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Formative evaluation of sustainability in rural electrification programs from a management perspective: A case study from Venezuela

López-González, A., B. Domenech and Ferrer-Martí, L.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2018, vol. 95, issue C, 95-109

Abstract: Nowadays, around 1.2 billion people remain without access to electricity in rural areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In order to achieve universal access, a wide range of institutions must be involved in long-term rural electrification programs within a regional and national scope. In this context, the main objective of this research is to propose an evaluation methodology which aims to promote continual improvement of the programs underway, by undertaking the appropriate modifications in terms of their design and implementation. In this regard, a formative approach is sought, as the programs underway require from elements for continual improvement. In addition, a management perspective is also sought, as the results focus on program leaders for the implementation of suitable modifications, as and when needed. The proposed evaluation methodology considers 4 sustainability dimensions: environmental, technical, socioeconomic and institutional, in turn composed of 15 criteria that allow the design and implementation of the program to be analyzed in detail. The criteria are assessed by means of indicators dealing with the specific conditions of each program. As a case study, the Venezuelan program "Sowing Light" is taken as an empirical application of the proposed methodology. Launched in 2005, this program has been developed in three phases, reaching 900 rural communities to date, and is expected to benefit 2020 more in the near future. Hence, the proposed evaluation methodology aims to provide useful results to compare RET-based electrification programs with conventional grid extension. Similarly, the methodology promotes continual improvement in favor of universal electricity access in rural communities in this country, as well as lessons learned that can be useful for the development of similar initiatives in other developing countries.

Keywords: Rural electrification program; Renewable energy; Sustainability dimensions; Formative evaluation; Venezuela (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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