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Dr Fennell member of the Smart Villages initiative

last modified Mar 17, 2015 02:54 PM

Dr Shailaja Fennell, is a member of successful Smart Villages team, led by Sir Brian Heap and based at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford in the UK. The Smart Villages initiative (running over 2016-19) has been granted the sum of £3 million, jointly funded by Cambridge Malaysian Education and Development Trust (CMEDT) and the Templeton World Charity Foundation. The initiative aims to provide policy makers, donors and development agencies concerned with rural energy access with new insights on the real barriers to energy access in villages in developing countries – technological, financial, social and political – and how they can be overcome. The focus on the initiative is on remote off-grid villages, where local solutions (home- or institution-based systems, and mini-grids) are both more realistic and cheaper than national grid extension. The initiative will cover Latin America, Asia and Africa and will organise two major international workshops in each region. These events will bring together the diverse set of players from across the region, providing an open and stimulating environment conducive to generating new insights into how to tackle the challenges of village energy access for development. 

To know more about the initiative see



"It has been almost two years since the murder of Giulio Regeni in Cairo. As we approach this anniversary, we are no nearer to knowing the truth of what happened to this promising post-graduate, tortured and killed while pursuing wholly legitimate academic research... It has been especially troubling to note that, in the absence of apparent progress in investigations into Giulio’s death, attention has been turned to his doctoral supervisor, Dr Maha Abdelrahman – an honourable and distinguished scholar..." Stephen J Toope, Vice-Chancellor. To read the message in full, please go to our News page. The message can also be found on the University of Cambridge homepage.

We are delighted and proud to see that the Centre has gone from no.8 (2015) to no.6 (2016) to no.4 (2017) in the field of Development Studies in the QS Survey. This would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work from everyone within the Centre.