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

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

Published: Mar 30, 2017
Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Associated Project

Tanzania Energy-Sector Impact Evaluation

Time frame: 2008-2017

Prepared for:

Millennium Challenge Corporation


Arif Mamun

Ali Protik

Hannah Burak

Anca Dumitrescu

Christopher Ksoll

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.

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