Optimising upscale of improved energy technologies
The LPG Adoption in Cameroon Evaluation-2 Study (LACE-2). Enhancing adoption and use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG): an implementation science approach to understanding key determinants and impacts of local interventions to address financial constraints.
Building on the "LPG Adoption in Cameroon Evaluation" (LACE) study in Cameroon, the LACE-2 project will complete three studies aimed at increasing adoption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a cooking fuel in peri-urban and rural regions of South West Cameroon.
The first study is an evaluation of a local micro-finance pilot initiative developed by GLPGP, a local gas marketer (GlocalGAZ) and a local micro-finance organisation for African women (Mutuelle Financière des Femmes Africaines – MUFFA) to assist women purchase the start-up equipment necessary to begin using LPG as a cooking fuel (LPG cylinder and gas refill, 2-burner stove and regulator).
The pilot study involves a 50,000 CFA ($80) loan to be paid back in monthly instalments over a 6-month period with equipment being supplied by the local gas marketer and a small refundable deposit (10-20%) being paid by the households upon signing up for the loan. We will evaluate (i) how the loan changes fuel use and cooking practices of loan beneficiaries, (ii) impacts on levels of PM2.5 in a sample of beneficiaries kitchens and the primary cooks, (iii) decision making processes around adoption of the loan and impacts on the household and (iv) how the loan scheme changes fuel use and cooking practices within the community, making comparisons with a control community who were not offered the loan.
The second study will be conducted in mixed fuel users (LPG and traditional fuels) identified in a peri-urban area of Limbe from the LACE project. To encourage more exclusive use of LPG a pressure cooker intervention will be tested using a randomised controlled trial design conducted over a 4 month period. The intervention households will be given a pressure cooker and a recipe book (including local foods that can and cannot be cooked – particularly those with extended cooking times) and will receive extensive training in practice and safety. Intervention and control homes will be assessed for changes in cooking and fuel use practices using repeat surveys, time activity diaries and stove use monitoring of LPG and traditional stoves. In addition qualitative interviews will be conducted exploring experience of using the pressure cooker and perceived impacts on displacing traditional cooking practices/ fuel use. The primary outcome will be reduction in traditional use of solid fuels.
The third study will use visual participatory methods (PhotoVoice) to explore the societal and cultural factors that influence initial adoption and sustained use of LPG as a fuel. Photovoice will be used to identify how communities can overcome perceived barriers to using LPG and a public engagement exhibition will be held to communicate findings to a range of stakeholders.
$150,000 - NIH Clean Cooking Implementation Science Network
$75,000 - US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Public Health Institute)