British International Investment
16 April 2021

CDC announces the launch of Access Insights Platform, democratising open-source data

CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, is pleased to announce the Access Insights Platform (AIP) launch – an open-source data visualisation tool delivering key insights that enable businesses across multiple sectors to make data-informed decisions. The platform has been developed by Catalyst Off-Grid Advisors and is funded by CDC Plus, CDC Group’s technical assistance and support facility.

Tackling the challenge of handling data effectively and efficiently – the AIP aggregates key data sets, including geospatial mapping, census data, and business intelligence, on an easy-to-use public-facing tool. AIP’s geospatial module contains statistics that observe economic activity, population density, demographics, household assets and more.

In collaboration with the World Bank, the AIP leverages the Bank’s recently published ‘Multi-Tier Framework’ (MTF) data sets, providing vibrant visualisations based on comprehensive surveys and a broad baseline of energy access metrics such as household energy accessibility, affordability and levels of safety. In combining these data sets, the AIP will be relevant for stakeholders in various sectors, equipping users with accessible and easy to interpret data, reducing the costs of exploring new markets while informing business strategy and expansion.

With 600 million people in Africa lacking access to electricity, the platform will be particularly valuable to the off-grid energy sector, targeting markets where investments remain limited and providing critical intelligence on energy use and access to help tackle Africa’s energy access deficit. Moreover, the platform offers policymakers, development partners and businesses credible and concise data that allows them to design, finance, and execute effective strategies that mitigate risk.

The tool maps healthcare infrastructure, including when data is available, indicating the clinics and dispensaries that do not have a power supply. Additionally, the AIP serves as a critical component of the COVID-19 response – strengthening containment measures by improving country statistical capacities, supply-chain efficiencies, and market intelligence.

High-profile speakers convened for the virtual demonstration of the AIP and shared remarks on the value of democratising data and the opportunities AIP offers new and existing partners from civil society to national governments.

Engineer. Isaac Kiva, Secretary for Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy, Kenya, said: “The Kenyan Ministry of Energy welcomes the launch of the AIP, which arrives just as we begin to implement the Integrated National Energy Planning process. The AIP’s unique approach to aggregating and curating data will complement other geospatial tools and allow us to more efficiently understand our citizens’ energy needs and plan appropriate solutions.”

Dana Rysankova, Global Lead for Energy Access, World Bank, said: “We are very pleased to collaborate with AIP to bring the Multi-Tier Framework (MTF) datasets to life. The MTF holds a wealth of detailed information on household energy usage. AIP visualises this data in a way that will be easy for last-mile distribution businesses, development partners, and policymakers to act on.”

Seema Dhanani, Head of Office for Kenya & Coverage Director for East Africa, CDC, Group: “We are incredibly proud to see the Access Insights Platform launch – the scarcity of data remains a significant challenge facing many companies in Kenya, Africa and the development finance community. This new tool is a catalytic resource for a last-mile enterprise seeking to deliver goods to the remote areas of hard-to-reach markets, but it is equally important for investors and policymakers in the business of scaling impact and positive change.”

Geoffrey Manley, Head of Energy Access and Efficiency, CDC Group: “We have taken a data-driven approach to assess the companies and customers utilising this resource, ensuring they align with our primary objective. Amassing data itself is not our objective; we are concerned with making everyone more efficient and effective in addressing the energy access challenge in the aim to accelerate energy access throughout CDC’s Africa markets by the UN Global Goal of 2030.”

The platform launch will be followed by subsequent launches in Uganda, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

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