In the Smart Villages concept, the provision of sustainable energy services to rural communities, in turn enabling the connectivity made possible by modern information and communication technologies, can have a catalytic impact on the lives of villagers when appropriately integrated with other rural development initiatives. Smart villages provide many of the benefits of 21st Century life to rural communities, and reflect a level of rural development consistent with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The aim of the Smart Villages Initiative over the period 2014-2017 was to identify the framework conditions necessary for the provision of energy services to villages to enable the livelihood opportunities, provision of services (healthcare, education, clean water, and sanitation) and empowerment embodied in the Smart Villages concept.
This report summarises the findings and recommendations arising from the work of the Smart Villages Initiative over the three years, which has included a series of 26 workshops and capacity building events in six regions (East and West Africa, South and Southeast Asia, South America, and Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico) involving frontline workers (entrepreneurs, NGOs, development organisations, villagers and civil society organisations), policy makers and regulators, the finance community, and international experts in science, engineering, and the humanities. These workshops in the regions have been complemented by competitions, webinars, impact studies, media and Forward Look workshops, and reviews of the literature.