Catalyzing Energy Access Among the Ultra-Poor in Malawi

Ther Aung , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Robert Bailis, Stockholm Environment Institute
Thabbie Chilongo, Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Adrian Ghilardi, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Pamela Jagger, University of Michigan
Charles Jumbe, Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Energy poverty among the ultra-poor presents a particularly vexing problem due to lack of investment capital in household energy. In Malawi, a novel intervention distributed fuel-efficient stove (FES) to ultra-poor and labour-constrained households. Our research questions are: 1) what is the extent of energy access/poverty among the ultra-poor compared to better-off households; and 2) does use of FES reduce fuelwood consumption and time spent collecting fuelwood and cooking? We implemented a longitudinal non-experimental comparison group design and present analyses from baseline and one midline data collection round. We conducted a difference-in-difference model in the generalized linear model framework. At baseline, we observe statistically significant differences in grid electricity access (4% and 11%) and FES ownership (16% vs. 29%) between ultra-poor and better-off households respectively. The DD estimators were not significantly different between control and treatment groups for fuel use, and time spent cooking or collecting fuelwood.

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 Presented in Session 121. Population Processes, the Environment, and Energy