Lesotho Renewable Energy Based Rural Electrification

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Evaluation Plan:
2008-2012, Lesotho
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2012
Completion Date:
06/2013
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
27,000

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Title Lesotho Renewable Energy Based Rural Electrification
Atlas Project Number: 00049143
Evaluation Plan: 2008-2012, Lesotho
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2013
Planned End Date: 12/2012
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. National and local governments and communities have the capacities to adapt to climate change and make inclusive and sustainable environment & energy decisions benefitting in particular under-served populations
Evaluation Budget(US $): 27,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Andrew Mears Dr andrew@majorityworld.com.au
Molibeli Taele Dr bm.taele@nul.ls
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-1
PIMS Number: 1858
Key Stakeholders: Multiple
Countries: LESOTHO
Comments: The LREBRE project received the following ratings: -Minimal on overall project impact -Moderately unsatisfactory (MU) on the quality of monitoring and evaluation. -Moderately unsatisfactory (MS) on assessment of outcomes -Moderately satisfactory (MS) on the quality of implementation and execution -Moderately unlikely (MU) on the likelihood of sustainability
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 A national survey of renewable energy penetration and energy use patterns in households and enterprise should also be undertaken otherwise it should be a key feature of the inception phase of any follow-on projects.
2 The currently adopted Exit Strategy is inadequate and must be redone. The TE recommends that, even though the project has closed that DOE develop a revised Exit Strategy and that a PSC meeting be convened to approve it. The Strategy failed to identify a useful plan of action.
3 Delivery Models There is a high risk that remnant technical issues, spent batteries and distorted expectations due to high subsidy will lead to ongoing problems for stakeholders and a bad reputation for UNDP and the DOE. This is likely to cause problems for private enterprise or follow-on projects working in these areas. This should be addressed as high priority even before further systems are rolled out.
4 Households currently have no idea how to obtain assistance to repair their systems or to obtain good quality replacement parts. In particular, access to good quality inverters, replacement batteries and 12V DC globes are an issue. Villages need assistance in accessing maintenance and good quality replacement parts and a scheme should be developed for this purpose. Efforts should be made to ensure that spare parts are available closer to the communities being served. It would therefore be important that efforts are made to establish service center fully stocked with spare parts. The operator would be selected in such a way that he/she establishes a network of technicians in the communities to facilitate timely assistance to technical problems that may arise. This could even target empowering individuals in the communities to attend to minor problems by offing them basic courses.
5 Awareness Raising Valuable resource materials should continue to be utilized. The information resources including pamphlets, videos, demonstration kits and other materials prepared should be catalogued and DOE should then undertake a wider consultation with training institutions, NGOs and others in order to identify a suitable repository where these resources will be utilized by as many people as possible (as well as DOE and REU). In particular the Principal Secretary is proposing to prepare a series of radio and other awareness activities for both energy and water and LREBRE project materials would be useful for this purpose.
6 Capacity Development LESES needs to be supported to prepare an effective business plan that it can use as the basis for planning and fund raising. It needs to focus on market development and quality and further development of training standards and certification process and cannot rely on preferential treatment for Government contracting. They need to develop a clear strategy to build market recognition for quality and service. A possible mechanism is to develop a quality labeling system that defines LESES?s brand and about which LESES works to build broad public recognition as a sign of quality and value. Through a licensing agreement members are able to display this label on their products. The other key value proposition to members is access to a work place competency based certification process which will require substantial development but which LESES develop as a project proposal for funding applications to a number of donors.
1. Recommendation: A national survey of renewable energy penetration and energy use patterns in households and enterprise should also be undertaken otherwise it should be a key feature of the inception phase of any follow-on projects.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/08/11]

Generally data on the penetration of renewable energy and other forms of energy and energy use in households is a problem area that the Department of Energy is faced with. Efforts are being made to address this problem through possible assistance from other development partners.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Data collection on renewable energy penetration and energy use patterns in households and enterprises.
[Added: 2015/09/03]
Ministry Energy & Meteorology, UNDP and other development partners No due date No deadline established Generally data on the penetration of renewable energy and other forms of energy and energy use in households is a problem area that the Department of Energy is faced with. Efforts are being made to address this problem through possible assistance from other development partners. A follow-up project to the LREBRE will constitute of one component focused on creation of energy database
2. Recommendation: The currently adopted Exit Strategy is inadequate and must be redone. The TE recommends that, even though the project has closed that DOE develop a revised Exit Strategy and that a PSC meeting be convened to approve it. The Strategy failed to identify a useful plan of action.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/08/11]

