Energy Access Analysis in The Democratic Republic of Congo

The objective of this project is to analyze access to energy (electricity and cooking solution) in rural areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The study has been implemented by APIDE, a local NGO working in the regions of Kitutu, Kaituga, and Mwenga, in the eastern part of the country, about 150 km from the border with Burundi and Rwanda.

Data collection, processing, and visualization have been supported by the HEDERA Impact Toolkit software. This digital report has been created as a jupyter-book.

Relevant information concerning the use, associated costs, and various attributes of access to electricity and cooking solutions has been collected from households APIDE is working with in rural and remote areas, using the HEDERA collect mobile app based on the OpenDataKit open-source framework. The HEDERA Impact Toolkit allows institutions to efficiently establish a baseline for monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and track the progress thereof, following, for example, the Multi-tier Framework (MTF) for SDG7, recently established by The World Bank, and the Progress out of Energy Poverty Index (PEPI) N. Realpe, PhD Thesis 2017.


Why measure energy access?

Defining the concept and measurement of access to energy is of great importance to governments and development agencies in order to design and adapt appropriate policies and programs to achieve the objective of energy supply for the entire population. The Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All), launched by the Secretary General of the United Nations in 2011, aims to achieve universal access to modern energy services by 2030. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)7, adopted in 2015 by all nations, explicitly aims to achieve access to affordable, safe, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030. According to the Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report de 2019, worldwide, it is estimated that more than two billion people lack access to modern energy (grid connections and/or clean and safe fuel for cooking).

A multi-dimensional approach to energy access assessment: The Multi-Tier Framework

To monitor progress towards the goal of energy access for all, the World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and the International Energy Agency led a consortium of 23 international agencies in establishing the SE4All Global Tracking Framework (GTF). It describes how to measure the baseline and progress towards the SE4All goals by regularly collecting energy data. ESMAP, in the framework of the SE4ALL initiative and in consultation with multiple development partners, has developed the Multi-tier Framework (MTF) to monitor and evaluate access to energy based on multidimensional definitions of both the concept of energy access and the parameters for its measurement and monitoring.

Traditionally, access to energy has been measured in a binary way: connected or not connected, cooking with biomass or not. However, these metrics fail to capture all key aspects and options, such as the capacity of other technologies—e.g. solar home systems or mini-grids—to provide energy.

The need for a multidimensional assessment led to the development and launch of the MTF in 2015, with the explicit objective to become the new global measurement standard (in each country) for defining and monitoring the goals of electrification programs and highlighting the most important challenges to address in order to improve access to affordable, reliable, and safe energy. For this new methodology, ESMAP has created a detailed global survey to monitor energy access at various levels. The main objectives of the survey are:

  • To establish a global baseline for access to energy, according to the multidimensional definition of the MTF approach;
  • To transfer capacity to national statistical offices to track progress towards the goals of SE4ALL and the SDGs in the future;
  • To continue to improve the tools and capabilities to track progress towards the SE4ALL goal of universal access to modern energy services by 2030, based on MTF;
  • To provide reliable data on the energy sector that can meet the needs of multiple stakeholders, including government, policymakers, public service organizations, project developers, civil society organizations, development agencies, financial institutions, appliance manufacturers, international programs, and academia.

Through detailed household surveys, the collected information allows institutions to answer the main questions related to energy access: how many households lack adequate access to energy, how many need better access, and what measures will be taken to close these gaps. In this way, the development of the MTF and its methodology represent a milestone for the sector that should be the basis and language used by all actors, not only for quantifying, but also monitoring, the progress towards energy access for all.

SDG7 Assessment with the HEDERA Impact Toolkit (HIT)

The MTF SDG7 survey is available online in English as a [PDF] (, along with the data collected in several countries. HEDERA has optimized the energy survey and integrated it into a mobile app called HEDERA collect, in order to facilitate its implementation and drastically decrease data collection costs (by reducing training time, automatically validating data, optimizing the logic tree, etc.), especially in the rural context. HEDERA collect is tailored to microfinance institutions and suitable for offline application. The mobile survey can be completed in less than 15 minutes, extracting all the information required to assess energy access at the household level.

The MTF evaluation and tier-ranking are then performed automatically, so that users can visualize the detailed tier ranking of the surveyed clients with minimal effort in the HEDERA dashboard. Users can package and share their results with partners through automatically generated digital reports. HEDERA consequently allows institutions to make demand-driven decisions based on real-time information at the most detailed level.


HEDERA Sustainable Solutions is a Berlin-based startup that develops digital solutions for sustainable development.

HEDERA enables institutions to share and scale sustainable investment activities & monitor impact and progress towards the SDGs at the household level. Through HEDERA's mobile tools and software, institutions can collect information at an affordable cost and get access to automatic data analysis and web-based visualization tools. The analysis and reporting follow the latest international standards in impact measurement. In addition, through its networking platform, HEDERA facilitates the efficient connection of stakeholders throughout the entire impact investment sector.