In promoting cleaner cooking, one of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, the need for a systematic approach to group segmentation and target-group identification has been well recognized. Yet, no such approach has thus far been proposed. Here, we propose such a framework based on a Euclidean distance of households’ fuel-choice behavior. Applying this framework to the post Gorkha-earthquake data on 747,137 households from Nepal, we find that ethnicity explains the highest intergroup diversity (39.12%) in fuel-choice pattern, followed by income (26.30%), education (12.62%), and location (4.05%). Among the ethnic groups, Chepang-Thamis have the lowest intragroup diversity (Shannon index = 0.101) and Newars the highest (0.667). Once the factor that segments households into subgroups with the highest intergroup, but lowest intragroup, diversity is identified, better targeted policy instruments that align with the behaviours of the subgroups can be designed. The proposed framework can also be useful in designing many socio-economic policies, including those aimed at achieving several other sustainable development goals.


Following the 7.8 Mw Gorkha Earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015, the Kathmandu Living Labs in collaboration with the National Planning Commission (the Government of Nepal), carried out the largest household survey ever done in Nepal using mobile technology. Although the primary objective of this survey was to assess damages inflicted by the quake and identify beneficiaries eligible for government’s housing reconstruction grants, the data contain many other kinds of valuable socio-economic information, including the types of fuel used by households for cooking and lighting from 11 of the most earthquake-affected districts of Nepal, excluding the Kathmandu valley.

The data for all 11 districts were downloaded from the 2015 Nepal Earthquake: Open Data Portal (http://eq2015.npc.gov.np/).


S.No. Analysis
1.00 Home
1.01 Data Pre-processing
2.01 Data Preparation to Generate Choropleth Maps
2.02 Generate Choropleth Maps
3.01 Baseline Data
4.01 Ordination Analysis
5.01 Alpha Diversity
6.01 Annova Tests
6.02 Annova Tests with Factor Control: IncomeGroup
6.03 Annova Tests with Factor Control: GeoRegion

Code availability

R-codes used for data analysis is available at https://raunakms.github.io/diversity_cooking_fuel and can be downloaded from https://github.com/raunakms/diversity_cooking_fuel


Shrestha, Ratna K. and Shrestha, Raunak. Diversity in fuel choice as a basis for group segmentation and target-group identification for promoting cleaner cooking. 2019. (submitted)
See details here

Corresponding author

Ratna K. Shrestha, PhD
Vancouver School of Economics,
University of British Columbia,
6000 Iona Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1L4
E-mail: ratna.shrestha [at] ubc.ca