Multi-Tier Framework for Measuring Energy Access



Andy Shuai Liu/World Bank or ESMAP/World Bank

Photo credit: Andy Shuai Liu/World Bank or ESMAP/World Bank.



  • Energy access is a key factor in economic, social, and human development. Worldwide, an estimated two billion people lack access to modern energy. As of today, 54 percent of the world population without electricity access lives in sub-Saharan Africa (IEA and World Bank 2015) .

  • The concept and measurement of energy access has gained significant interests from governments and development agencies. The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative 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) number 7 aims at having universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy by 2030.

  • In order to monitor the progress towards these goals, the World Bank/ESMAP and the International Energy Agency have led a consortium of 23 international agencies to establish the SE4All Global Tracking Framework (GTF) which describe how to measure baseline and progress towards the SE4All goals by gathering energy data regularly.

  • ESMAP, under the SE4ALL initiative, in consultation with multiple development partners has developed the Multi-tier Framework (MTF) to monitor and evaluate energy access by following a multidimensional approach.

  • MTF redefines energy access from the traditional binary count to a multi-dimensional definition as "the ability to avail energy that is adequate, available when needed, reliable, of good quality, convenient, affordable, legal, healthy and safe for all required energy services”. That is, having an electricity connection does not necessarily mean having access to electricity under the new definition, which also takes into account other aspects, as for example reliability and affordability. Energy access is measured in the tiered-spectrum, from Tier 0 (no access) to Tier 5 (the highest level of access).

  • Global Survey for Multi-tier Energy Access Tracking has been designed, with three major objectives:

  1.  Establish a global baseline of energy access, starting in 10-15 high access deficit countries based on the multifaceted definition according to MTF;

  2. Transfer capacity to national statistical offices to keep tracking progress toward SE4ALL goals and SDG in the future and

  3. Continue improving tools and capacities for tracking progress towards reaching the SE4ALL objective of universal access to modern energy services by 2030, based on MTF and;

  4. Provide reliable data on energy sector that can meet needs of multiple stakeholders, including government, regulators, utilities, project developers, civil society organizations, developmental agencies, financial institutions, appliance manufacturers, international programs and the academia. 










Contact: Dana Rysankova and Elisa Portale


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