Impact Assessment:
Light up Oecusse, Timor-Leste 2013

May 2013 to Jul 2013
Chris Shepherd

By Chris Shepherd
Technology Monitoring Fellow

The project:
Light up Oecusse, Timor-Leste Phase Six
Technologies used:
d.light S250 Solar lantern, d.light S10 Solar lantern, d.light S1 Solar lantern
Local partner:
Fundasaun Esperanza Enclave Oecusse

This impact assessment of d.light solar lights was conducted in Oecusse enclave, Timor-Leste, from May to July 2013.

It has been found that the distribution of d.lights in off-the-grid villages in what is Timor-Leste’s poorest and most isolated district is an extremely worthwhile initiative. D.lights offer many immediate benefits in terms of light quality, thus enhancing the activities that take place under them, including work in the home, agricultural labor in the fields, foraging on the tidal flats, and running businesses from home.

They also usher in a series of positive flow-on effects resulting primarily from considerable savings due to reduction or elimination of kerosene purchases, savings that range from 15 percent to 50 percent of disposable income.

Despite some concerns about d.light battery life and reparability, these are relatively minor in the mind of those that own d.lights. Local users clearly recognise the superiority of d.lights over the existing lighting configuration of kerosene lamps, torches and candles, hence they are highly coveted.

Supply has not been able to keep pace with demand, therefore an intensified distribution of d.lights for the district is recommended. 

Full report: