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Impact evaluation Electrifying Rural Tanzania: A Grid Extension and Reliability Improvement Intervention

Electrifying Rural Tanzania, a rigorous impact evaluation

As assignment under the Framework Contract with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung and the Georg August Universität, Göttingen (with the Economics Department of the University of Dar es Salaam as local partner) conducted an impact evaluation for the Electrifying Rural Tanzania project, financed through the Dutch Facility for Infrastructure Development ORIO. The aim of the ORIO project was toreplace old existing diesel generators in three rural townships by modern state-of-the-art generators and to extend the local electricity grids to surrounding rural areas.

The rigorous impact evaluation was conducted between 2014 and 2019. For rural households, a quantitative difference-in-differences (Diff-in-diff) approach was used in two survey waves with 58 treatment communities and 42 control communities with a four to five year interval between the surveys. For urban households and enterprises, a before-after quantitative comparison was applied. In total, 1155 households were surveyed in rural areas and 300 households and 595 enterprises in towns. The main conclusions was that the project was overtaken by the speed of the roll-out of the electricity grid, while at the same time rural households made increasingly of solar panels; for urban households the project contributed to stability in electricity supply that is important for entreprises.