Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Implementing New Stoves in Developing Countries

Everyone and their brother has written on their experiences, in every imaginable country, using every possible kind of stove. Which ones can we learn from? Which ones are the best? Here I have tried to distill the most relevant ones into a manageable package - not the main web sites, but the pages that have the exact information that you need.

  • The UN High Commissioner for Refugees publishes a pamphlet just on introducing new cooking options (new stoves, fuels, techniques, etc.) in refugee camps here that should be a good start for anyone.
  • The largest volume of information appears to be at the biomass discussion forums, and within their archives - so we don't have to track down everything individually, just scan the lists of reports.
  • We might start by assuming that African projects are more relevant to us than those in other parts of the world... this country-by-country list is fantastic. The Biomass Cook Stove Discussion Group's specific dissemination page has all kinds of stories.
  • The Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) produces a great biomass cook stove discussion site that has some overlap (in the form of Tom Miles?) with that last one (as well as an older site), but has a different flavor and feel. This mountain of world stove photos is a great start, and they even have a page on stoves for refugees and displaced persons! The exact type of stove introduced, or the country where it was introduced, should not be so important to us - we want to know what implemention efforts resulted in success, and what could have been done better.
  • The Hedon Household Energy Network is a good site and it now publishes ITDG's Practical Action newsletter.
  • Village Earth's compendium of cook stove book reviews is a great, but can be a little dated - some are out of print (ITDG and VITA have had some that sound like exactly what we need) but should be available on CD now.
  • ProBEC is an organization promoting biomass conservation in southern Africa - implemented by a German organization (GTZ).
  • A good informal discussion on energy saving stoves for southern Africa - not far from Sudan!
  • An older but still relevant UN report (60 pages) is "What Makes People Cook With Improved Biomass Stoves"
  • The development and commercialization of a new stove in Kenya - a relevant case study?
  • Try this if you have a strong stomach - 88% of improved stove users in this community (the intersection of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania) believed that they were burning less fuel (50% savings had been projected), but a follow up statistical analysis showed no improvement. What a horror story!
  • Verification of the impacts of an improved stove program (including IDPs) in Eritrea and here is the beautiful report Dissemination of Improved Cook Stoves in the Developing World that was associated with it, here is the link (to UCB, again!) on all their stove work in Eritrea - what an effort!
  • A new site for me - the "lessons learned" page of the United Nations Development Programme, with dozens of brief reports on all aspects of energy for sustainable development projects. The more I look, the more I find.
  • There are lots of good publications at Aprovecho's publication site - they have been leaders in stove development, testing, implementation, and everything else longer than almost anyone else.
  • ETHOS is a great group (and the backer of Stove Camp) - organizing engineers for humanitarian efforts, similar to EWB and ESW (why are there so many different organizations?) and their conferences attract the best speakers - see Session 4, Mouhsine Serrar's presentation of implementation efforts (analyzing several different stove types) in Mauritania.
many thanks to Tom Miles (in advance), for letting me depend so much on the biomass cook stove sites that he maintains!

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