skills—through the alumni forum—the program would work towards ensuring other women and men would have role models to guide them in their careers, including on the development of sound bankable renewable projects. 

While the APEC funding sought is for a discreet training program and cannot fund ongoing monitoring and analysis over the long-term of training and advancement of women in APEC economies, we would encourage feedback from the trainees and their APEC economy representatives in PPWE and/or EWG on progress in women advancing in the energy sector in their home economies. 

Project Overseers

Elena Thomas-Kerr is the U.S. Representative to the APEC Energy Working Group.  She is engaged on clean and sustainable energy policies and programs and has served as an advisor within the U.S. government on these issues. She has 17 years of experience in bilateral and multilateral programs focused on a range of energy and national security issues at the U.S. Department of Energy. Ms. Thomas-Kerr holds a MA in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Bachelors in International Affairs from the University of Michigan.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

PO will issue an RFP for a consultant to develop the curriculum, run the 6-month online training and evaluations, assist participants in the RE business plan development, and conduct week-long training with stakeholder engagement. APEC funding for this task is estimated at $95,000, inclusive of required travel of the contractor.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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