Webinar3 on Cooking Energy in Displacement Settings ( Q and A)

From energypedia

This page documents the questions that were asked during the Cooking Energy in Displacement Settings – Delivery Models.

What would be the incentive to communities relying on conventional cookstoves and firewood, and enjoying the smoking taste in their food, to shift to modern cooking technologies and cleaner fuels?

Ben Butule - GIZ ESDS Uganda: The incentive to communities varry, but cooking habits and beliefs are part of every culture and can still be maintained with a shift to improved cooking technologies.

The health benefit of reduction in respiratory tract infections associated with the carbon mono oxide, economic benefit of saving costs on buying fuels, which money can be used to meet other domestic pressing needs and safety benefits of quality cooking technologies compared to the risks of 3-stone are the direct incentives.

Other forms incentives include tha reduced walk time and distance in search of fuels, conflicts with host communitiies and land lords of nature wood foresets, which has led to increased SGBV cases may also be minimised. Children may have sufficient time for education as they are often the main victims send out to search for fuel wood.

The bigger good for the community is sustained vegetation cover which improves water quality, soils and climate. However thses incentives have to packaged well through awareness and cooking demonstrations to enable the communities to weigh the incentives and gradually adopt the new technologies.

Iwona Bisaga - MECS: Among some other benefits which end-users could find encouraging for them to switch would be time-saving (no/less time spend collecting fuel; faster cooking), health benefits (less eye irritation, alleviation of respiratory diseases etc.), servicing of products if there is a warranty/continued maintenance offered by the provider, and often also no detectable difference in taste. Additionally, ease of use, less/no burns when handling cooking, less/no harm risk to family members

Is it important to have a support service with such products? QUBE are establishing an anaerobic digestion 'doctor service' where the company has 'boots on the ground' when individuals/camps have problems on the ground.

Iwona Bisaga - MECS: Most definitely. A quick and efficient maintenance service can boost chances of continued use and buy-in from the end-users/customers, and improved customer satisfaction which can then translate into positive word of mouth, ie customers recommending the products/services to others.

On safeguarding private sector-led interventions: do we have more insights on how price may have increased as private sector ventures into riskier markets, which may, in turn, tax the already vulnerable population?

Iwona Bisaga - MECS: Re safeguarding: that's true that prices might be raised as companies enter more risky and challenging settings. end-user financing (schemes such as pay as you go) can be impactful, or both demand- and/or supply-side subsidies, where available. Grants which are specifically tied to end-user subsidy can achieve the same effect. Once scale is reached, prices can go down as the perceived risk on the provider's side goes down.

What are the prerequisites/characteristics that a community should have, for the type of market-based energy delivery model presented by Ben to be successful?

Ben Butule - GIZ ESDS Uganda: The prerequisites that drive the success of market-based (private sector-led) delivery model are based on knowledge and the propensity of the community to consume the services and products-Once these factors are addressed the potential for success of the model is high.

  • Demand gaps: Demand for energy in the refugee energy market is mainly constrained by perception, network/market linkages, marketing, retail opportunities, access to financial services, quality assurance of energy products, energy market maturity, population size dynamics of refugees and host, location, political/cultural norms.
  • Knowledge gaps: Consumer awareness-ability of potential clients of a specific product to make informed decision on choice of product/ service, increases adoption and this is often supported by the snowball referal effect of the neighbour getting consumer education by seeing from the next neighbour and best mind changing awareness.
  • The technological gaps: The willingness to embrace the new technology exists however concerns remain on the durability, strength, ease of use and adaptability to cooking habits this therefore shows that the technology solution being provided should meet the needs of consumers this is a crucial, because bad product will the market, and is hard to revert that attitude. Money buying new ones.
  • Entrepreneurial gaps: Within the community, there should be potential for existance of financial institutions or services such as Saving and Credit cooperative Organizations (SACCOS)- such linkages that provide loans to the refugees or the vendors to support them in acquiring and supplying energy goods and services.

The willingness to pay for new technology exist as long as the solutions presented to them are affordable with flexible terms of payment this indicates that the financing model that favors them should also exist, be accommodative to the interest of both vendors and clients.

In RBFF how do you deal with the results validation? Does it suppose a significant additional cost?

Ben Butule - GIZ ESDS Uganda: The role of independent varifier agent (IVA) is crucial in managing the success of RBFF. The IVA is contracted on a framework contract such that s/he gets engaged only to validate the client data provided by the RBFF company at specific interval when the company needs additional incentive/subsidy payment.

In such case the cost of the IVA is minimised as the agent does not have term fixed contract, but rather only on frame contract for which is paid for the fixed number of verification/validations done to clients whose data lists are provided by RBFF partner company.

It is a win-win scenario where by the costs of the IVA are factored in to the overall incentive offered for each product solid per tier of the cooking technology.

Additionally the benefit of this is that the overall price of the product is not subsidized and this doesnot give advantage to the company to sell at a cheaper price than the prevailing market prices that other traders in the same market dealing in similar products may offer. This keeps the equilibrium of the market and does-No-harm to ther vendors who may not be on RBFF schemes.

The only benefit is that the overhead cost of reaching the last mile and risks associated are leavaraged.

With the energy delivery models we are assuming that POCs have access to cash and livelihood to generate income, but what would be the solution for market based interventions in the case of no cash, no access to work the case of no cash, no access to work?

Ben Butule - GIZ ESDS Uganda: Energy is just one of the several household requirements and priorities for cooking. While while households receive food and non food busket, PoC households in Uganda also receive land(about 50 by 50) which they use from livelihoods activities including crop farming. Part of the supplus food is sold in local markets to eke additional household needs such as energy, clothings, and other welfare items. It is not logical to believe the households have completely no incomes or cash to meet basic needs.. The food busket provided by UNWFP is not even adquate for run the family for upto the next distribution date, so the gap is met through HHs own livelihoods activities, with extra incomes for domestic expenses like energy.

How does private-sector led model be cost-saving for the end beneficiaries as compared to free distribution?

Ben Butule - GIZ ESDS Uganda: Private sector led or market-based model of delivery is not neccessarily cost saving, but is the most sustainable model compared to free distribution. There is also tendency for the beneficiary not to appreciate free distributed(handouts) of cooking products as these may not be the best choice of products for them, but driven but top-down approach of agencies who procure the items/technologies without needs assessment.

Economic implication is that, it becomes costly to distribute energy products that may not be put use anyways.