UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


IGP awarded funding for Citizen Assembly Pilot on Energy Transition in Lebanon

10 February 2020


Professor Henrietta Moore (Director, Institute for Global Prosperity) and Dr Ala’a Shehabi (Deputy Director, Institute for Global Prosperity) have been granted £20,000 from the UKRI Public Engagement, Citizen Science Exploration Grants.

The Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) will use the funds to run a pilot research and engagement initiative in the form of a citizen assembly focusing on energy transition in the locality of Hamra in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. This presents an opportunity for the public to use the knowledge and energy data gathered by The RELIEF Centre researchers at a critical moment where new energy reforms in the country are being negotiated. Lebanon faces chronic energy shortages from an ageing energy infrastructure that relies on fossil fuels. “A renewable energy transition would utilise the skills of an increasing population, the country’s natural resources, and provide energy resilience. It is not just about changing energy patterns but creating value for communities by reformulating public services to improve prosperity for all residents”, says Professor Henrietta Moore (Founder and Director, Institute for Global Prosperity).

The RELIEF Centre is a UKRI funded project looking at pathways to prosperity in the context of mass displacement in Lebanon, a country that has experienced the influx of millions of refugees over the course of decades. The RELIEF Centre, led by Professor Henrietta Moore, has been operating as a multi-university partnership in the UK and Lebanon since 2017, and its work on energy is being supported by the United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. It operates across the whole of the UK with a budget of more than £7 billion. “This is one of 53 pilot projects that we have funded, all using exciting ways that researchers and innovators can involve the public in their work. In 2020 and beyond, we will build on the lessons we learn through funding these pilot projects to help us achieve our ambition of making research and innovation responsive to the knowledge, priorities and values of society and open to participation by people from all backgrounds.” – Tom Saunders, Head of Public Engagement, UK Research and Innovation.