Environment and Resources

Project: Impact Evaluation of Improved Stove Use in Burkina Faso – FAFASO

Project Duration

10/2010 - 12/2012 (finalized)

Commissioned by

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

Project Team (RWI)

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


International Institute of Social Studies (ISS); Bureau d’Etudes des Géosciences, des Energies et de l’Environnement (BEGE)

Leader of Consortium



In most developing countries, the majority of households uses solid fuels like wood or charcoal for cooking purposes. Woodfuel usage for cooking purposes is associated with various negative effects on the health, gender, and the disposable income of households. Furthermore, in countries with rather low biomass production such as Burkina Faso, this reliance on woodfuels may cause wood to be extracted in an unsustainable manner. Against this background, in many countries Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supports the dissemination of improved cooking stoves that are expected to significantly reduce the wood or charcoal consumption per meal. RWI evaluates GIZ’s improved stove dissemination program in Burkina Faso (“Foyer Amélioré au Burkina Faso”, FAFASO). FAFASO is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. FAFASO does not directly subsidize ICS production but promotes the dissemination by training local producers (whitesmiths and potters) and by sensitization and marketing campaigns. FAFASO puts particular effort into quality assurance, since one of the major problems of former ICS programmes was that ICS producers did not maintain the higher quality of ICS compared to the traditional metal stoves – both types do not differ very much at the first glance – after the subsidizing programmes ended. FAFASO started in 2006 to promote ICS in urban areas and is currently expanding its activities to some rural areas. As part of an evaluation commissioned by the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, RWI assesses the impacts of ICS usage on households, in particular on their wood fuel consumption (wood and charcoal) in the cities of Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso. The reason for focusing on wood fuel consumption is that, first, a reduction has immediate implications for wood scarcity and deforestation pressures. Second, only if we can confirm a significant reduction in wood fuel consumption, it is plausible to assume that smoke emissions decrease and time savings or a reduction in energy expenditures materialize. Hence, a reduction in wood fuel consumption is a precondition for impacts on the health, time use and household budget level. For this purpose, almost 1 500 households were interviewed in early 2011 – both ICS users and non-users. The impact of ICS usage is evaluated by means of a cross-sectional comparison. The virtue of the collected data is the detailed information on meal specific features. Therefore, it cannot be only controlled for household characteristics, but also for meal specific differences such as the type of dish prepared during a certain application of the stove or the number of people the meal is prepared for.

Selected project related publications

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals


Bensch, G., M. Grimm and J. Peters (2015), Why Do Households Forego High Returns from Technology Adoption? Evidence from Improved Cooking Stoves in Burkina Faso. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 116 : 187-205. DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.04.023 

Discussion Papers


Bensch, G., M. Grimm and J. Peters (2014), Why Do Households Forego High Returns from Technology Adoption - Evidence from Improved Cook Stoves in Burkina Faso. Ruhr Economic Papers #498. RWI. DOI: 10.4419/86788571 download

RWI Reports


RWI and ISS (2013), Impact Evaluation of Improved Stove Use in Burkina Faso – FAFASO. RWI Projektberichte download

Monographs (Author)


Grimm, M. and J. Peters (2012), Improved Cooking Stoves that End up in Smoke?. RWI Positionen 52. Essen: RWI. download