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The potential of performance targets (imihigo) as drivers of energy planning and extending access to off‐grid energy in rural Rwanda

Bisaga, I; Parikh, P; Mulugetta, Y; Hailu, Y; (2019) The potential of performance targets (imihigo) as drivers of energy planning and extending access to off‐grid energy in rural Rwanda. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment , 8 (1) , Article e310. 10.1002/wene.310. Green open access

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Abstract

Rwanda has one of the lowest electrification rates in Sub‐Saharan Africa and ambitious targets of boosting energy access, with an encouraged private sector involvement. However, barriers such as end‐user awareness and participation in policy and business model design prohibit the pace of rural electrification. A case of Rwanda is analyzed, pointing to the potential of the imihigo (performance contracts) framework. Given the adoption of household‐level performance contracts, which can include energy access, it is proposed they could drive local participation among off‐grid communities. Results of a survey with 218 users of Solar Home Systems in North‐Western Rwanda and from five focus groups show that village‐level energy targets impact on the prioritization of energy target setting among households. Including off‐grid energy options in the imihigo booklets distributed to households could influence awareness raising and allow private sector providers to act in a more targeted way, prioritizing areas with most prevalent energy targets. Additionally, community meetings (umuganda) tied to imihigo offer participatory spaces for information and feedback sharing. These will assist in the design of energy planning and business models, which best fit local needs and respond to the challenges faced by the energy poor.

Type: Article
Title: The potential of performance targets (imihigo) as drivers of energy planning and extending access to off‐grid energy in rural Rwanda
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/wene.310
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wene.310
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: off‐grid electrification, imihigo, participatory approaches, Rwanda, Solar Home Systems
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051373
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