This impact assessment seeks to understand the socio-demographic and market factors that determine the success of investment in efficient cookstoves.
In 2016, MASSIF through FMO funded an evaluation assessment of their investment in ESAF Micro Finance Investments (P) Ltd based in Kerala, India. This assessment was taken on to prepare for the impact evaluation of ESAF’s green product lines such as solar lamps, energy efficient firewood stoves, and water purifiers. Since the initial evaluation could not be completed, the scope of the study has been modified. The proposed research work aims to create a comprehensive documentation of the evidence generated so far on the impact of cookstoves in terms of health, environment and household economics.
Secondary data (administrative data from ESAF and the government of India about their LPG subsidy schemes) and primary data collected as part of the study both at the household and national level will be used to understand the socio-demographic and market factors that determine the success of investment in efficient cookstoves.
Using clean or improved cookstoves is considered to have several favourable impacts. Multiple studies show that the increased fuel efficiency brought about by the adoption of clean cookstoves has a positive effect on household savings and women’s control over their own time.
However, much of this evidence pertains to specific contexts and these results may not be generalizable. Evidence from literature and the country-level analysis presented in the report show that an increase in reliance on clean fuels for cooking, or an increase in adoption of LPG due to a state-wide regulatory push, does not necessarily result in transformative outcomes like the discontinuation of solid fuels.
The insights generated from this research study will help FMO, MASSIF, and their beneficiary organizations in deciding future investments in efficient cookstoves across different countries and geographies. Focusing on understanding what motivates household choices and behaviours can help inform the design of targeted interventions that further clean cookstove usage, while reducing the use of solid fuels and traditional stoves. Overall, the right combination of programs and policies, as well as improved financing options, and targeted cookstove design, is required to further promote the adoption and use of clean cooking.