By leveraging the power of data, analytics and technology, Powering Impact aims at delivering innovative solutions to key stakeholders across business, governments, and civil society to tackle pressing social issues. Powering Education is Powering Impact’s main initiative so far.
The hidden crisis of energy poverty currently affects more than 1.2 billion people worldwide – 93 million of these are school-age children living in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Powering Education was one of the first attempts to draw out the link between access to energy and access to education. By coupling the diffusion of solar lamps with rigorous impact assessment studies, the project explored whether the availability of clean energy sources affects students’ performance as well as household economics and social development.
The first one-year project – Powering Education Phase I – was jointly developed and implemented in rural Kenya with GIVEWATTS, a non-governmental organization that offers renewable energy solutions to off-grid communities in developing countries, and the Enel Foundation, funded by Enel Group. Launched in cooperation with the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Hubs of Rome and Nairobi, the project was awarded first prize and the acceleration grant of the The Coca-Cola Company’s ‘Shaping a Better Future’ Challenge.
The second phase of the project – Powering Education Phase II – extended the target of the analysis in terms of number of schools and covered a broader research scope that for the first time includes the household context in addition to the education dimension. In addition to the grant from The Coca-Cola Company and the renewed collaboration with the Enel Foundation, this second phase was supported by Enel Green Power and by the Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL), a research initiative of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and the Department For International Development (DFID).