Environment and Resources

Project: Impact Evaluation of the Netherlands supported Electrifying Rural Tanzania project

Project Duration

10/2018 - 09/2019 (current)

Commissioned by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

Project Team (RWI)

Dr. Gunther Bensch, Prof. Dr. Jörg Peters


Erasmus Research & Business Support (ERBS), Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Göttingen, University of Dar es Salaam


More than 1.1 billion people in developing countries lack access to electricity with a large share living in rural Africa. It is hypothesized that economic and human development are difficult without electricity access. Tanzania’s huge geographical extent and low population density makes infrastructure development such as electrification a particularly difficult exercise. The electrification rate is extremely low at around 46 percent in urban and 4 percent in rural areas. The proposed research encompasses an impact evaluation of an intervention to rehabilitate and extend three isolated electricity grids in Tanzania. The quasi-experimental research design uses a difference-in-differences approach and complementary evaluation approaches to identify the impacts of the intervention on households and enterprises. For this purpose, surveys in the intervention areas were conducted by RWI and its local partners between December 2014 and February 2015 as well as between November 2018 and February 2019.

Selected project related publications

Monographs (Author)


Bensch, G., M. Kreibaum, T. Mbegalo, J. Peters and N. Wagner (2017), The Status of Energy Access in Three Regions of Tanzania: Baseline report for an urban grid upgrading and rural extension project. RWI Materialien 111. Essen: RWI. download