In smart villages, energy access together with other key components of infrastructure can accelerate the development of education and healthcare services, provision of clean water and sanitation, availability of nutritious food, and the establishment of productive enterprises. Underpinned by technological advances, such developments provide substantial improvements in well-being and life opportunities, and a choice between remaining in rural communities and migrating to cities.
Being “smart” should also increase the resilience of villages to natural disasters. But does it, and if so, for whom and in what circumstances? To answer these questions, members of the resilience and energy access communities came together at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore on 5 May 2016 in a workshop to explore the causes of vulnerabilities of rural communities to natural disasters and the mechanisms through which smart villages can build resilience. This policy brief distils key findings from the workshop and accompanies the more detailed workshop report.