An exit strategy is very important for any intervention especially if there are intensions of continuing with the intervention. This also needs the right people to do and the Project Staff would be better placed to do this. Terminal Evaluation Report could compliment this if properly used in that lessens will be documented and it is appropriate that any future interventions take note of good and bad lessons.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Department of Energy to revise the existing Exit Strategy and PSC meeting be convened to approve it.
[Added: 2015/09/03]
Ministry Energy & Meteorology No due date No deadline established Due to the project closure and absence of the project team and PSC, the action was not undertaken. The action is now overtaken by events, a draft project document for the follow-up project has been developed, and will soon be implemented.
3. Recommendation: Delivery Models There is a high risk that remnant technical issues, spent batteries and distorted expectations due to high subsidy will lead to ongoing problems for stakeholders and a bad reputation for UNDP and the DOE. This is likely to cause problems for private enterprise or follow-on projects working in these areas. This should be addressed as high priority even before further systems are rolled out.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/08/11]

The prerequisite being suggested would perhaps work if generally the expectations of the customers were met. But in this case it would not be appropriate and would result in more complications. What would perhaps work would be to give detailed information and obligations on the part of customers for the systems to work and ensure that money is saved for replacing major parts.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Remnant technical issues, including spent batteries and distorted expectations due to high subsidy to be addressed
[Added: 2015/09/03]
Ministry Energy & Meteorology, UNDP and other development partners No due date No deadline established Draft RE policy will soon be approved by Government to address disposal of spent RE components parts and subsidy for rural electrification.
4. Recommendation: Households currently have no idea how to obtain assistance to repair their systems or to obtain good quality replacement parts. In particular, access to good quality inverters, replacement batteries and 12V DC globes are an issue. Villages need assistance in accessing maintenance and good quality replacement parts and a scheme should be developed for this purpose. Efforts should be made to ensure that spare parts are available closer to the communities being served. It would therefore be important that efforts are made to establish service center fully stocked with spare parts. The operator would be selected in such a way that he/she establishes a network of technicians in the communities to facilitate timely assistance to technical problems that may arise. This could even target empowering individuals in the communities to attend to minor problems by offing them basic courses.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/08/11]

Noted. UNDP has drafted a successor project to LEREBRE which will focus on renewable energy service rather than product as was the case with LEREBRE. It is also agreed that some action has to be taken for those households referred to who were under LEREBRE.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Solar Home Systems repairs and replacement of parts
[Added: 2015/09/03]
Ministry Energy & Meteorology, No due date No deadline established UNDP has secured funds for a successor project which will focus on renewable energy service rather than product as was the case with LEREBRE.
5. Recommendation: Awareness Raising Valuable resource materials should continue to be utilized. The information resources including pamphlets, videos, demonstration kits and other materials prepared should be catalogued and DOE should then undertake a wider consultation with training institutions, NGOs and others in order to identify a suitable repository where these resources will be utilized by as many people as possible (as well as DOE and REU). In particular the Principal Secretary is proposing to prepare a series of radio and other awareness activities for both energy and water and LREBRE project materials would be useful for this purpose.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/08/11]

UNDP uses the materials for continued awareness creation of RE based rural electrification. This would indeed go a long way in addressing awareness raising among rural communities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Valuable resource materials should continue to be utilized for awareness raising on renewable energy
[Added: 2015/09/03]
Ministry Energy & Meteorology, UNDP No due date No deadline established UNDP and Ministry of Energy use the materials for continued awareness creation of RE based rural electrification.
6. Recommendation: Capacity Development LESES needs to be supported to prepare an effective business plan that it can use as the basis for planning and fund raising. It needs to focus on market development and quality and further development of training standards and certification process and cannot rely on preferential treatment for Government contracting. They need to develop a clear strategy to build market recognition for quality and service. A possible mechanism is to develop a quality labeling system that defines LESES?s brand and about which LESES works to build broad public recognition as a sign of quality and value. Through a licensing agreement members are able to display this label on their products. The other key value proposition to members is access to a work place competency based certification process which will require substantial development but which LESES develop as a project proposal for funding applications to a number of donors.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/08/11]

Noted as a good recommendation, but now that the project is closed UNDP cannot continue to support LESES anymore.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continued capacity development and support of the LESES
[Added: 2015/09/03]
Ministry Energy & Meteorology, No due date No deadline established Ministry of Energy and other development partners continue to support LESES in many aspects including fund raising initiatives and developing a strategy to build market recognition for quality and service.

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