Development of a reference base for the success of electricity access projects

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Thanks to the Rexel Foundation, Electricians without borders is developing a management tool for its project teams

International
May 2015
 

The Rexel Foundation for a better energy future is supporting Electricians without borders, with over 28 years of experience and a multitude of electrification projects led in developing countries. The Rexel Foundation wanted to formalize this experience and help share it by creating a reference base and best practices guide. Thanks to the Foundation, project teams will have a tool at their disposal for managing and systematizing their initiatives, bringing them closer to the field and improving their performance regarding the expectations of the communities in question.

 

Ensuring the quality of electricity access projects

Being involved in a human development project, leaders and financial supporters care about ensuring that all the conditions have been met to guarantee the projects’ success during the preparatory and implementation phases, as well as their long-term sustainability. With this goal in mind, Electricians without borders and "Urgence Réhabilitation Développement" (URD) put the former’s 30 years of experience to good use.

 

A reference base for financial supporters and a methodological guide for project leaders

The quality reference base, compiled with the help of 10 project leaders from Electricians without borders and outside experts, features 12 criteria:

  • 4 population-based criteria aim to ensure that the projects meet actual needs, provide significant results and have a lasting impact on target communities.
  • 8 project-based criteria are centered on the content, management and leadership of the projects and aim to ensure that they are responsible and implemented by an association and professional teams.

 
These criteria enable donors and financial supporters to evaluate the proposals that are submitted to them and to identify the proposals’ strengths and weaknesses.
Each criterion is divided into key procedures that are both precise and practical, including steps to accomplish or precautions to take to successfully execute a project.
Developed to support and assist project leaders in implementing their projects, the best practices guide completes the reference base by helping the team in charge of the project to ask itself the right questions. Real examples, positive or negative, taken from the experience of Electricians without borders, illustrate each of the 43 procedures identified in leading a quality project.

 

Measure the long-term success of a project

Developing a reference base is not enough. It must also be possible to evaluate the success of a project and the changes that it brings about. The best practices guide provides project leaders with concrete indicators that enable them not only to measure the effectiveness of their project (did it reach its objectives?), but also to ensure its correct functioning and the proper use of equipment after its launch, to follow up on the measures implemented to ensure their long-term sustainability, and finally, to evaluate the impact of the project (economic, social, environmental, in the area of education and health, etc.). These evaluation methods and concerns for the long-term impact on communities coincide with the mission of the Rexel Foundation, which includes helping vulnerable communities out of fuel poverty.

 
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