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Strategies for Improved Cookstove Adoption in India

Indian woman with improved cookstove, TRAction

Research Overview

Duke University, in close collaboration with local implementing partners TERI and Chirag, aimed to apply behavior change theories to test interventions for increasing the adoption and correct use of improved cookstoves. Working from the household production framework, Duke hypothesized that for a household to purchase an improved cookstove, the perceived benefits must outweigh the costs of the change. They sought to design an intervention that would promote these benefits and overcome the costs or challenges associated with stove adoption. This project is using a single burner Greenway wood-burning stove, and is exploring demand for electric G coil stoves.* 

*to learn more about forced draft stoves, electric stoves and other improved cook stoves click here

Cleaning up the Act of Cooking

Researchers will conduct pilot, baseline, and endline assessments to determine:

  • Effects of education, access to credit, social status, fuel availability, and fuel price on cookstove adoption,
  • Urban vs. rural differences,
  • Importance of engagement with trusted institutions,
  • Household stove preferences, and 
  • Impact of the intervention on correct and sustained use, fuel efficiency, and black carbon emissions.

Project Location


Sultanpur region of Uttar Pradesh
Nainital region of Uttarakhand

Map of Sultanpur region Uttar Pradesh India

Map of Nainital region of Uttarakhand India

Research Intervention

Key components of the research intervention include: a free trial, right to return the stove after the trial period, payments spread over three installments, rebates provided to households conditional on stove use, stove demonstrations, and a promotional flyer.

Lessons Learned

  • Majority of people recognized the negative impacts of IAP: health, local forests, and outdoor air quality
  • Majority of people do not know that improved stoves can improve health or environment
  • Perceived benefits of traditional stoves: improve taste of food, inexpensive, versatile
  • Perceived cons of traditional stoves: too much smoke, hot, hard to clean, use a lot of fuel

Research Partners

Duke University
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India
Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (Chirag), India
Nexleaf Analytics, Los Angeles, CA
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, CA
Principal Investigator: Subhrendu Pattanayak, PhD     


Project Status

Project Status: Dissemination


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