2019 Sierra Leone Conference

Improving the Social and Economic Impact of Energy Investments in Sierra Leone through Enhanced Social Value Creation, Capacity-Building, and Decision Support

A joint project if the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and Centre Economic Research and Capacity Building

This project is part of the Applied Research Programme on Energy for Economic Growth (EEG), led by Oxford Policy Management. The programme is funded by the UK Government, through UK Aid.

The Applied Research Programme on Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) produces cutting edge research on the links between energy and economic growth, working closely with policy makers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to build more sustainable, efficient, reliable and equitable energy systems. EEG is a five-year programme, led by Oxford Policy Management (OPM) and funded by the UK Department for International Development. (For more information on the programme, click here)

logos for UK aid, Energy for Economic Growth and Oxford Policy Management

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.


Core idea: enhancing the social value of energy

Access to electricity is a necessary but not sufficient condition for socio-economic development. If energy users are to be able to derive significant social value, they also need to have the capability to translate electricity use into economically productive and socially meaningful outcomes, as well as supportive institutions, markets, and safeguards. This collaborative research project in Sierra Leone will investigate strategies for enhancing the social value of energy to users and for incorporating the translation of energy use into social value into energy planning and project design. In the process, we aim to help Sierra Leone’s energy sector pursue energy projects that make a substantial contribution to promoting sustainable development and thriving communities, towns, and cities.


Research goals

  • Enhance and scale sustainable development outcomes of energy projects and investments in Sierra Leone, by creating evidence for high impact translation pathways.
  • Create a community-level focus on social and economic development through energy innovation, by developing a portfolio of best practices in the design, operation, and use of energy systems to create social value.
  • Build a community of practice among key energy stakeholders in Sierra Leone, by facilitating capacity building, strategic exchange, and coordinated action grounded in scientific evidence and practices.

The project will study five (5) representatives cities, towns and villages to understand interconnections between electricity use and socio-economic development, leading to evidence-based pathways for energy system designers, investors and policy makers to act upon.

Implementation roadmap

Phase 1: Engage stakeholders, co-design plans (Apr – Dec 2019) Phase 2: Data collection (Nov 2019 – Mar 2020) Phase 3: Data collection and analysis (Jan – Dec 2020) Phase 4: Uptake and capacity building (Oct – Dec 2020)
  • Establish stakeholder groups.
  • Co-design research plans and allocate roles and responsibilities.
  • Conduct workshops on methods, proc
  • Conduct field research for 1st set of sites.
  • Initiate data analyses and share results with stakeholders.
  • Plan capacity building activities.
  • Conduct field research for 2nd set of sites.
  • Complete data analyses and host reflection workshops with stakeholders.
  • Train stakeholders in techniques and practices.
  • Synthesizing findings and creating database. Collaborative deliberations on next steps.
  • Capacity transfer workshop with stakeholders.
  • Training to act on evidence



Project launch meeting and workshop

New Brookfields Hotel

Jomo Kenyatta Rd. Freetown, Sierra Leone

November 12-13, 2019


The formal kick-off for the project is happening on November 12th, 2019 at the conference hall of the New Brookfields Hotel (Jomo Kenyatta Rd. Freetown, Sierra Leone). Representatives from ministries, departments, development agencies and civil society groups will attend the event.

It will be followed by a Research preparation workshop on November 13th, 2019 for the research staff and the members of the Special Working Group.

Tentative agenda:

Project launch meeting Tuesday, November 12, 2019 (8:30 am – 5 pm)
Morning Session

Welcome and Introductions Opening remarks by dignitaries

Panel discussion: Key challenges and opportunities for energy and socio-economic growth in Sierra Leone.

Afternoon Session

A presentation on Sierra Leone’s Energy Roadmap Research Project Presentation

Roundtable discussion: Selecting research sites and forming National, Local Advisory & Special Working Groups


Research preparation workshop Wednesday, November 13, 2019 (8:30 am – 2 pm) (for the Special working group and research team)
Morning Session

Introduction to research methodology and toolkit

Brainstorming opportunities for capacity building, uptake of research and inter-agency coordination.

Afternoon Session

Developing a roadmap for utilizing evidence and research results.

Drafting the action plan for the Special Working Group.