Villager eating food cooked in an electric pressure cooker
A workshop participant tastes a Muthokoi dish cooked in an electric pressure cooker Photo: Fiona Lambe / SEI

Efforts to scale up access to clean cookstoves have typically focused on
promoting technically more efficient cooking technologies. Important sociocultural
aspects of cooking such as taste, cooking practices, cultural norms and gender roles have been given less attention.

There is an urgent need to understand the behaviours, practices and perceptions of those households that will potentially be on the receiving end of interventions.

This report presents a study that worked with residents of a rural community to co-develop energy transition scenarios.

In February 2020, researchers from SEI and Hivos hosted a workshop for residents of non-grid connected villages in Machakos county, outside the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Groups of participants were encouraged to visualize a situation in 2030 when their whole villages used electricity to cook.

They then “backcasted” the changes that would need to have happened over the coming decade, in what order, for that situation to become reality.