Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Launches Humanitarian Clean Cooking Fund (c) UNHCR B. Bannon Kenya 2011
© UNHCR B. Bannon Kenya 2011

Safe Access to Fuel and Energy Workshop 2019

July 29, 2019 — July 30, 2019   |   Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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We are no longer accepting applications for the SAFE Workshop. Applicants will be notified about their status no later than June 12th. If you missed the deadline, please consider registering for the Humanitarian Energy Conference instead!

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Energy access is a critical and under-served need among displaced and crisis-affected people worldwide. Consequently, there is a critical shortage of well-trained, coordinated, and qualified staff who design, implement, and evaluate energy projects in humanitarian settings. The Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Workshop is an annual training event of approximately 60 participants which strengthens the knowledge and capacity of actors who provide – or are interested to provide – fuel and energy solutions to refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), and other vulnerable populations. It is also designed to facilitate productive partnerships between humanitarian and non-humanitarian actors through peer learning.

The 2019 SAFE Workshop is a joint production of the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Working Group and the Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement (GPA). It is hosted by the Clean Cooking Alliance and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), Shell International, and the IKEA Foundation.

In contrast to previous years, the 2019 SAFE Workshop will be limited to individuals who are new to this topic and/or have never attended a SAFE Workshop before. However, all stakeholders are welcome and encouraged to attend the 2019 Humanitarian Energy Conference, which will take place two days later.

Please Note: The SAFE Workshop and the 2019 Humanitarian Energy Conference are complementary but separate events, with separate registration links. For information on the Humanitarian Energy Conference, please click here.


Energy access is a critical and need among the 131 million people in need of humanitarian assistance today. Safe and accessible fuel is needed to cook the dry foodstuffs provided by humanitarian agencies and reduce the exposure of women and girls to the risk of gender-based violence during firewood collection. In the absence of adequate shelter, energy is needed to maintain acceptable temperatures. Electricity is needed for community services such as public lighting, water pumping and treatment, mobile phone charging, cooling of medicine and vaccines, and powering health clinics. Simply put, energy access impacts food security, nutrition, health, protection, shelter, telecommunications, and other key aid sectors. (Read more)

However, current energy practices in situations of displacement are often insufficient, inefficient, unsafe, expensive for displaced people, and harmful to the surrounding environment. An estimated 80% of displaced people living in camps are cooking with biomass fuels such as firewood and charcoal, and 90% have no access to access to electricity.

Since 2014, the Clean Cooking Alliance and other members of the SAFE Humanitarian Working Group have hosted annual SAFE Workshops to build the capacity of humanitarian field practitioners in terms of incorporating effective energy strategies and programming into their work with displaced people, as well as increasing their expertise on available energy technologies and alternative fuels. (Read about the 2017 SAFE Workshop here.)

As the humanitarian energy community grew and diversified between 2016 and 2018, the SAFE Working Group recognized a growing demand for coordinated action and strategic discussions in SAFE Workshops. To meet this need, the SAFE Working Group and the GPA will launch a new event – the inaugural Humanitarian Energy Conference – in 2019 as the seminal forum for collaboration and coordinated action in this expanded community of stakeholders. As introductory training is still an acute need, however, the 2019 SAFE Workshop will precede the conference to provide foundational knowledge about humanitarian energy access for those who are new to the topic. In contrast to previous years, the 2019 SAFE Workshop will be limited to participants who are new to this topic and/or have never attended the event before (see Eligibility Criteria below).

Both the SAFE Workshop and the 2019 Humanitarian Energy Conference are hosted by the Clean Cooking Alliance, in its capacity as co-chair of the SAFE Working Group, and UNITAR as the host of the GPA Coordination Unit.


The primary objectives of the SAFE Workshop are to:

  • Introduce the concept of safe access to fuel and energy (SAFE) and why it is needed in humanitarian settings;
  • Discuss how energy impacts other aid sectors, including health, protection, food security, and others;
  • Highlight key features of working in humanitarian settings, including an overview of core principles, standards, and how humanitarian situations differ from normal market or development contexts;
  • Discuss key challenges in providing energy access to crisis affected people;
  • Teach best practices and principles for deciding when, whether, and how to intervene with an energy solution.
  • Direct participants to public tools and resources where they can find additional information.

The secondary objective of the SAFE Workshop is to promote mutual understanding and trust between participants from different sectors. Participants will benefit from exposure to each other’s varying perspectives on the issues under discussion, thereby increasing their understanding and appreciation of each actor’s unique challenges and contributions. This should facilitate faster and more effective cross-sector collaboration in the future.


The SAFE Workshop will take place over two full days July 29 & 30, 2019 at the Capital Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There is no fee to apply or to attend. Lunch, coffee breaks, and beverages will be provided at no cost. Participants are expected to cover all of their own travel,

accommodations, and daily expenses. Limited assistance for travel and accommodations will be available on a case-by-case basis (see Financial Assistance below).

