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How do People in Rural India Perceive Improved Stoves and Clean Fuel? Evidence from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand
Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, Delhi 110007, India
Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, P.O. Box 90239, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi 110003, India
Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Nexleaf Analytics, Los Angeles, CA 90064, USA
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California—San Diego, San Diego, CA 92037, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 December 2013; in revised form: 31 December 2013 / Accepted: 2 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
Abstract: Improved cook stoves (ICS) have been widely touted for their potential to deliver the triple benefits of improved household health and time savings, reduced deforestation and local environmental degradation, and reduced emissions of black carbon, a significant short-term contributor to global climate change. Yet diffusion of ICS technologies among potential users in many low-income settings, including India, remains slow, despite decades of promotion. This paper explores the variation in perceptions of and preferences for ICS in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, as revealed through a series of semi-structured focus groups and interviews from 11 rural villages or hamlets. We find cautious interest in new ICS technologies, and observe that preferences for ICS are positively related to perceptions of health and time savings. Other respondent and community characteristics, e.g., gender, education, prior experience with clean stoves and institutions promoting similar technologies, and social norms as perceived through the actions of neighbours, also appear important. Though they cannot be considered representative, our results suggest that efforts to increase adoption and use of ICS in rural India will likely require a combination of supply-chain improvements and carefully designed social marketing and promotion campaigns, and possibly incentives, to reduce the up-front cost of stoves.
Keywords: improved cook stoves; air pollution; India
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Bhojvaid, V.; Jeuland, M.; Kar, A.; Lewis, J.J.; Pattanayak, S.K.; Ramanathan, N.; Ramanathan, V.; Rehman, I.H. How do People in Rural India Perceive Improved Stoves and Clean Fuel? Evidence from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 1341-1358.
Bhojvaid V, Jeuland M, Kar A, Lewis JJ, Pattanayak SK, Ramanathan N, Ramanathan V, Rehman IH. How do People in Rural India Perceive Improved Stoves and Clean Fuel? Evidence from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(2):1341-1358.
Bhojvaid, Vasundhara; Jeuland, Marc; Kar, Abhishek; Lewis, Jessica J.; Pattanayak, Subhrendu K.; Ramanathan, Nithya; Ramanathan, Veerabhadran; Rehman, Ibrahim H. 2014. "How do People in Rural India Perceive Improved Stoves and Clean Fuel? Evidence from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 2: 1341-1358.