Access to electricity can foster economic development. Universal access to electricity is now considered a primary goal for sustainable development and significant resources have been invested by domestic governments and international institutions to achieve this goal. In Sierra Leone, the new government calls improving the supply of energy “an imperative for any meaningful development and poverty reduction”. Access to affordable and clean energy is a Sustainable Development Goal, and the United Nations supports “expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide clean energy in all developing countries”. It is therefore imperative that policy makers have the tools to maximize returns on investments in expanding energy access.
However, recent experimental research in Kenya and India shows that expanding access to electricity does not necessarily lead to improved development outcomes. These contradictory findings indicate we need to better understand how electrification can lead to welfare improvement. Understanding the channels through which electrification can improve welfare is of paramount importance for building the evidence base for further off-grid rural electrification projects, determining value for money, and reporting what can be achieved through such projects.
This project will involve assisting with a randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating how and under what conditions rural electrification in Sierra Leone can improve outcomes. The RA will assist with data collection, cleaning, and analysis.
Requisite Skills and Qualifications:
Strong Stata skills. Econometrics I and II preferred. Additional programming experience or knowledge of RCTs is a plus.