July 15, 2015 The USAID Translating Research into Action Project (TRAction) and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (the Alliance) are funding three research projects to study the adoption of clean cooking technology to reduce household air pollution.
TRAction and the Alliance aim to better understand the barriers and motivators for using clean cooking technology through these research awards, which will be implemented by teams from the University of North Carolina (UNC), University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), and the Kintampo Health Research Center. All research studies will commence in June 2015.
“We’re very excited about this research. The outcomes will contribute to building a firmer evidence base around achieving the behaviors for sustained adoption and use of cleaner cooking technologies and highlight the importance of these technologies as a preventive measure for an important public health issue. We look forward to sharing these findings as a part of our Agency's effort to reduce household air pollution exposure in low and middle income countries, with particular emphasis on those populations most vulnerable to the highest levels of exposure." Elizabeth Fox, USAID.
An estimated 4 million people die each year from household air pollution due to the use of unclean cooking technology, including solid fuels. In comparison, each year about 1.5 million people die of HIV-related illnesses and 627,000 die from malaria. When clean cooking technology is used, the risk of diseases such as respiratory infections, chronic obstetric pulmonary disease, lung cancer, cataracts, and low birth weight decreases. Although many programs have increased accessibility in low and middle income countries, many households have not yet fully adopted clean cooking technology. Achieving such sustained adoption is a key challenge for clean cooking efforts, and little information is available on the drivers and determinants of sustained adoption of demonstrably clean cooking technologies.
“The Alliance is working to build a thriving global market for clean cookstoves and fuels, and sustainable adoption is an essential part of our demand generation efforts,” said Radha Muthiah, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “These evaluations will help us better understand what drives sustained adoption of the cleanest available fuels, as we work to improve the lives and livelihoods of those adopting clean cooking solutions.”
UNC and Health Builders
Led by Dr. Pamela Jagger, UNC and partner Health Builders will evaluate the adoption of biomass pellet cookstoves distributed by Inyenyeri, a Rwanda-based company that leases stoves to interested households and sells biomass fuel pellets to these households. The goal of this research is to assess the determinants of sustained adoption, the impact of the Inyenyeri business model on adoption, and resultant changes in household air pollution levels.
UCSF and Universidad Del Valle De Guatemala
UCSF will partner with the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) to conduct research, jointly led by Dr. Lisa Thompson (UCSF) and Anaité Diaz Artiga (UVG), in peri-urban Guatemala. The research will focus on liquid petroleum gas (LPG) stoves distributed by GenteGas, a Guatemalan social enterprise that trains women to sell stoves and LPG and provide educational outreach. The goal of this research is to evaluate household air pollution awareness and behavior change as a result of GenteGas educational campaigns, as well as to assess sustained adoption of LPG stoves.
Kintampo Health Research Center and Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia U.
Kintampo Health Research Center, along with partners from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, will assess the adoption of LPG stoves distributed by Ghana’s Rural LPG Program, which promotes LPG use in rural Ghana. Principle investigators Drs. Kwaku Asante (Kintampo) and Darby Jack (Columbia) will work together to evaluate characteristics of households that may predict LPG use, as well as facilitators and barriers to sustained use of LPG and the adoption of clean cooking technologies.