Indicator 50. Share of the population using modern cooking solutions, by urban/rural

Rationale and definition:

This indicator measures the share of the population relying primarily on non- solid fossil fuels for cooking, as defined by the Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) Framework Report.1 Currently available databases (including the WHO’s Global Household Energy Database, and the IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances) only support binary tracking of access (that is a household either has, or does not have access). This is why, as a starting point, the SE4All global tracking framework is using this simple definition of access to modern cooking solutions. While the binary approach serves the immediate needs of global tracking, there is a growing consensus that measurement of access should reflect a continuum of improvement, as recognized in the SE4All report.

Indeed, defining access to modern cooking solutions as the share of the population relying primarily on non-solid fossil fuels for cooking omits the role of the cook stove. Yet, it is the combination of the two that will determine levels of efficiency, pollution, and safety outcomes. Meanwhile, individual behaviors, cooking practices, and housing characteristics also affect the actual performance of a household’s cooking solutions.

For this reason, the SE4All is planning to use a multi-tier metric for tracking access to modern cooking solutions. This metric will measure access to modern cooking solutions by measuring the technical performance of the primary cooking solution (including both the fuel and the cook stove) and assessing how this solution fits in with households’ daily life. This metric also includes consideration on indoor air pollution/ventilation and kerosene cooking/lighting. Measuring access to modern cooking solutions presents the possibility to improve the health of poor households, in particular women and girls who generally have the responsibility for cooking for the household. WHO estimates that over 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.2


By urban/rural and sex of head of household.

Comments and limitations:

To be reviewed.

Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:


Primary data source:

Household surveys.

Potential lead agency or agencies:

The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), IEA and WHO, can provide data for this indicator.

  1. Banerjee, SG et al (2013). Global tracking framework, Vol. 3. Sustainable energy for all. The World Bank: Washington D.C. See also World Energy (2012). Energy Access: Tracking Methodology for Access to Modern Cooking Solutions.

  2. WHO. Household air pollution and health Fact sheet N°292.