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AFREPREN/FWD Strategic Plan and Guidelines (2003 – 2015)

By

Prof. E. Marandu, Mrs. Dorcas Kayo, Mr. S. Karekezi, Mr. L. Majoro and Mr. J. Muthui


Executive Summary

Introduction and Background

The African Energy Policy Research Network (AFREPREN/FWD) was launched in 1989 to strengthen local research capacity and to harness it in the service of energy policy making and planning. AFREPREN/FWD’s main focus is to assess, formulate and propose energy policy options that could lead to the provision of cleaner energy services to the rural and urban poor in Africa in an environmentally sound fashion. However, one of the key obstacles to research in Africa is the absence of reliable time series and up-to-date energy data, especially data and information focusing on the poor. 

The Network made an attempt to address the above obstacle during the 1999-2002 research programme, and according to the 2002 AFREPREN/FWD Evaluation, the data and information compiled by AFREPREN/FWD researchers during this period was extremely useful as per the following quote from the Evaluation report: 

“AFREPREN/FWD’s principal researchers (and their associated research assistants) have produced topical and interesting research, some of it ground-breaking. The main strength of the research is undoubtedly the wealth of primary data contained within virtually every one of the studies”. 

Strategy Formulation

The 2002 Evaluation indicated that the Network was fulfilling a valuable purpose and deserved continued Sida support as shown by the following key quotes:  

“At an abstract level, however, the evaluators believe that AFREPREN/FWD is an extremely relevant – nay, critical – programme to the energy problems facing the Eastern and Southern African region.”

 

“The evaluators have no hesitation in recommending that Sida continue financial support to AFREPREN/FWD.” 

The evaluators expressed a need to clarify, formalize and document the structure and mode of operation of AFREPREN/FWD to enable it achieves its mission more effectively. In order to implement the proposed improvements, the AFREPREN/FWD Strategic Taskforce met on 14-15th August, 2003 to develop a 5-10 year Strategy Plan that: (a) responds to the recommendations of the 2002 Evaluation; (b) sets the stage for an 18-month preparatory period; and, (c) provides a road map for ensuring that AFREPREN/FWD continues to fulfil its mission in an effective fashion. 

The plan proposes a long term vision for AFREPREN/FWD and provides guidance on how the Network should structure and position itself to tackle the 18-month transition / preparatory programme financed by Sida and also other current and prospective projects / programmes being financed or to be financed by other donors.  

The AFREPREN/FWD mission statement was re-examined and reformulated to read: 

“Providing key stakeholders with feasible policy options, information and skills for the delivery of affordable and cleaner energy services to the poor in eastern and southern Africa”. 

The mission reflects the main purpose and focus of AFREPREN/FWD. It provides a reference point from which all activities can be designed and implemented to ensure the ultimate purpose of the Network is achieved. 

Governance and Structure

The strategic plan includes a proposal to refine and document the existing network structure and mode of operation, in line with the 2002 Evaluation. This modified structure fits in with the overall Strategic Plan and will enable AFREPREN/FWD pursue its mission more effectively. The plan also defines the membership of AFREPREN/FWD and outlines the roles of the various organs and governing bodies.

Financing

The need for AFREPREN/FWD to secure additional funding has been emphasized in this document.  Guidelines to facilitate and encourage fund-raising efforts both at the Network level and at the various organ levels have been proposed. Principles to guide expenditure patterns have also been outlined and these will be further developed. 

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation is crucial since it ensures that the plan is implemented effectively. This document presents various technical and financial evaluation tools to ensure that the output and quality targets of the Network are consistently realized. 

Next Steps

This planning document effectively sets the stage for the 18-month preparatory period and facilitates planning and development of the next research programme cycle of AFREPREN/FWD. It covers the short-term (18-Months), medium term (5-years) and long term (10-years) planning horizons.  

The document provides a framework for more detailed planning which will involve the key organs of AFREPREN/FWD and the current principal sponsors, Sida, who have been instrumental in the successful development of the AFREPREN/FWD network.


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