BMC Public Health
BACKGROUND: Despite their potential health and social benefits, adoption and use of improved cookstoves has been low throughout much of the world. Explanations for low adoption rates of these technologies include prices that are not affordable for the target populations, limited opportunities for households to learn about cookstoves through peers, and perceptions that these technologies are not appropriate for local cooking needs. The P3 project employs a novel experimental design to explore each of these factors and their interactive effects on cookstove demand, adoption, use and exposure outcomes.
METHODS: The P3 study is being conducted in the Kassena-Nankana Districts of Northern Ghana. Leveraging an earlier improved cookstove study that was conducted in this area, the central design of the P3 biomass stove experiment involves offering stoves at randomly varying prices to peers and non-peers of households that had previously received stoves for free. Using household surveys, electronic stove use monitors, and low-cost, portable monitoring equipment, we measure how prices and peers' experience affect perceptions of stove quality, the decision to purchase a stove, use of improved and traditional stoves over time, and personal exposure to air pollutants from the stoves.
DISCUSSION: The challenges that public health and development communities have faced in spreading adoption of potentially welfare-enhancing technologies, like improved cookstoves, have highlighted the need for interdisciplinary, multisectoral approaches. The design of the P3 project draws on economic theory, public health practice, engineering, and environmental sciences, to more fully grasp the drivers and barriers to expanding access to and uptake of cleaner stoves. Our partnership between academic institutions, in the US and Ghana, and a local environmental non-governmental organization creates unique opportunities to disseminate and scale up lessons learned.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03617952 7/31/18 (Retrospectively Registered).
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Dickinson, Katherine L; Dalaba, Maxwell; Brown, Zachary S; Alirigia, Rex; Coffey, Evan R; Mesenbring, Elise; Achazanaga, Manies; Agao, Desmond; Ali, Moro; Kanyomse, Ernest; Awaregya, Julius; Adagenera, Clifford Amoah; Aburiya, John Bosco A; Gubilla, Bernard; Oduro, Abraham Rexford; and Hannigan, Michael P, "Prices, peers, and perceptions (P3): study protocol for improved biomass cookstove project in northern Ghana." (2018). Mechanical Engineering Faculty Contributions. 72.