Mercy Corps   |   Jan 27, 2015
Type: Research Report
Topic: Consumer Segmentation, Women/Gender
Country: Uganda

This research study looks at gender drivers of demand for improved cookstoves in East Acholi, Uganda. In that area, biomass accounts for 91 percent of total energy used and 97 percent of rural households have no access to grid electricity; energy poverty is a central challenge.

For those living in the East Acholi sub-region, a largely rural and dispersed geographic expanse still recovering from two decades of armed conflict, access to energy is even more limited – and costly. Improved cookstoves are an important opportunity; they cut fuel use, expenditures, and collection times in half. At the start of Mercy Corps’ research, women did not yet account for half of improved cookstove purchases in East Acholi. By and large, resellers could not articulate what motivated women to buy or what inhibited their ability to purchase improved cookstoves distinct from men. As a result, a product built for women wasn’t getting to them. To address this missed opportunity, Mercy Corps’ led an applied research initiative, funded by the Alliance, that closely collaborated with improved cookstove suppliers, distributors, and retailers to devise best-fit strategies for targeting female consumers and increasing their improved cookstove purchases. The findings of this research are outlined in both the research brief and the full research study.