Since 2010 the groundwork has been laid for a thriving global market for cleaner and more efficient cookstoves and fuels. Still, many barriers remain, in particular on the demand side related to awareness, availability, affordability, and sustained adoption of cleaner cooking options.
Little awareness exists among affected populations of both the negative impacts of using inefficient stoves and the availability of clean cooking solutions. Many of these households are located in rural or remote areas, beyond the reach of many distribution channels. This logistical challenge is compounded by questions about affordability and inability, or consumers’ unwillingness to pay for an unfamiliar product that might not meet their needs. Once a cookstove or fuel has been purchased, its use needs to become a regular and consistent part of the user’s behavior to ensure that all the benefits are realized.
The Alliance and its partners are working to address these barriers by engaging in a six step process to generate demand and ensure ongoing and near exclusive use.
Our customer and market research from Phase 1 will now enable targeted awareness raising campaigns in each of its focus countries. These public-facing activities spread the message about the benefits of cleaner stoves and fuels and showcase available technologies. The campaigns take a layered, multi-level approach and involve social marketing through such channels as radio, billboards and mobile messaging. Roadshows are part of the mix for product demonstrations and grassroots outreach, together with consumer education carried out by community health workers, women and faith-based groups, local opinion leaders, schools, and other social groups.
The Alliance’s awareness-raising campaigns are complemented by efforts to make cleaner cooking solutions more affordable and accessible, including technical and financial interventions around distribution and consumer financing. As more options for financing and retail distribution points become available, this information will be incorporated into messaging. Further, as demand and interest for clean cookstoves and fuels grows, men and women will have clear, actionable information about where to get a stove and how they can finance it. On the ground local change agents who reside within these communities will also support these outreach efforts and help facilitate the behavior change that is necessary for consumers to embrace a new product.
The Alliance’s consumer awareness activities will be closely monitored and evaluated to determine which are most effective in realizing initial adoption and use, scale, conversion into clean stove and fuel sales, and sustained adoption. The lessons learned will be posted to this website as they become available.