Assessment Access to Energy Fund FMO

FMO wants a sustainable energy supply for 2.1 million people in developing countries. When we were asked to assess the project we were only too happy to oblige.

Assessment Access to Energy Fund
The Dutch foreign office commissioned us to produce an interim assessment report on the efficiency, effectiveness and relevance of the Access to Energy Fund (AEF). The AEF has been part of the Dutch funding organisation for developing countries FinancieringsMaatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) since 2006. It is the FMO’s task to support projects in these countries, mainly in the private sector.

The crisis prompted many commercial banks to curtail their involvement and Africa in particular took the brunt. The need for funding and sustainable energy remains a priority, however, especially if the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved. The Dutch government earmarked €70m to provide 2.1 million people with sustainable energy by 2015.

Rebel research
In order to ascertain whether this money was being spent efficiently and effectively we not only examined the books but visited the African projects as well. We started out by making a document analysis and held a series of interviews with FMO staff. We then carried out an external stakeholder analysis with stakeholders in London, and with the Dutch foreign office. The final phase consisted of project field studies in the countries concerned. We talked to ministries and suppliers in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

Assessment and beyond
We were adamant that future developments should have a place in our assessment. We felt is wasn’t enough to evaluate the past but wanted to highlight future project potential as well. The resulting, detailed recommendations are included in the report. The foreign office and FMO are in the process of discussing AEF’s progress. Of the €70m €60,8 has already been allocated.

Good practice
At Rebel we always say we want to make the world a better place and this project was very close to our hearts. But we also want taxpayers’ money to be spent as efficiently as possible. This is not a charitable undertaking and banks get a good return on investment. It is all about stimulating initiatives which will improve people’s lives. It was wonderful to drive through a well-lit village where before there was darkness and to see a young girl going to school because access to electricity means she can do her homework in the evening.