Parallax works to facilitate the implementation of clean energy interventions that will improve the lives of people in developing countries. Our management of effective action on the ground is the culmination of a range of services that Parallax offers to achieve this objective, using our understanding of different stakeholders to achieve practical solutions that satisfy all involved. These services include:
- Consultancy Services
- Capacity Building (training & promotion)
- Project Co-ordination (ensuring maximum value)
- Practical Implementation (management of activities on-the-ground)
- Stakeholder Management (understanding different perspectives)
- Strategy, Policy & Planning (providing the essential foundation)
- Monitoring and Evaluation (ensuring the expected outcomes)
To achieve the desired results, local implementation of sustainable development solutions requires appropriate preparatory action, starting with proper assessment of the real needs of the target market and analysis of viable solutions. For this reason, Parallax has developed the capacity and experience to offer Consultancy Services for assessing local conditions, winning the support of relevant stakeholders, building the capacity and awareness of target customers, and co-ordinating individual project activities.
Through its consultancy, which is geared towards supporting and promoting the implementation of practical measures, Parallax aims to achieve greater and more sustainable impact from its work. Our focus for consultancy is therefore also on the supply of appropriate, environmentally sound energy solutions, most often for people in remote rural communities of Africa. To achieve this, we believe that such solutions must be affordable, accessible and acceptable.
AFFORDABLE energy supplies using relevant financing mechanisms are critical to successfully meeting practical needs. Achieving cost-effective and ACCESSIBLE clean energy solutions for rural people is also a central challenge. Equally important, we believe, is the need to offer ACCEPTABLE energy supplies to rural people, not just second-hand or second-rate fixes. This requires significant awareness-raising at all levels, from rural consumers, to service providers, equipment suppliers and the relevant layers of government policy-makers.
The need for investment into mechanisms that can address these issues points towards an essential role for public-private sector partnerships. The great potential of rural markets for commercial business is associated with risks that must be offset by the social and economic development value of rural energy supply. A combination of public and private sector resources is often a key requirement to reach common goals.
Our priority in this area is to undertake work that will provide a basis for direct follow-up in the form of practical implementation. Assessing stakeholder needs, determining the barriers and developing action plans in the field of energy development are therefore areas of particular focus. In addition to energy access, key targets for our consultancy work are clean energy for reduced environmental impact and the use of energy efficient appliances since we believe that these issues make an essential contribution to lowering the relative cost of sustainable energy development.
Parallax also aims to influence decision-makers at all levels in order to bring about policy, institutional and procedural change that will help to provide the foundation for sustainable development solutions. We believe that the people living in rural communities must be consulted at the outset in order to determine the issues to be addressed by policy-makers. Instead of so often being the targets for unsolicited “assistance”, such communities should be setting the agenda. Parallax therefore aims to work closely with the women and men in the target communities to ensure that their priorities are acknowledged and addressed by the policy-makers and investors that offer external support.
At Parallax, we believe that it is essential to equip local customers, and related service providers, with the capacity to understand how best their energy needs can be met, and to install, operate and maintain the energy systems required. For target communities in remote areas, this means an education programme in a format that can transfer the information effectively and so raise awareness amongst community members. For service providers, training is required to ensure the ability to implement and service the appropriate technology as well as to manage customer accounts. Parallax has good experience with this range of capacity building needs.
Parallax ensures that the implementation of any initiative is well-co-ordinated at three key levels in order to achieve lasting positive impact. The context must be understood and reflected by the project to ensure the delivery of additional benefits without duplication or conflict with existing activity. Each of the project implementers must be fully aware of their role, responsibilities and interface with other project team members. And the outputs from the project must be channelled and combined effectively to match the needs of the target customers.
Facilitating appropriate on-the-ground activity to deliver clean energy services to isolated communities has always been the ultimate aim of Parallax and was the starting point for our business. We have good experience of implementing clean energy solutions under local conditions. This involves engaging local practitioners, building the necessary skills and ensuring that there is sufficient local capacity and incentive to maintain the operations long after the involvement of Parallax has been completed.
We have worked with an extensive network of clean energy stakeholders to understand their different perspectives. Policy-makers at all levels, public donors, private investors, programme developers, project implementers, international, national and local service providers, and local community members all have important roles but different visions of a successful outcome to any clean energy intervention. Parallax manages all of these stakeholders to ensure full support and mutual benefit.
For many years, Parallax has had close interaction with high-level policy makers in the Governments of developing countries, as well as with Government official s in donor countries. We are very familiar with the government policy-making processes. We also recognise that, although the need for finance is often a key constraint to energy access for remote communities, it is often the lack of appropriate policy that prevents the commitment of private finance into such initiatives. Parallax is very well equipped to prepare such strategic policy and planning frameworks.
One of the focus areas for Parallax is monitoring & evaluation of development activities that involve renewable energy, energy efficiency and/or climate change issues. For example, Parallax was previously engaged by the Oak Foundation in both New Jersey (US) and Geneva (Switzerland) on multi-annual contracts to advise and monitor the operations of E+Co Africa and of The Climate Group.