Sustainable development is closely linked to the issues of Environment and Energy and their interdependencies. Sustainable economic growth and social development are only possible if secure, constant and equal access to energy sources is guaranteed. However, intensive energy use is likely to present serious implications for the environment and the climate. Especially in developing countries, promotion of sustainable energy options is necessary to tackle these challenges. In Africa, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) have been particularly active in addressing sustainable development and energy management within the last 15 years. While presenting important representatives for social needs and concerns, their effective impact on research policy agenda setting has however been considerably low yet.
Aim of SustainergyNet: In line with the EU's commitments to strengthening civil participation and to promoting a global approach to the issue of sustainable development, SustainergyNet aims at promoting the engagement of CSOs in Africa in the field of research policy agenda setting concerning sustainable and efficient energy management.
In this perspective, the project has elaborated and suggested ways on how to encourage and facilitate the cooperation between CSOs and RTD performers. This has been based on the assessment of current settings and frameworks that already exist, the formulation of recommendations and best practices and the presentation of a specific facility ("CSO Involvement Net") that shall support CSOs towards actively contributing to research and policy processes.
- to supplement the practical field expertise of CSOs by strengthening their cooperation and interaction with the scientific community and Research and Technology Development (RTD) performers;
- to go beyond CSO involvement in implementation and review of development programmes, by improving their access to agenda setting processes;
- to assess institutional settings on national and regional levels and identify the status quo of current CSO involvement in the cases of Europe and Africa;
- to elaborate best practices and give recommendations to stakeholders on how to support the CSO research and policy interaction by specific capacity building and strengthening;
- to suggest and present concrete ways and approaches that shall allow stakeholders from policy, research and civil society organisations to better know and integrate their skills and capacities;
- as one overall objective, to promote global understanding, awareness and networking on CSO involvement in sustainable development and environment agenda setting;
- and as another overall objective, to guarantee the direct or indirect involvement of CSOs throughout the project progress.