Grid Electricity Expansion in Tanzania by MCC: Findings from a Rigorous Impact Evaluation, Final Report

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Mar 30, 2017
Authors
Duncan Chaplin, Arif Mamun, Ali Protik, John Schurrer, Divya Vohra, Kristine Bos, Hannah Burak, Laura Meyer, Anca Dumitrescu, Christopher Ksoll, and Thomas Cook

Key Findings:

  • The line extensions led to a large number of new connections, but it was less than a third of the 35,000 connections assumed at the outset.
  • The low-cost-connection offers also increased connection rates, but even if all communities received low-cost-connection offers, the number of connections originally assumed would still have not been achieved.
  • The line extensions had no clear impacts on the overall amount of energy used by households, hours children studied at night, whether the household operated any income-generating activity (IGA), nonelectricity consumption, and in- or out-migration. However, line extensions increased consumption of grid electricity, ownership of electric appliances, time spent watching television, operating an IGA that used grid electricity, and perceived household safety.
  • The low-cost-connection offers increased electricity use and ownership of electric appliances, worsened health outcomes, and had no clear impacts on the likelihood of operating an IGA, or nonelectricity consumption; however, the offers reduced poverty as measured by per capita consumption.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s energy-sector project was designed to promote economic growth and curb poverty in Tanzania. Mathematica conducted an evaluation of two project components: impacts of building new lines to the electricity grid and outcomes from offering low-cost-connections to households in a subset of communities.