A primary goal of the EPPSA project is to collect primary data and evaluate interventions aimed at alleviating energy poverty. The following studies are ongoing:

Zambia Clean Cooking Study

The University of North Carolina, Copperbelt University, and the Center for Energy, Environment and Engineering (CEEEZ) are undertaking an impact evaluation of two, private sector-led, clean cooking interventions on adoption and sustained use of clean cooking technologies, charcoal use, household expenditures on cooking energy, exposure to household air pollution, and self-reported indicators of health. Two firms are piloting clean cooking products in Lusaka with plans to scale up to tens of thousands of customers in the next 1-5 years.

Baseline data were collected in July/August 2019 and two adoption and promotion assessments were collected via telephone survey in April 2020 and December 2020.

See the baseline reports for this study on the Project Outputs page.

Malawi Solar Home System Evaluation Study

The University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are conducting this study in Central Malawi to evaluate the impacts of solar home system (SHS) devices for households. Specifically, this study aims to 1) assess the impact of solar home systems on the livelihoods of rural households in Lilongwe District, Malawi; and 2) To understand the determinants of adoption and dis-adoption of SHS in this setting. This is a quasi-experimental impact evaluation study with three arms: current SHS users, prospective SHS users, and a control group.

In July-August of 2022, EPPSA team members collected baseline household survey data for over 1,200 households. Check back soon for reports and findings.

Understanding patterns and drivers of coupled social-environmental change in rural Malawian landscapes

North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are conducting this study to address questions related to natural resource reliance and household well-being in rural Malawi. Specifically we are interested in how rural households use natural resources to cope with shocks, and how reliance on natural resources influences the well-being of people living in poverty. Our study contributes to the literature on poverty and environment dynamics by adding a new round of data collection to a panel study of 900 rural households in Mulanje, Thyolo and Chiradzulu Districts in Southern, Malawi. The study includes households from 16 villages. The first three rounds of data were collected in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Five years elapsed between the first round of data collection and follow-up data collection in 2022, allowing us to examine changes in natural resource use and well-being over a relatively long period of time. During the period the panel covers (2017-2022), households have faced several weather and macroeconomic shocks.

In July-August of 2022, EPPSA team members collected household survey data for over 850 households in this study. Check back soon for reports and findings.

Secondary Data Project

The EPPSA project takes a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to research multilevel determinants of energy poverty, the effects of energy poverty on energy poor populations, the impacts of fuel burning on air quality and natural resources, factors in energy transitions in sub-Saharan Africa, and functionality of health systems and other public infrastructure in societies with limited electricity infrastructure. In addition to our primary data collection efforts, we work on building a comprehensive secondary database catalog to answer research questions about energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

Our team gathered and cataloged population representative survey data, geospatial infrastructure data, and remotely sensed datasets to test hypotheses related to meso- and macro-level determinants of energy poverty and impacts of shocks or natural experiments, and provide contextual data regarding how longer-term trends in population and environment dynamics are influencing energy poverty related outcomes. These datasets were produced and are owned by entities not associated with our project, so our aim is to produce a database that connects researchers to data that may be outside of their discipline. This is an ongoing effort with two aims: (1) to catalog these data and identify specific applications to energy poverty research, and (2) to conduct secondary data analyses to explore the population environment dynamics of energy poverty.

See our latest version of the Secondary Data Manual here.