3ie Systematic Review 31

Effects and mechanisms of market-based reforms on access to electricity in developing countries: a systematic review

3ie Systematic review 31, 2016

This systematic review by Bensch and colleagues examines the impacts of market-based reforms on access to electricity in developing countries, using evidence from quantitative and qualitative impact evaluations. Findings suggest that electricity sector reforms are no panacea on their own. Since they are complex interventions that have techno-economic effects and affect political economies, they require strong collaboration between these fields of expertise. The review exposes considerable knowledge gaps – in terms of absolute and relative reform costs, as well as reform effectiveness. To counter these problems, regulators and ministries around the world need to be motivated to provide the data necessary for effectiveness and cost-effectiveness studies. More effort is also needed to cover indicators on potentially key technical, economic and political mechanisms. 

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