| Boiling Point No. 27 - April 1992 |
GATE/GTZ Co-ordination & Advisory Centre for Integrated Household Energy Supply, P O Box 5180, 6236 Eschborn, Germany
News from Headquarters
Planning Workshop of the Integrated Household Energy Supply, (IHV) by Elke Metzen, Consultant for IBM, GATE/GTZ, Eschborn, Germany
The Integrated Household Energy Unit (IHV) held its annual planning workshop in January at GTZ headquarters in Eschborn. Present were the permanent staff of the IHV, several consultants with sound experience of household energy matters and a representative from ITDG. The aim of the workshop was to review the previous year 1991, to proceed in strategy development for the IHV and to plan out the activities for 1992.
Review of 1991
Reviewing the previous year showed that the IHV had achieved good results in research, advisory service and in international cooperation. Important research topics were impact studies on GTZ Household Energy Projects in Kenya and Burkina Faso, a wood consumption study in Mali, continuing with the long term study on smoke emission on pregnant women and children in Kenya and evaluation of FAO's Tropical Forest Action Plan ( TFAP). On the technical side the IHV supports research on solar cookers, upgrading of brown coal, development of a fishdryer for the Pacific and production of big-coal.
The advisory service of the IHV was used by the regional departments within GTZ for Pakistan/ Afghanistan, Niger, Mali, Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia, Ghana, Madagascar and Zanzibar. The support given here ranged from assisting in the planning of new projects to advising on running projects in specialized areas. In addition to that, the IHV received around 90 written requests for advice from other organizations, projects or individuals. In addition 6 small-scale projects have been supported through the BMZ/GATE Small Scale Project Fund.
In the field of international cooperation the IHV has continued its working relationships with the Foundation for Woodstove Dissemination (FWD)/ Kenya, Intermediate Technology Group (ITDG)/UK, Association Bois de Feu (ABF)/France, Kenyan Energy Non-Governmental Organization (KENGO)/Kenya, East-West Centre/ USA, Asia Regional Energy Cooperation Programme (ARECOP)/Indonesia, Energy Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP)/USA and the Lund Centre for Habitat Studies (LCHS)/Sweden.
It was confirmed during the workshop that the household energy crisis in developing countries needs to be tackled with an integrated approach as adopted by the IHV. The three major fields of activities, namely, social and technical research, the information and advisory service and international cooperation, therefore, will remain in focus for 1992. It was discussed at the workshop that the IHV, however, needs to set more clearcut priorities for its activities during this year. The need for a slight shift of emphasis for 1992 was felt, even though the results forecasted originally were still found to be relevant.
Activities in 1992
In 1992 the IHV will concentrate more on public relations work, drawing the attention of donor agencies and the general public to the serious problem of the energy crisis in developing countries. In that respect, IHV will continue and reinforce its cooperation with other organisations. Cooperation here means support for and collaboration with the activities of other organisations, as well as handing over responsibility for certain aspects of IHV with a view to strengthening the knowledge and skills of agencies in the South. A major achievement is the successful initiation of a network of northern agencies working in the field (HEDON - Household Energy Development Organisation Network), a network in the North corresponding to the FWD-network in the South.
Whereas much emphasis was given in the past to compiling and editing information, priority will now be given to a more efficient information exchange and a follow-up of the utilization and effectiveness of this information.
For implementing projects IHV will intensify its advisory service in backstopping running projects, especially in the development of concepts for new household energy projects or projects that want to include a household energy component. Consequently, the IHV will broaden its cross-sector activities, strengthening at the same time the integrated approach it has adopted as its strategy.
IHV Documentation Compiled
The IHV has compiled a computer supported documentation (on CDS-ISIS), with a topic orientated structure. It includes presently around 400 publications (including growing literature), registered in a keyword catalogue and partly summarized in abstracts.
Some of the topics included are:
Product Design and Production
Comprehensive and other sectors
The keyword catalogue and annotated literature list (including abstracts) on household energy can be requested directly from GTZ/IHV, Attn. Ms Starkenberg, P O Box 5180, 6236 Eschborn.
Elke Metzen, IHV
Monitoring Stove Projects
"What and How to Measure" is the title of the Monitoring and Evaluation Manual for Large Scale Projects, now ready to be pre-tested in selected stove projects.
Based on an international workshop held in Arusha, Tanzania in 1990, this manual has been developed by GATE/IHV, in conjunction with ITDG and in collaboration with the Foundation for Woodstove Dissemination (FWD). It is intended to equip projects involved in the dissemination of household energy technologies with a handbook that provides them with a selection of essential indicators to be monitored when planning, monitoring and finally evaluating a project. The large number of indicators is structured according to the different participating groups of a project. Most important here of course, are the actual and potential users of devices regarding ea. fuel and money saving, reduction of workload, health and hygienic improvements. The local producers and retailers of improved cooking, baking and space heating devices are also important participating groups. Attracting their support means opening the way for a self-reliant (in some cases commercialized) dissemination. Finally the project itself, its organisation and the resources necessary to work towards its planned goals are focused upon.
Supplying M&E indicators for different participating groups is one structuring instrument of the manual. Another one is the compilation of primary and secondary indicators, providing measurable specifications according to technical, economic, social, ecological and managerial objectives. These indicators are again transferred into feasible surveying questions, which can be either selected from the manual, or, according to the individual requirements of the project, worked out in more detail.
