Evidence of the Impact of Energy Access on Wellbeing: Measuring the Immeasurable
While development literature often discusses the critical importance of electricity access and clean cooking to improve economic and social well-being, there has been little rigorous evidence of the specific nature and magnitude of these benefits. This presentation drew on impact evaluations from the Asia-Pacific region to explore the demonstrated impacts of energy access on income, education, women’s empowerment, inequality, and poverty alleviation in real-life settings. It discussed what made some access programs successful– not just in terms of achieving access– but in terms of ensuring that access leads to tangible socio-economic benefits. The presentation further explored what are the demonstrated pathways through which electricity and clean cooking have led to socio-economic benefit. Based on the evidence, the presentation also provided practical guidance on how to plan for and implement policies or programs that yield real-life benefits.