AFD’s sectoral intervention frameworks (SIF, or CIS in French) are reference documents that describe the way in which AFD carries out its interventions in a given field over a period of three to five years. The main purpose of the Energy SIF evaluation is to enable the main AFD services concerned by the drafting and implementation of the SIF to learn lessons from it. These lessons will help in preparing the next intervention framework. The evaluation must also help improve the monitoring of the intervention outcomes, in line with the SIF objectives. It moreover contributes to accountability on the implementation and the development outcomes to which the Energy SIF contributes.
This evaluation seeks to provide information on:
- the relevance of the strategic positioning and of the objectives defined in the Energy SIF (the strategy);
- how well the Energy SIF adapts to trends on the ground;
- its effectiveness as a tool (in management, guidance and influence);
- on the effectiveness of the Energy SIF in terms of development outcomes.
The evaluation was contracted to the EY-Econoler consortium. It was based on the methodological guidelines that specify the content of an intervention framework evaluation. The methodological guidelines propose an approach making it possible to evaluate both the SIF as a process and strategy document, and the effects of this strategy, in particular on the intervention portfolio. The guidelines also inform on how to take into account the time lag between the strategy document and the intervention portfolio. Assessment of the effects of the interventions faced limits due to both the weaknesses identified in the monitoring of intervention outcomes and by the small number of project evaluations available.
Overall, the SIF provided a relevant and original interpretation of the issues of its timeframe. It expressed the unique position of AFD (in particular with a strong strategy document on access to energy and the securing of energy systems), and it was in line overall with the policies giving priority to renewable energies (REs) put forward by its peers and by the international community over the period. However, a strong position by AFD on subjects concerning energy efficiency (EE) cannot be seen, as this dimension was included within the sustainable energy (SE) strategy. The role of the SIF as an impetus for EE was less pronounced than for other subjects, such as access to energy or renewable energy (RE) over the 2012-2016 period.
Internally, the SIF is recognized for its structuring role in the orientation of interventions in the field of energy. The relevant changes put forward in the SIF could be approached effectively in the field, in particular thanks to flexible procedures and a strong strategy document. At the same time, establishing the objectives of the SIF allowed for enough flexibility to adapt to the changes that occurred over the period, including those that had not been foreseen in the SIF.
Over the period, the AFD Group sought to adapt its ways of doing things, as did other donors, according to the financial landscape and the needs of the stakeholders, in particular by seeking to develop tools making it possible to exercise a leverage effect on the mobilization of the private sector. The main lack of suitable financial tools that came out of the analyses concerned access to energy and energy efficiency.
The role and the effectiveness of the SIF in managing the cross-cutting nature of the energy sector turned out to be relatively limited, in terms of i) the level of its development process and ii) the impetus of cross-cutting approaches worked on together between divisions. The fact that the 2012-2016 SIF strategy document was focused on the electricity sector (production, transport, distribution, consumption), without proposing a cross-cutting vision of the issues and usages of energy, is an aspect likely to accentuate this limit.
The role of the SIF in orienting knowledge production internally was not clearly stated, and its effectiveness in this area was not confirmed. Furthermore, the process of capitalization and evaluation of the interventions carried out seems to be on an insufficient scale compared to the importance of the issues.
The evaluators recommend that the document be made more readable and its diffusion improved, especially externally. They advise that the tools for monitoring the intervention framework be improved and enriched, both in terms of improving the reliability and exhaustiveness of the monitoring of the financial aspects and in strengthening the monitoring of the non-financial aspects of AFD’s energy portfolio. Revision of the energy intervention framework must be an opportunity for promoting a cross-cutting approach regarding energy. This can involve, in particular, dealing with the energy sector as a whole and by taking into account all its usages, as well as identifying in a more in-depth way the constructive overlaps with other AFD intervention sectors. The evaluators recommend reinforcing the frequency and content of the evaluations in the energy sector and of improving the capitalization of knowledge and experiences. Finally, concerning AFD’s ways of doing things, they recommend the following:
- creating early-stage financing tools and supplying support to innovation;
- capitalizing on the SUNREF tool and extending it to other types of projects; and
- strengthening the interventions to support public policies for energy transitions, especially through public policy loans.