Management Systems International (MSI)
Pakistan faces power shortages due to its inefficient generation, transmission and distribution systems, as well as its inefficient power use. Widespread and frequent load-shedding often disrupts its industrial production and has forced those who could afford it to make expensive investments to install on-site power generation equipment.
Widespread power theft is making this situation even worse. To help deal with it, USAID undertook programs to help improve Pakistan’s efficiency in generation, transmission, distribution and end-use. The largest program, the Power Distribution Program (PDP), focused on the nine government-owned distribution companies (DISCOs) and involved a number of activities and initiatives designed to not only improve the DISCOs’ technical and management efficiency but also improve end-use energy efficiency and lineman safety.
Following the implementation of the programs, MSI was hired to conduct an interim evaluation of the PDP. Given the technical complexity of the project, MSI partnered with Econoler to conduct the evaluation activities. The objective of the evaluation was to examine the performance of 16 activities undertaken as part of the PDP in order to determine how the activities were performing and how they could be improved.
To achieve this evaluation assignment’s objectives, Econoler’s led a team of consultants in performing the following activities:
- Reviewing the existing program design and reporting documents.
- Interviewing the staff who managed and implemented the PDP activities at the nine DISCOs.
- Conducting a survey among industrial motor users who participated in an energy-efficient motor upgrade program.
- Conducting a survey among linemen who were trained on safety practices.
- Preparing a draft evaluation report presenting findings, conclusions and recommendations.
- Briefing the client on the report and incorporating their comments and suggestions into the final report.
The evaluation findings showed that most of the activities appeared to be performing well. Some of them, such as the Cost of Service studies, designed to help structure tariffs so that they reflect actual costs were performing particularly well and had strong support of DISCO management. Also, the pilot programs that introduced advanced metering (i.e., automatic meter readers, electronic meters, and hand-held meter reading devices) received support from DISCO management.
The evaluation findings also showed that the major issue facing all the PDP activities was their sustainability. That is to say, while the program was taking steps to ensure the activities would continue after USAID’s support ended, it was not clear whether all these activities would survive, particularly the end-use energy efficiency initiatives.