Paul McCallion

Energy Expert
UNHCR
Environment and natural resources
MA Anthropology and Development
2005

I had worked in the electrical sector for ten years and my anthropology studies complemented my ongoing work with NGOs across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. The poor coordination of renewable deployments within the development context meant that as well as designing, training and installing renewable technologies, I was able to conduct ethnographic research across West Africa, Afghanistan and Haiti with some of the findings resulting in the production of renewable guidelines and technical specifications for my organisation.
 
The connection between affordable and sustainable energy through appropriate technologies in a culturally sensitive manner is fully appreciated by my current employer UNHCR: I am now the Energy Expert within its Operational Solutions and Transition Section (OSTS) where there are currently eighteen staff across energy and environment, livelihoods and solutions, four of whom have anthropological qualifications.