Improving the welfare and gender impacts of a Senegalese climate-smart development program
Approximately 57% of Senegal’s population is rural, and agriculture accounts for 77% of labour force participation. However, the sector is susceptible to climate change, which increases the vulnerability of poor and marginalized people in the countryside. In 2015, Senegal’s government introduced an ambitious and holistic public policy action plan to reduce poverty by enhancing the supply of climate-smart rural infrastructure (energy, rural roads, and water); enhancing the productivity of rural workers; and strengthening the capacity of local and rural institutions to address local climate change challenges. The energy component of the plan includes electrifying 325 villages, building 1650 km of rural roads, and constructing 100 drillings and water towers that use solar power.
The public policy action plan is a component of the government’s wider plan to move the country from developing to emerging economy status by 2035 through inclusive growth and a green economy. Despite the fact that a large portion of the country’s financial resources have been committed to implementing the plan, there is no systematic evaluation as to whether the initiative is delivering the intended climate mitigation and adaptation benefits and addressing the priorities of poor people, particularly rural women. Furthermore, there have been no attempts to transition to low-carbon development to mitigate the effects of energy generation in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, employment, and income generation.
Working with government agencies and the UNDP, the project will assess gender-disaggregated welfare impacts of the public policy action plan’s energy and climate measures, influence the parameters of program implementation going forward, and identify mechanisms to support the financing, supply, and maintenance of energy and climate-sensitive infrastructure while promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality in the country. The project findings will help fine-tune future phases of the program for more effective impacts on women and other vulnerable groups.