With Manish Desai, Krishnendu Mukhopadhyay, Naveen Puttaswamy, Sankar Sambandam, Gurusamy Thangavel, and Kalpana Balakrishnan.
The world's most ambitious scale up of clean fuels has taken place across India in the past five years. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) program, building upon previous efforts, provided access to LPG for an additional 80 million homes. However, continued fuel stacking and inconsistent coverage of the intervention has left overall household air pollution exposure reductions in households and associated ambient air pollution reductions lower than what is needed to meet Indian national standards or WHO guidelines. The ongoing HAPIN trial will provide critical information on personal exposures and health effects of interventions at the household level for an LPG and free fuel intervention but little information regarding the effect of scaling such an intervention. Several recent modelling exercises suggest that household biomass burning results in significant contributions to ambient air pollution at national and regional levels. However, there is almost no actual data to support quantitative targets for program design and maintenance at the village and district level that could guide village coverage goals for household use of LPG to displace solid fuel burning. Because of the PMUY scale up history, patchy uptake at community levels, and relatively low level of industrial sources of pollution, Southern India, including currently enrolled HAPIN districts, provides an ideal setting to study the Reach and Effectiveness of this massive LPG program and to contribute evidence-based guidance to support critical implementation targets for policy around village- level coverage and LPG utilization. We request ISN support to conduct data gathering, analyses, and modelling of this natural experiment to help fill this important gap in implementation guidance.