The overarching goals of the EnDev programme in Tanzania, implemented by SNV, are to tackle energy poverty, increase access to cleaner energy sources for households, and increase the amount of sustainable income for women and men. The programme is currently in its third phase, which – among other goals – seeks to develop markets and sustainable supply for improved cook stoves. ‘Improved’ is defined as more efficient than traditional cook stoves, safer, and releasing fewer emissions.
The programme aims to be gender-responsive by promoting women’s equal participation as cook stove producers and behaviour change communication advocates. It also targets women as buyers and users of improved cook stoves.
The programme set out targets and indicators to ensure that women were provided with a ‘fair share’ of participation in the production, marketing and sales of cook stoves. To achieve these targets, EnDev Tanzania has designed a range of supporting activities:
- Participatory Action Learning for Sustainability (PALS) initiatives. These initiatives bring together the producers of the improved cook stoves and their spouses for a two-day workshop. The key outcome is setting a family vision for a happy life and understanding how the cook stove business and other income-generating activities can contribute to achieving this vision.
- ‘Clean Cooking Advocate’ women’s groups. The approach works closely with local leadership at a district level to identify women who are trained as Clean Cooking Advocates. These women lead behaviour change communications campaigns in their communities. Based on the community health worker model, the advocates visit their neighbours door-to-door and set meetings to educate on clean cooking practices for health and reduction of the use of forest resources for cooking fuel. CCAs are also trained as sales agents for Jiko Matawi. This means they have an opportunity to earn income, which motivates them to continue their community behaviour change work.
- Role-modelling women’s leadership. High performing, successful women cook stove producers, i.e. ‘champions’, are interviewed on video. These videos are shared with new women producers as a way of motivating them about how their businesses and lives can change through engagement in the programme. These champions go on to co-facilitate trainings organised by SNV.
Thanks to the gender-responsive approach adopted by the programme, EnDev Tanzania has recorded that 57% of improved cook stove sales are attributable to women producers during this last phase.
Key lessons learned for effective, gender-responsive cook stove production and marketing are:
- Profiling female role models is a very effective approach for motivating other women.
- Identify high-performing women who are willing to create mentorships with young women via the programme and/or document their stories, which can be shared more widely.
- For entrepreneurship-based programmes, find a way to involve the spouse in discussing how the business impacts the household and what the implications are. When wives are targeted for skills development and financing, engage the husbands through a participatory learning approach to have conversations about the business.
- Sometimes conversations between the sexes are not held because of cultural taboos. Adopting an artistic approach can help bring issues to the surface in a non-threatening way. For example, in participatory learning sessions, women and men draw their respective visions of a happy household on different sides of the paper, then discuss the differences and plan how to resolve them into a unified vision.
This case study starts on page 42.