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Monday, September 10


IEA Task 57 Meeting
(internal meeting)

09:00 - 17:00
Organized by: Andreas Bohren, Jan Eric Nielson
Room: 4.114

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Workshop on: Breaking the Vicious Circle of Poverty in the Nepal Himalayas

Lessons learned during 20 years of bridging the gap between community development, applied research and investment

(open to all registered EuroSun participants)

15:00 - 17:00
Speaker: Alex Zahnd
Room: 5.002


About the speaker:
Alex Zahnd, PhD, co-founder of the three non-governmental organizations RIDS-Nepal, RIDS-Switzerland and RIDS-USA; visiting professor at Kathmandu University, Nepal; Corresponding Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW); and previous Member of the Board of Directors of the International Solar Energy Society

The Swiss engineer Alex Zahnd, PhD, has lived and worked since the 90’s in Nepal. He developed a new community development approach which has served as the basis for holistic community development projects in 29 high-altitude villages in Nepal. In 2002, he co-founded the non-governmental organization “Rural Integrated Development Services – Nepal“ (RIDS–Nepal) and in 2013 its Swiss sister organizations RIDS–Switzerland and in 2015 RIDS-USA. Through these three not-for profit NGOs, Alex Zahnd is currently implementing holistic community development projects in 6 villages in the high-altitude districts of Humla and Jumla, in the North-West of Nepal.

© Alex Zahnd

About the workshop: In this workshop, Dr. Alex Zahnd will present some of the key lessons he learned since the mid 90’s how contextualized technologies, educational tools and infrastructures developed according to the local communities’ self-identified needs can break the chains of extreme poverty through a constructive cross-cultural dialogue and awaken educational and economic activities. He will also illustrate that access to improved energy services through tapping into the local renewable energy resources through contextualized renewable energy technologies, are at the heart of any long-term community development project and program.
He will highlight that a long-term and holistic perspective of all involved stakeholders, especially in the project partnership and in funding, is one of the most critical success factors of development projects and still deserves a wider recognition as a best practice.
This talk is aimed at engineers, members of health and development organizations and visionaries who are interested in approaches to make lasting changes through development projects, and also at charity organizations, donors and impact investors who want to assess the prospects of investing in specific development projects.

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