Visualizing Nepal’s electricity supply resilience from a whole-systems perspective: a participatory approach

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Energy resilience is a complex issue, encapsulating a diversity of factors. Such complexity makes effective policymaking difficult, and requires a whole-systems approach. This paper argues that the bottom-up participatory causal loop mapping method can be helpful in facilitating a shared understanding of the issues, and can help facilitate the application of a whole-systems approach to the design of effective policy interventions. Focusing on Nepal as a case study, this paper outlines the participatory approach, highlighting the method’s value in visualising the variables and interconnections affecting the resilience of Nepal’s electricity supply. Through the mapping, participants identified four interconnected groups of factors as important for resilience: governance, technology, economic and social. Within these, political leadership was noted as particularly important. Environmental factors were largely absent, which is an interesting result given the emphasis on renewable sources and clean technologies in energy policy in Nepal. The outcomes of our bottom-up participatory approach show the significant benefit of using this approach for highlighting context-dependent understandings of complex issues and represents a novel methodological innovation for energy research, which could be applied in diverse geographies and contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102409
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
Early online date27 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Nov 2021


  • Energy resilience
  • Nepal
  • participatory approach
  • whole system
  • causal loop


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