What's cooking?: participatory and market approaches to stove development in Nigeria and Kenya

Sesan, Temilade Adeyinka (2011) What's cooking?: participatory and market approaches to stove development in Nigeria and Kenya. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Improved stoves have been promoted in the global South by international organisations from the North since the 1970s for a variety of reasons including mitigation of health and environmental hazards related to the widespread use of solid biomass for cooking. However, uptake of these stoves by poor households in the South remains low, bearing negatively on efforts to alleviate energy poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This thesis examines the framing and impact of participatory and market-based approaches to stove development and dissemination which have been widely promoted since the mid-1980s to address the failures of the predominantly expert-led, subsidy-based models favoured in the early years. Specifically, I investigate and compare two Northern-led stove projects, one established by Project Gaia in Nigeria, where stove development efforts targeted at addressing energy poverty have been limited, and the second by Practical Action in Kenya, where such efforts are more visible.

Drawing on empirical data gathered from field observations, interviews and key documents, I argue that despite the rhetorical shift from expert-led to context-responsive approaches, engagement with local priorities is still limited, and the interests and priorities of Northern organisations continue to shape the stove development agenda. The research establishes that Project Gaia’s CleanCook project in Nigeria remains an expert-led intervention that fails to connect with the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid while seeking to create local market conditions for transferring stove technology. In Kenya, Practical Action has been more responsive to local realities in its efforts to engage marginalised women’s groups in participatory stove development; however, success is limited by the constraints of project funding and assumptions about homogeneity of the poor. Cultural preferences and socio-economic differences within Southern target populations challenge the Northern vision of improving stove dissemination through a combination of participatory methods and neoliberal market solutions.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Raman, S.
Forbes, I.
Clifford, M.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Development; Energy poverty; Improved stoves; Kenya; Neoliberal; Nigeria; Participation; Women's empowerment
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
ID Code:2042
Deposited By:Temilade Sesan
Deposited On:14 Oct 2011 15:18
Last Modified:14 Oct 2011 15:18

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