The manual for large-scale projects provides its reader with a brief on methodology; for correct sampling, data collection and data correlation. It also shows why and how a systematic and successful M&E must be interrelated to planning.
"What and How to Measure" opens up an easy way to monitor and evaluate household energy projects and its use does not require vast resources, specialist skills or a familiarity with social science jargon. It also gives a convincing insight into the necessity of systematic M&E being part of regular project activities.
At the end of 1992, GATE/IHV will launch a workshop where the findings of the pre-test phase will be discussed and integrated into the manual. By the beginning of 1993 we will be in the position to publish an M&E manual that is useful and applicable for all large-scale household energy projects. It will be here, for the first time, that comparable data of projects involved in the dissemination of household energy technologies is made available.
Elke Metzen, IHV
Reports on Projects
Production of a Commercial Multi-Pot Stove in
In January 1990, with experience of years of work in the Afghan camps around Peshawar, the Fuel Efficient Cooking Technologies Project, FECT, began its activities in two districts of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. The aim of the project is to achieve extensive fuel savings at household level through introduction of fuel saving cooking, heating and baking technologies. For this FECT has developed a cooking and a heating stove, as well as an improved bakery oven. Commercialization of these products should guarantee the desired fuel savings among the rural communities in Pakistan.
Not all three products are ready for the local market yet. In this article we will discuss the efforts of the project to introduce a commercially produced Multi Pot Stove (MPS), a metal, wood-saving stove.
From the beginning it was quite clear that for sustainable results the production and dissemination of the Multi Pot Stove should be free from any project involvement. The stove should be produced locally and distributed though independent channels.
As soon as possible, producers were trained and selling through shops was stimulated. While the field staff was aiming towards targets of 800 stoves sold a month, at management level the discussion started on how to go forward. Ideas were there but knowledge and skills to translate them into practical actions were lacking. A team of consultants was hired to assist and the staff were trained in commercial thinking and marketing strategies.
The consultants forecast a reasonable demand for the Multi Pot Stove. In almost every district production centres were established which we could use for medium scale production of the MPS. Exploiting the existing distribution channels would give the best opportunity for commercial dissemination. But the success of the commercialization seemed to stand or fall with the promotional activities of the project' A renewed organizational structure should facilitate the implementation of the commercialized approach.
Who will guarantee the quality of the stoves? Can we stop producers cutting corners in order to increase their profits, but at the same time compromising on quality ? A solution may be the introduction of certificates or trade-marks. Commercialization is very much buyer(=male) oriented, while the users are the women. The stove should be handled properly to save wood: wood should be dried and chopped, the stove should not be overfilled.
Most of the women are not used to doing these things. Instruction is needed to change this behaviour. In Pakistan's rural areas, women are hard to reach on a large scale. A user manual can be a solution, but its effectiveness is not yet clear. The new commercial approach asks for new knowledge, new skills and attitudes of the staff. For people who are used to selling as many stoves as possible it is not easy to accept that the quantitative targets are no longer top priority. A lot of training is required.
An example: Swat
This beautiful area in the northern part of the province enjoys all the conditions needed for commercial success. The mountains become more and more barren each year. Wood is the main fuel for the people of Swat. Due to a steady development and financial input from family members working overseas, most people do have some purchasing power. Different types of metal biomass stoves are available in the local market. Producers have been selected and trained. Stoves are sold only through shops. Dealers are identified who are willing to supply the Multi Pot Stove. The member of the project staff who works in Swat is so successful in encouraging people to buy the stove that it is difficult for the project to meet the demand.
But the stoves are still produced in Peshawar and distributed by the project staff. The trained producers are not willing to take up production without some form of credit. Metal sheets seem to be much more expensive in Swat than in Peshawar. As a result it is much cheaper and less risky for the producers to sell MPS provided by the project on a Rs 5 = commission (9% of basic stove sales price). The selected dealers are not really wholesalers. They are threatening not to continue their activities without transport facilities. Lack of female eduction has a negative influence on the user rate.
Time for action: all supply to Swat from Peshawar will be stopped. One producer-cum-wholesaler is offered a contract for six months. He may get a car at his disposal and also some stoves in stock to start with. In return he is fully responsible for the stove production and distribution in the whole district! Special attention will be given to female support.
The path to commercialization is not an easy one. Through past activities false expectations have been created in the field. If we want to be successful in the same districts, we have to break completely with the old approach. In general people are more interested in saving money than in saving fuel. To sell a more expensive stove is very difficult without expensive promotion and education.
Do we want to take the risks of starting all over again? Are we prepared to accept that the environmental awareness raising, follow-up in households and female involvement have to suffer in favour of sustainable commercialization? These are difficult questions!
Staff Changes in FECT
In August 1991 Dipl. Ing Thomas Neumaier, took over the position of the German teamleader from Mr Cornie Huizenga. Ms Hilda v. Krosigk, the new Technical Advisor and successor of Ms Bernadette v. Raamsdonk, is reinforcing the team as coordinator for the Promotion and Marketing sections. The five Pakistani section directors are Mrs. Maryam Bibi (Promotion Section), Mr Mohammed Akram (Extension & Marketing), Mr Tanveer Ahmad (Technical Section), Mr Rahmat Jan (Monitoring) and Mr Anwar Ali (administration). The position of a Pakistani project director is still vacant.
Jeannette Vogelaar, Technical Advisor in FECT, Peshawar, Pakistan