Environment and Resources

Project: Local Beer Production in Urban Burkina Faso – Impacts of Improved Brewing Processes on Firewood Consumption

Project Duration

09/2010 - 03/2013 (finalized)

Commissioned by

Netherland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Policy and Evaluation Department (IOB)

Project Team (RWI)

Dr. Gunther Bensch, Prof. Dr. Jörg Peters (Chief)


International Institute of Social Studies (ISS); Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Leader of Consortium



Small-scale production of local sorghum beer has a long tradition in Sahelian countries. In Burkina Faso the beer called “Dolo” is deeply embedded in the local culture and consumed with moderation by the Burkinabè population. The craft of Dolo production is exclusively reserved to women, the so-called “Dolotières”, of which a few hundred are active in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital. The production process in the dry country is very firewood intensive: In fact, according to the Ministry of Environment, firewood consumed by the Dolotières accounts for 50% of total firewood consumption in Ouagadougou. The firewood usage in Ouagadougou, in turn, imposes substantial pressures on firewood markets and wood stands in surrounding rural areas, which has tremendous implications for large parts of the country’s population that rely on this fuel for their day-to-day cooking purposes. Against this background, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has incorporated one component in its Improved Cooking Stoves program “Foyers Améliorés Au Burkina Faso” (FAFASO) that aims at introducing improved brewing devices among the brewers through promotion and subsidization activities. Like the mobile improved cooking stoves for households, these stationary stoves are designed to reduce fuel consumption per stove application and to curb smoke emissions. The purpose of this research project is to assess the impacts of this intervention on the firewood consumption in the beer brewing sector. In September 2010, a baseline survey was conducted by a local institute. Together with the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), RWI will implement a follow-up survey in September 2012 in order to assess the extent to which the Dolotières have adopted the improved brewing devices and in how far this has actually brought down firewood consumption. If possible, a difference-in-difference approach will be applied. Depending on the penetration rate of the brewing devices and the take-up rate among the baseline sample, a further cross-sectional dimension will be added to the identification approach. This research effort will thus show whether focussing on commercial firewood users is an effective way to relieve pressures on the firewood market.

Selected project related publications

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals


Grimm, M. and J. Peters (2015), Beer, Wood, and Welfare - The Impact of Improved Stove Use among Dolo-beer Breweries. PLOS ONE 10 (8) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132603 

Discussion Papers


Grimm, M. and J. Peters (2015), Beer, Wood, and Welfare. Ruhr Economic Papers #538. RWI. DOI: 10.4419/86788616 download


Grimm, M. and J. Peters (2014), Beer, Wood, and Welfare. IZA Discussion Paper #8719. Institute for the Study of Labor. download

RWI Reports


RWI and ISS (2013), Impact Evaluation of Improved Stove Use among Dolo-beer Breweries in Burkina Faso - FAFASO. RWI Projektberichte