Bioenergy for Sustainable Energy Access in Africa

This research assignment investigates the challenges and opportunities affecting the adoption and roll out of bioenergy across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and will provide recommendations on affordable, accessible and innovative bioenergy technologies that will improve poor people’s access to bioenergy.

  • This is a DFID-funded, 12-month study.
  • LTS is leading a consortium for it, with the University of Edinburgh and E4tech.
  • The study will inform further research to be implemented under the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme.
  • The focus is on investigating the value chains for biofuel technologies (and their feedstocks, end uses and enabling conditions) such as combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, oil pressing, anaerobic digestion, fermentation and microalgae.


Access to energy is a key constraint to development in many parts of Africa, despite good supplies of energy sources including bioenergy. Knowledge on the most promising sources and technologies for converting biofuels to accessible and affordable energy is impartial and fragmented. The BSEAA research sets out to address this.


LTS is leading and managing this research assignment, which includes:

  • Conducting a wide-ranging literature review of academic, grey and commercial literature.
  • Mapping academic, commercial and public stakeholders related to bioenergy in Africa.
  • Screening bioenergy technology value chains against key criteria to prioritise the most interesting countries and technologies for a more in-depth look.
  • Developing case studies of success stories and specific opportunities for further research with high potential for more funding from DFID.
  • Synthesising and preparing a smooth handover for a 2nd phase of bioenergy research under the TEA programme.

Value and benefits

This research will define the content of BSEAA Phase II (within the TEA programme), which is likely to include further targeted research and may lead to direct DFID investment in promising bioenergy technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa. The overall goal is to promote affordable, accessible and innovative bioenergy technologies that will improve poor people’s access to bioenergy.

Click below to view the Bioenergy Scoping Study















Development of MEL Approach for the Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa

The DFID-funded Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER programme) aims to empower local communities and decision-makers through a better understanding of weather and climate. It funds a range of activities, from strengthening climate information partnerships to enhancing national climate services.

LTS is developing a monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) approach for WISER.

  • The 4-year £35million WISER programme operates across Africa, with a focus on the Lake Victoria Basin.
  • The programme partners include the UK Met Office and the Africa climate Policy Centre, based in Ethiopia.
  • The Met office is the fund manager, contracting the MEL inputs.
  • LTS is leading the MEL development work, with significant inputs from our LTS-Africa team.


Although there have been many useful initiatives to strengthen weather and climate information and services across Africa in the last decade or so, the availability and uptake of information and services is still relatively low. This represents a threat to social and economic development.

WISER aims to address the very diverse barriers to uptake and use of weather and climate services.

With a range of partners and a broad scope, there is an identified requirement for a MEL framework across the WISER programme that will provide a coherent approach for the Met Office, ACPC, DFID and other programme stakeholders.


LTS is ensuring that the programme has a robust MEL framework that can be effectively implemented. The MEL approach will ensure good evidence for learning can be generated about the programme. LTS is developing the log frame, theory of change and MEL plans/guidance for the WISER programme and regional projects. The work is soundly based on existing and emerging understanding of the monitoring and evaluation of weather climate programmes, DFID best practice and link with the International Climate Fund (ICF) indicators where appropriate.

Value and benefits

WISER aims to coherently focus on service delivery and on making a step change in the quality, reach and application of weather and climate information.

This will better inform regional, national, sectoral and sub-national and community level policy, planning and decision-making in Africa, promoting more sustainable development.


Evaluation of the Congo Basin Forest Fund


This contract provides an independent evaluation of the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF), which was established in 2008 to reduce deforestation across the Congo Basin.

  • The 10-year CBFF was initially funded by the UK and Norway, and later Canada.
  • The CBFF is administered/managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), who contracted this evaluation.
  • Calls for CBFF proposals in 2008 and 2009 have funded 38 projects, EUR 52.6 million has been disbursed.
  • LTS is managing the evaluation, fielding a team of 10 (6 international, plus Cameroon and DRC country teams).


The Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) is a ten-year programme, which aims to reduce deforestation through innovative and transformative projects. It was established in 2008 and is expected to finish in 2018. Two of the funding agencies decided to stop funding the CBFF early, while the third has continued. This has stimulated the call by the third donor for an independent evaluation looking at what has worked and what has not, and what value the Fund has added.


LTS has been contracted to provide this independent evaluation. The work includes preparing background papers on the performance of the portfolio of CBFF projects and the performance of the CBFF programme governance and implementation; as well as primary data collection and analysis (case studies).

The findings from these will provide the basis for the Draft and Final Evaluation Reports.

Value and benefits

The reports and findings will inform decision making at the executive/programme level and ensure accountability and lesson learning at the project level (for the CBFF Secretariat / AfDB and for implementing partners/project grantees). The intention is to inform and shape future programmes and thereby improve development impact.


Image credits to MONUSCO