The Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) held its 2016 Annual Conference with the theme Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals through Microfinance. The conference aims to discuss current initiatives of the microfinance sector related to the SDGs and the role of microfinance in achieving and fulfilling the sustainable development targets on clean water and sanitation, resilient human settlements, clean energy, health and well-being, as well as its potential contribution in minimizing the impact of climate change on communities through adaptation and reducing vulnerabilities, among other things.
One of the presentors at the conference was Angelo Valenton, founder of Power 4 All, who spoke on Development Off Grid through Credible Decentralized Technologies. The key message was that basic utilities like power and clean water are drivers to growth and well being, and disparities between countries in terms of development is highly influenced by consumption and access to power and clean water. However, viable power and clean water generation in most cases have been limited to large industry providers and urbanized communities.
"Technologies are evolving rapidly" says Valenton, "and allow you to be a viable provider of basic utilities even if you do not belong to big industry." Traditionally large technologies have been miniaturized that you can literally fit a power generator, a water treatment device and a communications network into your back packs. The opportunities this presents is that development can be pushed further out to rural and off grid in a much more viable, practical and sustainable way.