SPARKNET was an interdisciplinary interactive Knowledge Network focusing on energy for low-income households in Southern and East Africa. SPARKNET was sponsored by the European Commission's 5th Framework Programme for Research under the research and technological development programme Confirming the International Role of Community Research (INCO) between 2002 and 2005. Acting as a 'virtual community' and meeting / publishing through the internet - both the world wide web and email - SPARKNET brought together stakeholders from seven countries in Southern and East Africa and three from the European Union around the issue of energy and poverty in low-income households.
Welcome to the SPARKNET website!
While the project website was a dynamic site regularly updated during the course of the project, since the project has now come to an end, the website is no longer maintained. Most functionality and content has been moved to the HEDON Household Energy Network. See the Sparknet page on HEDON for further information: www.hedon.info/Sparknet.
During the proejct, SPARKNET members developed detailed peer reviewed country reports on the Household Energy situation in each of the target countries. In this first phase project parnters compared and contrasted the household energy situation in each country so as to highlight policy options and innovation opportunities. Other project highlights for 2003 and 2004 included the development and assessment of future scenarios for each country, and the exploration of policy options. Two international Internet-conferences were also held.
SPARKNET consisted of twelve organisations from 10 countries under the leadership of ITDG and in close co-operation with the project development specialist Eco. Five members come from the European Union (three from the UK, one from the Netherlands and one from Germany) and seven from countries in Southern and East Africa.
The organisational structure was essentially horizontal (direct communication takes place between all partners) although the role of each was clearly defined. Programmatic co-ordination was carried out by ITDG - UK (now called Practical Action). Communication and Information Technology (IT) systems are the responsibility of Eco Ltd. This includes facilitation of communication within the knowledge network, communication with those outside the network, and design & maintenance of the Sparknet web pages. Eco was also responsible for designing the original Sparknet project.
The three thematic European partners (ECO-consult - Germany, University of Twente/TDG - the Netherlands, and University of Liverpool - UK) lend support to the local country partners as well as provide information about relevant development aid activities of their respective countries. In addition they brought expertise in key thematic areas (integration of household energy into other sectors, gender, and indoor air pollution/health).
All twelve partners participating in this project are experts in the field of energy in low-income rural households although they come from a wide variety of backgrounds including semi-governmental, private sector, and NGO.