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Fuel-Efficient Cooking Practices

Indicator Phrasing

% of [specify the target group] who follow the promoted fuel-efficient cooking practices
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of [specify the target group] who follow the promoted fuel-efficient cooking practices

French: % de [préciser le groupe cible] qui suivent les pratiques promues pour une cuisine économe en combustible

Portuguese: % de [especificar o grupo-alvo] que segue as práticas promovidas para cozinhar de forma eficiente em termos de combustível

Czech: % [uveďte cílovou skupinu], kteří využívají propagované postupy úsporného vaření

What is its purpose?

The indicator measures the extent to which the target group members follow the promoted ways of reducing the volume of cooking fuel (e.g. charcoal, wood, gas, etc.).

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) List the fuel-efficient cooking practices promoted by your intervention. These can be any practices that reduce the amount of fuel used for cooking – see examples below.



2) Define how many practices a respondent needs to practice to be considered as ‘following fuel-efficient practices’. For example, using at least 4 out of 6 promoted practices (the benchmark should be pretested so that it is not unrealistically high or unnecessarily low). Alternatively, you may be promoting one or more “essential” practices that are especially impactful, and a person can be considered as ‘following fuel-efficient practices’ only if s/he uses them. In such a case, the minimum requirement can be defined as following the “essential” practice(s) and at least a certain number of other promoted practices.



3) Conduct individual interviews with a representative sample of members of the target group using the following questions:


Q1: There are different ways in which people can reduce the amount of [specify the fuel] they use to cook food and heat water. Do you use any of such methods?

A1: yes / no


(ask the following question only if the response to the previous question is “yes”)


Q2: Which methods do you use to reduce the amount of cooking fuel that you need? Probe at least twice: Is there anything else you do to ensure that you use less fuel?

A2: list the promoted practices + include an option “other – specify: ………………….”



4) Count the number of respondents who follow at least the minimum number (or type) of promoted practices (see step 2).



5) To determine the indicator’s value, divide the number of respondents who follow at least the minimum number of the promoted practices by the total number of respondents. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.


Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by the type of fuel-efficient practices used, gender (if relevant), age group, and any other factors relevant to the focus and context of the intervention.

Important Comments

1) Ensure that the interviews are conducted with those people who cook the most in the household. Often it is not sufficient to say that these are “women”, as “women” might include different people - younger women, mothers-in-law, etc. To ensure that the right persons are interviewed, it is recommended to include a verifying question “Who does most of the cooking in this household?” If it is not the respondent and the person who cooks the most is not available to answer the questions, do not ask Q1 and Q2 above.


2) Examples of fuel-efficient cooking practices include: pre-soaking hard foods (e.g. beans); using a lid; using a pressure cooker, using a fuel-efficient stove; otherwise shielding / enclosing the fire and controlling air supply; using dry firewood; cutting food into smaller pieces before boiling; milling or pounding hard grains and beans; using locally acceptable tenderises; and cooking larger volumes of food or fluids / sharing cooking with other people (large pots help). Details on these and additional cooking practices are available in UNHCR’s publication provided below.


3) Ensure that the interviewers can probe neutrally to reduce the risk of a situation when the respondents follow certain fuel-efficient practices but forget to mention them.


4) Other ways of collecting the required data include:

   - Conducting interviews where the respondents are asked about each promoted practice in turn and whether or not they follow them. The risk with this approach is that even though some people do not follow a given practice, they might still say that they do because this is expected of them. That is why this approach is not recommended.

   - Another option is to conduct observations at a time when people are preparing their meals. While this is likely to be more accurate, it takes much more time than interviews.

   - Alternatively, if you are primarily interested in the duration and intensity of cooking, you can consider using stove use monitoring sensors (SUMS). These inexpensive devices can collect usage data over a longer time by monitoring the temperature of the stove and the time. This gives very useful information on the usage pattern and under which conditions the stove is used. This is different data than those required by the indicator, but in some instances, they can be more useful (or at least complementary). 

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This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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