Request for Information (RFI): Global Cookstove Distribution Programs and Projects for Evaluation of Health Benefits

Notice Number: NOT-TW-14-008

Key Dates
Release Date: May 7, 2014
Response Date: June 30, 2014

Related Announcements

Issued by
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)


The above components of the NIH are requesting information regarding global cookstove distribution programs and projects to aid the development of a research agenda to evaluate the potential health benefits of improved cookstove use in low and middle income countries.


Household air pollution (HAP) resulting from incomplete combustion of solid fuels, such as firewood and coal traditionally used for cooking and heating, affects nearly 3 billion people primarily in low-and middle income countries. HAP remains the greatest single environmental cause of early mortality, contributing to an estimated 4.3 million deaths in 2012 according to the World Health Organization (World Health Organization 2014). HAP’s high level of pollutants, including both particulate and chemical constituents, are associated with a range of health risks, including respiratory infections, chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, lung cancer, and eye disorders in adults, stillbirth, low birthweight, and impaired cognitive development in infants. Other dangers associated with traditional fires for cooking include injuries, (burn and scalds) and acts of violence suffered during fuel collection in zones of conflict.

Interest in improving health through improved cookstoves is high and a variety of distribution programs have been initiated around the world. The United Nations Foundation’s Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves ( set a goal of 100 million homes adopting clean cookstoves and fuels by 2020. Many programs and projects by governments, NGOs and companies are scaling up efforts to promote the use of clean cookstoves and improve accessibility.

However, to date little evidence exists that stove programs can yield health benefits. Preliminary studies illustrated a variety of challenges including availability of cost effective, sufficiently clean burning stoves, adoption and correct, exclusive use of the newer technology, adequate assessment of reduction of pollutant (especially PM 2.5) exposure in households, and scientifically rigorous assessment of near and long term health impacts. The NIH outlined health risks and research priorities in a series of papers that emerged from a 2011 Conference (Reid et al 2012, Clark et al 2013, Tolunay and Chockalingam 2012, Martin et al. 2013, West et al. 2013).

The NIH Household Air Pollution Working Group is evaluating the portfolio of relevant NIH research and considering options for future activities. In this context, the Working Group is interested in scientific and public health opportunities that involve the evaluation of the health benefits of existing and planned cookstove distribution programs around the world, as well as de novo trials of cookstove interventions.

This RFI is intended to help NIH understand the landscape of cookstove distribution programs around the world that may provide opportunities to evaluate the health benefits of these programs.

Information Requested

Anyone knowledgeable about one or more cookstove distribution programs or projects is invited to submit information describing the efforts. Your comments can include but are limited to the following:

  • Name of the initiative
  • Geographic location
  • Implementing organization(s)
  • Timeline of Implementation
  • Financing for the effort (public or private organization)
  • Implementation model (e.g. Free distribution, purchase, loan etc.)
  • Primary objective (e.g. Health and safety, environmental quality, labor reduction, poverty reduction, other)
  • Type of cooking technology involved (e.g. Stove type and or fuel type)
  • Scale of the effort (e.g. How many households targeted)
  • If there is an active health and/or exposure monitoring effort associated with the distribution effort, and if so who is conducting this activity

Any other important details are also welcome.


Responses will be accepted through June 30, 2014. Please email your response to the above inquiries to:

In your response, please also provide a contact name and details associated with the distribution effort to enable potential follow-up communication by NIH staff.

This request is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government. The NIH does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or to otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information.

The NIH will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion and will not provide comments to any responder's submission. However, responses to the RFI may be reflected in future funding opportunity announcements. The information provided will be analyzed and may appear in reports. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted.  No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).


Clark M.L., Peel J.K., Balakrishnan K., Breysse P.N., Chillrud S.N., Naeher L.P., Rodes C.E., Vette A.F., Balbus J.M. (2013). Health and Household Air Pollution from Solid Fuel Use: The Need for Improved Exposure Assessment. Environmental Health Perspectives 121(10):1120-1128

Reid B.C., Ghazarian A.A., Demarini D.M., Sapkota A., Jack D., Lan Q., Winn D.M., Birnbaum L.S. (2012) Research opportunities for cancer associated with indoor air pollution from solid-fuel combustion. Environmental Health Perspectives 120(11):1495-8

Tolunay A. and Chockalingam H.E. (eds) (2012) Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution, and Cardiovascular Health. Global Heart 7(3): 197-274

Martin W.J. II, Glass R.I., Araj H., Collins F.S., et al. (2013) Household Air Pollution in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Health Risks and Research Priorities. PLoS Med 10(6): e1001455

West S.K., Bates M.N., Lee J.S., Schaumberg D.A., Lee D.J., Adair-Rohani H., Chen D.F., Araj H. (2013) Is Household Air Pollution a Risk Factor for Eye Disease? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10:5378-5398

World Health Organization (2014) Household air pollution and health. World Health Organization Media centre: Fact sheet N 292 ( accessed 4/24/14.


If you have specific inquiries about this RFI, direct them to:

Joshua P. Rosenthal
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Telephone: 301-496-3288