Lao PDR case study: Électricité du Laos
Barma, Naazneen H.
Oksen, Stephanie Robert
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Électricité du Laos (EDL), the public electricity utility of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, has achieved remarkable institutional success over the past two decades, particularly in terms of the gains in rural electrification it has achieved in the country. EDL has distributed electricity to a steadily increasing proportion of the Lao population, with improving levels of service consistency and technical efficiency. Through the expansion of the electricity grid to remote areas and the poorest elements of the Lao population, EDL has built legitimacy for itself in the eyes of its clients and stakeholders across the country and, in turn, played an important part in building the legitimacy of the state. Its successes have, moreover, proven durable over almost four decades, across several changes in leadership and in the face of setbacks. EDL’s mandate includes the essential business of electricity generation, a dimension that has provided essential financial and institutional resources to the Government of Lao PDR and has become even more crucial as the country has modernized.
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