Increasing awareness and uptake of improved cookstoves among host and refugee communities

Woman cooking

SNV and partner 17Triggers publish a report on the lessons learned from developing and implementing a behavioural change communication (BCC) campaign in the Kakuma refugee camp.

Since 2017, the EnDev Market Based Energy Access project has supported the private sector to enter the market in Kakuma and sell solar products and improved cookstoves to the host and refugee communities.

Various stoves are now available in the local markets, both locally produced artisanal low-tier stoves and industrially manufactured high tier stoves in different sizes. These stoves enable people to move away from cooking on open fires, allow them to save fuel, time and reduce their exposure to smoke.

An ongoing challenge was to raise awareness and demand for the stoves and help residents see the benefit of and invest in improved cookstoves when the commonly used alternative is a free, three-stone open fire.

SNV developed a behaviour change campaign with the support of behavioural change experts from consulting firm 17Triggers. The campaign was informed by in-depth formative research and creative, iterative testing with households, eateries, community leaders and humanitarian agencies, guided by the 17Triggers team and executed by the SNV team in Kakuma in early 2021. The key research findings informed the development of the BCC campaign strategy, tools and channels, implemented since June 2021.

During the first seven months of the campaign, MBEA partner companies reported an average of 725 stoves a month which is a significant 2.5x increase compared to the average of 291 stoves a month in the five months prior to the campaign. Most sales included locally-made artisanal low-tier stoves, showing how affordability is still a critical barrier to uptake besides increased awareness.   The overall BCC campaign has effectively supported suppliers to sell stoves and drove widespread uptake. The campaign's effectiveness was measured by the overall high sales numbers and increased availability of stoves due to ramped-up local stove production by partner companies.

The insights and learnings from the research and implementation are now available in a report developed by SNV and 17Triggers. The report presents the teams’ approach to formative research, their findings, the design of the BCC campaign, as well as experiences and learnings from the first six months of implementing the BCC campaign. It also looks ahead to the next steps for the campaign:

As we advance, SNV will continue to implement most activities as part of the campaign in 2022, taking a more localised approach to reach the people that are not commonly in the market areas and have had less exposure to the campaign messages.

17Triggers continues to help organisations to drive behaviour change using human-centred design. SNV, through the EnDev MBEA project, will continue to bring cooking solutions with higher levels of efficiency, alternative fuels (electricity, pellets, briquettes) and appropriate payment models to the market - Serving different customer segments increasing product choice and driving more people to higher levels of access to cleaner cooking solutions.

To learn more, read the report Behavioural change campaign: promoting improved cooking solutions in Kakuma refugee camp - Key research and implementation findings'.

For more information

Contact Karlijn Groen, Project Advisor Energy - kgroen@snv.org