wbg-electricity-access-at-a-glance_infographic.jpgPurpose and Methodology

Assess the World Bank Group's support to client countries moving toward universal energy access goals.

  • Comprehensive project portfolio review with key performance indicator analysis based on Results Framework
  • Sector analysis: Cross-country sector indicators, technology trends, sources of finance
  • Field-based assessments: selected projects, country case studies
  • Structured interviews: Government, World Bank Group, implementing agency, beneficiaries, other lenders
  • Literature review: World Bank Group and other sources

Salient Findings


The World Bank Group performed well in providing physical infrastructure, supporting institutional frameworks and building capacity. The World Bank Group was also successful at the analytical base for policymaking, and for better project design.


  • Lack of depth and continuity in programs in low-access countries
  • Not geared to support quantum increase in scale and speed of access growth

Conclusions and Recommendations

The World Bank Group should:

  • Reposition itself as a global solutions provider in the sector going well beyond its own direct support for access.
  • Move from a predominantly project-by-project approach–to a far greater use of a sector-wide framework and process.
  • Engage decisively and intensely on low-access countries (mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa) as opportunity costs of delaying access are high; denying access to a whole generation.
  • Improve the evidence-base related to electricity access and align with shared prosperity and ending extreme poverty goals.
  • Frame the "grid vs. off-grid" tradeoff in terms of complementarity and coordination geared towards universal access without creating an artificial dichotomy.
  • Retain focus on underlying structural causes of sector financial viability, inclusing and use policy lending and investment lending in a complementary fashion.

Download: World Bank Group and Electricity Access - At A Glance