Financial Assistance

It is strongly preferred that applicants’ organizations fully cover their costs to attend the workshop. This demonstrates a commitment to the sector and reflects the willingness of the host organization to invest in the skills and capacity of its staff. However, participants may request financial assistance to support their attendance as part of their application. These “scholarships” will be awarded on a case-by-case basis. Please note the following:

  • Assistance will only cover travel and/or accommodation, not daily expenses (e.g. DSA or per diem). Where possible, the participants’ travel or accommodation will be directly booked by the conference hosts, resulting in no direct reimbursements.
  • Recipients will be required to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) detailing the terms of their assistance.


SAFE Workshop participants hail from a variety of countries, backgrounds, sectors, location of work (field vs. headquarters), and areas of responsibility. They may be field practitioners working directly with crisis-affected people, HQ-level coordinators at humanitarian or development agencies, employees of private companies, policy makers in host countries, technology experts, donors, investors, researchers, or other actors. The overall gender balance of the workshop is expected to be at least a 50-50 ratio of women to men. Women are especially encouraged to apply.

The 2019 SAFE Workshop is a participatory learning experience. Attendees will be expected to actively engage in discussions, learning exercises, and other activities throughout the two days. The ideal SAFE Workshop participant demonstrates willingness and enthusiasm to learn, openness to new perspectives and approaches, dedication to collaborating outside of their own “silo,” and commitment to the good of the sector beyond (in addition to) that of their own organization.

Participants must attend every session in the workshop to receive full credit. Failure to do so without reasonable cause may result in a participant being barred from future workshops. Certificates confirming participation may be requested from the Clean Cooking Alliance following the completion of the workshop.

Please see Eligibility Criteria below for the required and preferred criteria for workshop participants before applying.

Eligibility Criteria


  • This year’s SAFE Workshop is open only to individuals who have NOT attended a previous SAFE Workshop. Applicants must be first-time participants. Some exceptions may apply, but applicants should email to inquire about this before submitting an application. NOTE: Applicant information will be checked against previous attendance records.
  • All participants must be currently working for an organization or entity that is currently engaged (or seriously considering engagement) in advancing sustainable energy solutions for crisis-affected people. Proof of the participant’s employment and/or the legal status of the entity may be requested as part of the selection process.
  • Even if approved for financial assistance, applicants must have the capacity to travel to and from the event without supervision or assistance. The workshop facilitators are not responsible for providing assistance beyond what is agreed in an LOI (see Financial Assistance).
  • Participants must have a working proficiency in both spoken and written English. The workshop will be conducted in English.
  • Participants must be available to attend every session in the workshop. The Workshop will take place over two full days, 8:00 – 17:30, on July 29 & 30 in Addis Ababa.


  • Participants who will be in a position to apply what they have learned in the workshop to advance progress in the sector for at least one year following the event.
  • Practitioners who currently plan, design, implement, and/or evaluate energy programs/activities, or those that are closely linked to energy needs and concerns, in humanitarian or development settings.
  • Participants who have policy, strategy, and/or budgetary decision-making power and responsibilities directly related to energy in humanitarian settings.
  • Participants from donor organizations who have grant-making decision power to fund energy projects and/or research in humanitarian settings.
  • Participants from the private sector (e.g. companies that manufacture, sell, and/or distribute energy products and fuels) who are in a position to directly support and/or contribute to energy projects and initiatives in humanitarian settings. Companies operating at the local and national levels in countries with large displaced populations are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Participants from research organizations that have undertaken (or are currently undertaking) energy related research in humanitarian settings. Ideally, the research organization is already closely linked with one or more humanitarian organizations, and its research has strong potential to improve project design, implementation, and/or evaluation.
  • Ideally, SAFE Workshop participants will also be able to attend the Humanitarian Energy Conference (HEC) for the two days immediately following the workshop. (See the HEC event webpage for more information.)

How to Apply

To apply for the 2019 SAFE Workshop, please visit this link and complete an application. Applications are due no later than May 29th. The application contains three short answer questions (about two paragraphs) under “Individual Background and Goals.” Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare answers to these questions in advance so that they can copy and paste the text into the online application, which cannot be saved for later and may time out during submission. A copy of the full application is available in the event concept note.

Selection Process & Timeline

Applications for the SAFE Workshop will be reviewed on a rolling basis and are due no later than May 24th. The Clean Cooking Alliance and UNITAR approve or deny applicants on a rolling basis until the workshop is full. Applicants will be notified as soon as a decision is made, which will be no later than June 12th. Once applications are approved, applicants will receive a confirmation email asking them to confirm receipt, thereby securing their place in the workshop.

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