Environment and Resources

Project: Impact Evaluation of Energy and Development Cooperation Supported by the Netherlands

Project Duration

09/2009 - 06/2014 (finalized)

Commissioned by

Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB)

Project Team (RWI)

Dr. Gunther Bensch, Prof. Dr. Jochen Kluve, Prof. Dr. Jörg Peters (Chief), Dr. Maximiliane Sievert


International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

Leader of Consortium



In late 2009, IOB assigned a framework contract to a consortium led by RWI to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate development activities and their sustainability in the energy sector financed by the Netherlands. The Netherlands are the most important bilateral donor in the energy sector and, following a debate in domestic policy about the effectiveness of Dutch aid, have committed themselves to a rigorous evaluation of the achieved impacts. The ongoing projects comprise electrification interventions, the provision of solar lamps, biogas, biofuels and efficient cooking stoves. The evaluation consisted of studies in three partner countries – Burkina Faso, Indonesia, and Rwanda – for example addressing the Rwandan Electricity Access Roll-Out Programme (EARP), with a budget of USD 377 million one of the most ambitious electrification interventions in Africa. In total, nine rigorous studies were conducted in collaboration with the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS). While the rigorous quantitative analysis of impacts on households or enterprises stood at the heart of each sub-evaluation, the large sample size studies were complemented by qualitative approaches. Sustainability issues were furthermore assessed through an institutional analysis of the energy sector in the respective countries. Lessons were to be drawn from the findings for improvement of policy implementation and understanding the extent to which activities reach the poor. The evaluation strategies were implemented on the ground by 2013, before the results were reported to the Dutch Parliament.