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Vivien Foster, Anshul Rana - Author

About the Author

Books by Vivien Foster, Anshul Rana

Rethinking Power Sector Reform in the Developing World

Rethinking Power Sector Reform in the Developing World

Author: Vivien Foster, Anshul Rana Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2019

During the 1990s, a new paradigm for power sector reform was put forward emphasizing the restructuring ofutilities, the creation of regulators, the participation of the private sector, and the establishment of competitivepower markets. Twenty-five years later, only a handful of developing countries have fully implemented theseWashington Consensus policies. Across the developing world, reforms were adopted rather selectively, resultingin a 'hybrid model' where elements of market-orientation coexist with continued state-dominance of the sector.This book aims to revisit and refresh thinking on power sector reform approaches for developing countries. Theapproach relies heavily on evidence from the past, drawing both on broad global trends, and deep case materialfrom 15 developing countries. It is also forward-looking; considering the implications of new social andenvironmental policy goals, as well as emerging technological disruptions.A nuanced picture emerges. While regulation has been widely adopted, practice often falls well short of theory;and cost recovery remains an elusive goal. The private sector has financed a substantial expa_nsion of generationcapacity. Yet, its contribution to power distribution has been much more limited, with efficiency levels cansometimes be matched by well-governed public utilities. Restructuring and liberalization have been beneficial ina handful of larger middle-income nations; but have proved too complex for most countries to implement.Based on these findings, the report points to three major policy implications. First, reform efforts need to beshaped by the political and economic context of the host country. The 1990s reform model was most successfulin countries that had reached certain minimum conditions of power sector development and offered asupportive political environment. Second, reform efforts should be driven and tailored towards desired policyoutcomes, and less preoccupied with following a predetermined process. Particularly given that WashingtonConsensus reforms alone will not deliver on twenty-first century policy objectives. Third, countries foundalternative institutional pathways to achieving good power sector outcomes, making a case for greater pluralismgoing forward.