Page 33 - DHCI Magazine
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                or large, pieces of knowledge, investments, and innovation from a diversity of sources.’
Finding innovative business models and applying them
Since the launch of the AME programme in October 2019, a number of successful pilots have been carried out. The positive impact
of AME’s innovative energy projects, in for example a number of African refugee camps and rural communities, came in twofold.
What is unique about the pilots is not only
the fact that they concern renewable energy,
but also that they are in pursuit of innovative, sustainable business models. Instead of ‘giving stuff away,’ refugees and people in poor communities, when possible, are approached as consumers who can pay a fair, affordable price for qualitatively good services and products. Marcel: ‘In the humanitarian and emergency aid sector, there is a lot of talk about solutions that private parties might be able to offer. By working with each other in a different way, that train of thought has now been made a concrete reality. This different approach is not only beneficial for the dignity of people in crisis situations, who may feel more ‘seen’ when they are treated as clients rather than as recipients of aid. It also helps local private companies who experience the traditional ‘give-aways’ as market distortions. Moreover, these private sector parties are in it for the long run, which makes the realised solutions more sustainable.
Open and professional environment
Marcel believes that the fact that such atypical steps could be taken with atypical parties, such as local and international entrepreneurs, is certainly also due to the way in which participants in the AME ecosystem were approached using the DCHI methodology. ‘How do you get all these humanitarian
and other stakeholders interested as well as committed? DCHI’s interaction model has made a very valuable contribution to achieving
Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation
this goal. The format of the meetings and discussions created an atmosphere that was both open as well as professional. This did
in fact not change when COVID-19 came into play and the transition had to be made to a digital environment. This change happened very quickly and, looking back, it proved to be very successful. Even in a digital setting, the familiar atmosphere remained intact in which organisations felt free to express themselves and obtained answers that they could put to use.’
NL Energy Compact
International attention and concerns about
our energy future are on the rise. Marcel: ‘Last September, for instance, we had the United Nations High-level Dialogue on Energy. To my surprise, it was the first time that this subject had been on the agenda at this level since the oil crisis. In the run-up to the UN dialogue, many member states set up a so-called Energy
Compact. In the NL Energy Compact, the Dutch government, NGOs, knowledge institutes,
and the business sector, worked together to provide practical support for SDG 7. This way of working is in line with the Dutch tradition
of tackling complex problems together,
Marcel explains. ‘Consider for example the Klimaattafels (climate tables). It is somewhat
in our blood.’ The DCHI philosophy is well suited to this and, according to Marcel, can certainly be applied more broadly when shaping cooperation for innovation. ‘You bring together a group of players who have not yet fully figured out their question, you structurally map out who can contribute in what way, also and especially outside of the existing “box”, and you try it out with your partners as quickly as possible - not trying to immediately tackle the entire issue head on, but taking smaller or bigger concrete steps towards real solutions. This approach of course carries a lot of value - including for other issues.’

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