Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Mechanical Engineering and D-Lab collaborated with RAN to execute a study on; “Sustained adoption of clean cooking products through a market-based intervention in Soroti, Uganda” from 10th August 2015 – 4th Sept 2015. The premise of the study was to investigate motives and behavior change required to achieve sustained adoption of improved biomass cooking products (cookstoves and briquette fuels) and their impact on indoor air quality. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 80%, or nearly 728 million people, depend on solid fuels such as charcoal and firewood for cooking, more than any other region in the world . Most of these people cook on open fires, which burn poorly and lead to low fuel efficiency and high pollution emissions. Improved biomass cookstoves have long been identified as a promising option to reduce the negative impacts of cooking with traditional open fires. They offer benefits like decreased household air pollution (HAP) and lower fuel costs. However, it has been found that in many cases households that uptake improved cookstoves (ICS) reduce the usage and revert back to traditional methods in the long run.
RAN supported MIT- D-Lab in the IRB processes and approval of the proposal to conduct the study in Soroti. RAN also identified students (via student mailing list) that participated in the Research Study in Soroti for two weeks. The study was aimed at evaluating instruments for measuring sustained adoption and impact from clean cooking technologies such as charcoal briquette fuels introduced through a market-based intervention in Soroti, Uganda. MIT D-Lab team designed interview instruments for approximately 40 households in the scoping study. The study involved researchers from MIT, D-Lab team coming to Soroti. They worked with 3 students from Makerere University; Joseph Opiding, Denis Oktel and David Tusubira from College of Engineering Design and Art (CEDAT) – http://cedat.mak.ac.ug/ to conduct interviews and post-interview data analysis and in installation and commissioning of sensors, the students also assisted with check-ins on households and maintenance of the sensors where needed.
MIT , D-Lab is one of the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) Labs funded by USAID that empowers a diverse, global network of innovators to design, develop, and disseminate low-cost technologies to improve the lives of people living in poverty – http://d-lab.mit.edu/idin.
The HESN where RAN is one of the development Labs has provided a great platform that promotes collaboration and allows researchers, innovators, and institutions to directly engage in solution development. This is one of the student engagement, research and innovation activities we continue to do with other HESN Labs. https://www.usaid.gov/hesn/development-labs