Energy policy planning in India is a complex process which needs to address simultaneous objectives of growth, environment, social development, energy access, and energy security in a transitioning economy. Such a planning process requires methodologies which allow for integration across simultaneous objectives in a transparent and participatory manner. CPR, along with our partners, have developed one such decision-making process based on a multiple-objectives framework, using Multi Criteria Decision Making Analysis (MCDA). This participatory framework seeks to enable a deeper conversation around the goals of a policy, different options available to meet these objectives, the inclusion of preferences of various stakeholders, and makes visible trade-offs and synergies across of policy options across these objectives. A crucial feature is its ability to hybridize both political and analytical forms of social appraisal, allowing for the integration of qualitative and quantitative knowledges across disciplines.
This workshop seeks to further discussions on this approach in three ways.
First, we will present results from its applications through a case-study of cooking energy choices for rural households. Nearly 86% of India’s rural households depend on solid fuels for their cooking requirements. The implications of such a high dependence on indoor air pollution, health, and gender are well established. However, at the household level, multiple considerations such as costs, time spent, access to reliable supply, geographical locations, cultural preferences, and impact on health, influence decisions on cooking energy choices. Understanding these preferences is critical for identifying possible challenges in the adoption and use of cleaner cooking fuels or technologies. We will present the common objectives of different stakeholder groups for rural cooking energy sector, and focus our discussions on the implications of household priorities and limits while considering fuel options and the trade-offs they are willing to make between these on different cooking options.
Second, we will present international experiences in the use of this tool in assessing climate policy. This section will highlight lessons from South Africa in analysing co-benefits of mitigation technologies using this tool, and touch upon its use in Colombia and Chile.
Third, we seek to further discussion on the role, scope (national, sub-national), and use of MCDA in multi-stakeholder, and multi-objective world. This session will draw upon experiences from international applications, and field application for cooking energy, to explore benefits and limits of MCDA.