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Reaching the bottom of the pyramid with RBF – wishful thinking or reality? RBF Facility webinar series 2020

Preparing food with gas and electric light. Credit: SNV.

The second event of our RBF Facility’s webinar series on 30 July discussed the effectiveness of pro-poor and last-mile RBF projects.

The 2nd webinar

By building on the RBF approach, EnDev’s Facility aims to bring energy access markets to scale, but also to deliver on impact for the most vulnerable population groups. As these are often not considered “low hanging fruits”, some RBF projects have managed to guide companies towards these specific target groups by defining the results that will be rewarded. At the same time, the effectiveness and sustainability of pro-poor and last-mile targeting are commonly questioned in the energy access sector:

• Can RBF be an effective tool to reach poor and last-mile customers?

• Does RBF foster the development of commercially viable and sustainable energy access markets in rural areas?

• Which incentive design features have proven to be most effective for pro-poor targeting?

The second webinar on the 30th July 10.00-11.30 CET as part of the RBF Facility’s webinar series featured different experiences from targeting vulnerable groups with RBF and helped demystify some of the complexity around designing pro-poor approaches. After providing a rationale and overview of the pro-poor approaches currently implemented within the RBF facility, we invited practitioners to share insights from the solar sector in Rwanda and Tanzania and the cookstove sector in Malawi. Following the inputs by our speakers, we engaged in a lively discussion on whether reaching the bottom of the pyramid with RBF is merely wishful thinking or the reality on the ground.


Agenda item // Speaker

  1. Rationale and overview of pro-poor approaches in the RBF Facility // Barbara Richard – EnDev HQ (GIZ)
  2. Solar Home Systems (SHS) in Rwanda: Geographic targeting of vulnerable groups // Sarah-Melissa Leitner – EnDev Rwanda (GIZ)
  3. PAYGO Solar in Tanzania: Reaching last-mile customers using a Vulnerability Access Index // Inga Brill – EnDev Tanzania (SNV)
  4. Improved cookstoves (ICS) in Malawi: Access to modern cooking energy for poor and vulnerable groups // Mayamiko Minofu – Partner of EnDev Malawi (United Purpose)
  5. Discussion and Conclusion


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Follow-up documents

• Recording EnDev RBF webinar 2: Reaching the bottom of the pyramid with RBF – wishful thinking or reality?

• PPT slide deck EnDev RBFF webinar 2: Reaching the bottom of the pyramid with RBF – wishful thinking or reality?

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