Implementing to design better: Clean energy transition for islands

Guest blog by Ana Laca

I work primarily in foreign affairs and regional development, but as a side passion project, I have been actively working on islands’ energy transition. I work for a European institution on legislative procedures, following particular files as they pass through a legislative train until their final adoption.

For my action learning process, I focused on islands’ energy transition as my project for this course. My policy challenge was to tackle the energy dependence of islands since they have an abundance of natural resources that could be used for renewable energy.

This is my most tangible project as I authored or co-authored three successful pilot projects approved for financing from the EU budget. Their purpose was to provide technical assistance for islands and rural areas, to start and guide them through their clean energy transition processes.

My incentive to apply and my first expectation was to learn more about the implementation process. I hoped to gain theoretical and practical knowledge on challenges practitioners face while implementing their policies, to take that with me and apply it in my work – which is legislative work. I wanted to learn about implementing public policy to cover the link I frequently think is missing in the institutions when we design public policies. I feel that we design without really having the perception of the policies’ implementation and outcome. To my (positive) surprise, this class was more practical than theoretical. 

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Private sector investment in renewable energy in Mongolia

Guest blog written by Hisaka Kimura

1. My expectation of IPP Online

Asian Development Bank, which I work with, has been strengthening its field offices to respond more effectively to the evolving challenges. Based in Beijing, one of the largest field offices, I lead private sector country work for China and Mongolia, focusing on strategy, business development, structuring, negotiation, implementation, regulatory monitoring, and knowledge-sharing. Following COVID-19, implementation jumped up the agenda among the full spectrum of new challenges. I had to deep-dive more project implementation, and I was thrilled at IPP online opportunity to prepare myself to deliver greater responsiveness to the client needs in these trying times.

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Equador’s reliance on fossil fuel exports

Guest blog written by Matthew McNaughton, Gaurav Dutt, Mandy Le Monde, Anjanay Kumar, Yashila Singh

What were some key learnings from this course? (about the PDIA process through addressing your problem)

As we went along the process of PDIA, we learnt a lot about the process of understanding and deconstructing the problem, working in a team and about PDIA itself. A few of these learnings are included below:

Firstly, problem definition is often an underinvested endeavor. PDIA’s methodology for constructing and deconstructing problems, along with the strategic role that a well constructed problem plays in mobilizing actors in the problem space are immensely valuable. Maintaining the discipline to focus on problem definition, instead of jumping to creating solutions can be difficult. Having a team that shares this value can help you to stay on point. Additionally, the starting definition of the problem may really be just a symptom, or it might be someone’s perception of the problem but not really the root cause or shared by other stakeholders. The process of PDIA acknowledges this and emphasizes the importance of spending time to define the problem and socialize it with partners to test and validate your assumptions.

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Exploring electromobility in Latin America

Guest blog by Raúl Rodríguez Molina

I decided to enroll in the IPP program as a continuation of the Leading Economic Growth Program, which I found extremely interesting. LEG gave me the opportunity to engage in group work methodologies, like PDIA, which somehow I have seen being implemented but not formally, not following a rigorous process.

I am working as an infrastructure specialist for an international development bank, the Inter-American Development Bank. Supporting countries to design effective policies for which the Bank provides financial and technical resources is the core of my job. We (the IABD) are not policy makers, but we need to work on project derived from a sound public policy exercise. I hoped that coupling LEG and IPP in such short sequence of time would give me a conceptual refresh of the framework and basics of a good Public Policy, looking at different regions of the world and from different actor’s perspectives. One crystal clear message to me is that context matters a lot, so two similar problems cannot be tackled in the same way to get the same results. That is why it is so important to implement problem deconstruction methodologies. PDIA helps you exercise a constant evaluation and questioning process to ensure you are not just moving in the right direction, but also working with all the actors needed.

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Reflections on LEG 2021 from Tanzania

Guest blog by Abdirehman Ahmad

The course has been useful to understanding many concepts of economic growth. I have been learning new things from the first day to the last.

The key ideas that will be takeaways are:

  1. The PDIA approach to tackling growth challenges. We often think of one-size-fits-all but in this concept, we learnt tailor-made solutions for every problem. Identifying the binding constraint among others.
  2. The idea of breaking down the big problem to smaller problems in a fish bone. Identifying who you need on board in tackling each small problem.
  3. The concept of inclusion among regions and distribution in development in tackling economic growth problems.
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