Fuel Efficient Stove Programs in IDP Settings - Summary Evaluation Report, Darfur

Fuel Efficient Stove Programs in IDP Settings - Summary Evaluation Report, Darfur
Academy for Educational Development for USAID, December 2008

1. INTRODUCTION: EVALUATION OBJECTIVES
Around the world, conflict and natural disasters have displaced millions of people. Displaced populations fleeing to settlement camps and seeking safety in host villages often put great stress on natural resources, leading to environmental degradation and conflict with local populations. One of the greatest needs of people affected by crisis, be they displaced, settled, or on the move, is firewood or some other type of fuel to cook their food, heat their homes, and treat water for drinking and food preparation. The risks endured (especially by women and children) collecting scarce wood resources constitute some of the most challenging and serious protection concerns both in IDP camps and in villages where conflict over resources is high.

USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has been one of the key US Government entities providing funding for humanitarian organizations implementing fuel-efficient stove (FES) programs in populations of internally displaced persons (IDPs). The FES programs are intended to help accomplish various goals, such as improved food security or decreased deforestation, by reducing fuel consumption. However, the large number of implementers, their varying program objectives and degrees of expertise, and differing conditions within and among IDP communities have made it difficult for OFDA to determine the relative efficacy of the FES interventions and provide guidelines for USAID-funded institutions working in IDP settings.

OFDA therefore enlisted the assistance of the USAID Energy Team to undertake a multi-phase evaluation in order to derive “best practices” for future FES interventions. While the primary purpose of this evaluation is to provide guidance to USAID-funded organizations, USAID hopes to inform the broader humanitarian community by sharing the results of the evaluation with other organizations. Eventually, the best practices will be developed into a series of recommendations and toolkits for use by NGOs, donors, and other groups operating FES programs in IDP settings.

Phase I of the evaluation (November 2006) was a desk study of recent FES projects in refugee and IDP settings. Based on the desk study findings, Phase II (December 2006) entailed the development of a methodology for conducting the evaluation fieldwork. Phase III involved on-site research in IDP camps in Northern Uganda and in Darfur. The Northern Uganda report has been completed and is available on USAID’s web site.1 Phase IV will entail the development of recommendations and tools to improve FES programs.
The Phase III field research in Darfur took place in two phases. First, a four-day review and training on the evaluation methodology and tools was held in Khartoum in March 2008 with the assessment team. The fieldwork in Darfur IDP camps took place from 16 April to 9 May 2008, with a six-person all-Sudanese team composed of technical stove experts and social scientists. Three OFDA-funded NGO FES programs, one in each region of Darfur, were selected for assessment. However, due to continued security concerns and the difficult logistics of deploying a team of investigators into Darfur, it was possible to include only two regions in the assessment. This report summarizes findings regarding programs being implemented by two organizations in Otash Camp in Nyala, South Darfur, and one organization in Kabkabiya near El Fasher, North Darfur. The implementing NGOs are not named in this report and are identified only as NGO A, B, and C.

The evaluation methodology incorporated a number of different tools to collect both quantitative and qualitative data on the FES programs. The underlying objectives were to determine 1) if the FES interventions were meeting their fuel saving goals, and 2) why or why not. Specific areas examined included:

  • •cooking technologies
  • •user outreach and education programs
  • •stove production and dissemination strategies
  • •FES project monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks

In total, the field team conducted 150 household energy surveys, 66 controlled cooking tests, and 50 water boiling tests, as well as camp and programmatic surveys, focus group discussions, and informal participant observation and interviews. This summary report consolidates the findings from the three Darfur program evaluations and presents OFDA with preliminary recommendations designed to improve the impact and quality of its future support to FES activities in IDP situations. Final recommendations and guidance from “lessons learned” will be developed from the findings of both the Darfur and Northern Uganda assessments.