The Smart Villages Initiative concluded its regional engagement in South and Southeast Asia with a workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, in March 2017. The workshop was jointly organised with the Global Young Academy (GYA), the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), and the National Science Museum (NSM) of Thailand.
From 7 to 9 March 2017, the workshop brought together 43 key stakeholders representing the public sector, private companies, academia, civil society organisations, and entrepreneurs who are engaged in the off-grid energy sector across South and Southeast Asia. The first day of the workshop provided an extremely useful forum to develop a better understanding of the interaction between energy access and the two important issues of education and healthcare in off-grid communities. The second day, spearheaded by the Global Young Academy, focused on the role of early- to mid-career scientists and academics in developing smart villages. The meeting concluded on the third day with wrap-up discussions on Smart Villages Initiative’s engagement programmes in South and Southeast Asia. A day before the start of the workshop, NSTDA organised a field trip in Bang-Sa-Pan-Noi District, about 400km south of Bangkok, for the Smart Villages Initiative and GYA teams to see first-hand how NSTDA scientists are working to address energy access in off-grid communities.
This policy brief summarises key points arising from the presentations and discussions over the three days of the workshop and is accompanied by a policy brief that distils the main messages for the policy and development communities.