Social impacts of mini-grids: towards an evaluation methodology

Aran Eales, Luke Walley, Hannah Buckland, Damien Frame, Scott Strachan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The level of investment in mini-grids is limited by a lack of understanding of their social impacts. A paucity of published data exists on the issue, presenting a need for mature, better-integrated monitoring and evaluation methodologies. Such social impact focussed data would provide a critical evidence base for supporting claims of the beneficial effects of mini-grids on the communities they serve. This paper provides a literature review exploring the existing knowledgebase on the social impacts of mini-grids, what methodologies are used to evaluate them, and the extent to which social impact monitoring and evaluation is currently carried out. It finds that although there is a general acceptance of the benefits of rural electrification through mini-grids, it is not often based on empirically measured evidence of mini-grid impact on the general wellbeing or social development of the communities they serve. Existing studies tend to focus more on measuring technical and economic performance of installed systems. Recommendations for a best practice methodology for evaluating the social impact of mini-grids is presented, which will be applied and tested in a variety of development contexts to gain valuable data to inform the sector.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2018
EventIEEE PES Power Africa Conference 2018 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 26 Jun 201829 Jun 2018

Conference

ConferenceIEEE PES Power Africa Conference 2018
CountrySouth Africa
CityCape Town
Period26/06/1829/06/18

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Monitoring
Economics

Keywords

  • mini-grids
  • impact
  • socio-economic indicators

Cite this

Eales, A., Walley, L., Buckland, H., Frame, D., & Strachan, S. (2018). Social impacts of mini-grids: towards an evaluation methodology. Paper presented at IEEE PES Power Africa Conference 2018, Cape Town, South Africa.
Eales, Aran ; Walley, Luke ; Buckland, Hannah ; Frame, Damien ; Strachan, Scott. / Social impacts of mini-grids : towards an evaluation methodology. Paper presented at IEEE PES Power Africa Conference 2018, Cape Town, South Africa.6 p.
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Eales, A, Walley, L, Buckland, H, Frame, D & Strachan, S 2018, 'Social impacts of mini-grids: towards an evaluation methodology' Paper presented at IEEE PES Power Africa Conference 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, 26/06/18 - 29/06/18, .

Social impacts of mini-grids : towards an evaluation methodology. / Eales, Aran; Walley, Luke; Buckland, Hannah; Frame, Damien; Strachan, Scott.

2018. Paper presented at IEEE PES Power Africa Conference 2018, Cape Town, South Africa.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Social impacts of mini-grids

T2 - towards an evaluation methodology

AU - Eales, Aran

AU - Walley, Luke

AU - Buckland, Hannah

AU - Frame, Damien

AU - Strachan, Scott

PY - 2018/6/26

Y1 - 2018/6/26

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AB - The level of investment in mini-grids is limited by a lack of understanding of their social impacts. A paucity of published data exists on the issue, presenting a need for mature, better-integrated monitoring and evaluation methodologies. Such social impact focussed data would provide a critical evidence base for supporting claims of the beneficial effects of mini-grids on the communities they serve. This paper provides a literature review exploring the existing knowledgebase on the social impacts of mini-grids, what methodologies are used to evaluate them, and the extent to which social impact monitoring and evaluation is currently carried out. It finds that although there is a general acceptance of the benefits of rural electrification through mini-grids, it is not often based on empirically measured evidence of mini-grid impact on the general wellbeing or social development of the communities they serve. Existing studies tend to focus more on measuring technical and economic performance of installed systems. Recommendations for a best practice methodology for evaluating the social impact of mini-grids is presented, which will be applied and tested in a variety of development contexts to gain valuable data to inform the sector.

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Eales A, Walley L, Buckland H, Frame D, Strachan S. Social impacts of mini-grids: towards an evaluation methodology. 2018. Paper presented at IEEE PES Power Africa Conference 2018, Cape Town, South Africa.