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close this book Boiling Point No. 23 - December 1990
View the document Measures of success
View the document Methods of Monitoring & Evaluation of Stove Programmes
View the document Measuring the Successes and Setbacks
View the document Improved Stoves, Women & Domestic Energy
View the document Monitoring & Evaluation?
View the document Bringing Stoves to the People
View the document Why use Technology Assessment when Implementing Technological Change?
View the document Two Stove Programme Alternatives
View the document Product Quality Monitoring
View the document UNEP/Bellerive Kenya Stove Programme
View the document Stove Programmes in Sri Lanka: Reflections on the First Decade
View the document Gate/GZT news
View the document Solving Sampling Problems in Khartoum
View the document Technology at Ky Anh
View the document Building and Using an Efficient Cookstove
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Bringing Stoves to the People

Edited by Stephen Joseph, K Krishna Prasad and HB van der Zaan

Boiling Point editorial review.

This 150 page book presents the evaluation studies (up to 1986), funded by F.W.D, of seven different organisations: KENGO (Kenya) NADA (India), Dian Desa (Indonesia) and CEMAT (Guatemala) are NGOs; AFN ( and MET are government and ASTRA (S India) is university/government. All but NADA (a women's organisation) and CEMAT had the main objective of fuel saving.

The first two chapters relate to the theme of this edition of Boiling Point i.e. the methodology of monitoring and evaluation of stove programmes (M & E). The objectives of stove programme monitoring as seen by FWD are given as follows:

"The specific objectives of stove monitoring programmes are to:

(i) determine whether stove designs are acceptable to all members of a household and if modifications are necessary to make it acceptable;

(ii) estimate the number of stoves in use and the frequency of usage (this provides a direct measure of acceptance);

(iii) determine the stove's performance compared with currently used stoves, e.g. relative fuel efficiency, relative cooking time, operating characteristics, and thus determine if the new stove is meeting the specifications as set out by the project and established by the users;

(iv) determine whether the extension strategy has met the targets for adoption and rates of usage (if they are not being met, to determine the reasons and try alternative strategies to improve acceptance rates);

(v) determine the quantity, quality and cost of stoves produced by factories, artisans, users and extension workers and how production processes could be improved.

(vi) determine what other effects the introduction of improved stoves may cause;

(vii) collect further needs/resource data (FAO Guidelines 1985).


Evaluation is described as a process whereby users, designers, producers, project management, policy makers and funders determine answers to the following questions.

1. Are the objectives of the programme being met?

2. If the answer to (1) is no, the following questions have to be answered:

a. Were the objectives of the programmes realistic?

b. Was the problem properly defined in the beginning of the programme?

3. If the answer to (1) is a conditional yes, how could the present programme more effectively meet the needs of households?

4. If the answer to (1) is yes, then what is the impact of the introduction of a stove on specific individuals or households?

5. Is there a more cost-effective strategy to achieve the same impact?

Monitoring and evaluation can be undertaken by programme staff, outside consultants or personnel from the donor agency and users and producers of the stoves".

Table 1- Fuel Saving

Summary of measured changes in fuel consumption.


Mean Fuel Consumption (kg/person/day)


New stove

Old stove

Savings %

Sample size




































* Figures from Indonesia refer to measurements taken in households that use the stove

** Figures for KENGO relate to the intensive survey; those from the general survey in Kenya are different

In chapter 2, M & E are looked at from the perspective of the main participants in stove programmes - users, producers, retailers, extension workers, m anagers/planners/donors.

The methods of data collection and analysis used in the 7 studies are then analysed and compared. Collection of base line and on going programme data is probably the most important and difficult part of an M & E exercise. Nevertheless, if the following paragraph from p 15 is an indication of how the authors would really like to conduct an evaluation it may be just as well that no stove programme is ever likely to have the time and money to carry it out.

Any evaluation study requires a compromise between the depth of the survey, the time frame and the financial and human resources available. Ideally, each participant should have eighteen months to complete the work; they should be able to hire experienced social scientists and have many months to train surveyors. The samples should be selected carefully, and be based on a detailed knowledge of the total population. In addition, all participants should collect the same information so that cross-analysis can be quickly carried out. Of course, there should be enough money to do the above. For the F.W.D studies, this was not possible due to constraints in time and funding.'

Each of the 7 programmes is studied and the evaluation reported. They are all different types of programmes where the local problems have been tackled in different ways. The study of their successes and failures helps to provide the reader with wide background of experience needed when planning new stove projects or reviewing those which are not making the progress expected.

The detailed survey results presented in the book are not examined here and much has been learnt since 1986. The (pll7) shows the progress made in stove programme planning which resulted from the meetings, reports and inquests on stove programmes in the early '80's. All the 7 programmes carried out initial needs assessments of the target populations and involved the users and/or the producers, in initial design and testing. The Synthesis also confirms the widely held view that there is no, one, overriding reason why women buy improved stoves.

In all case studies, improved stoves were acquired for the following reasons: to reduce fuel consumption; to reduce cooking time and/or to improve the kitchen environment through reducing levels of smoke and risk of burns; to improve the kitchen's appearance and reduce the time spent cleaning kitchen walls and pots. In the NADA programme (northern India) 65 percent of the respondents gave removal of smoke as a reason, while 46 percent cited reduction in fuelwood consumption. This may be influenced by the high proportion of dung fuel used producing objectionable smoke. In Indonesia, one of the principal reasons for adoption was the greater durability of the new ceramic stove in comparison with the traditional stove. In Niger, most of the the opinion leaders purchased their stoves to reduce the cooking time. In Burkina Faso, two major reasons why people built a mud stove was to comply with the requests of the new revolutionary government to help reduce the rate of deforestation, and to reduce the amount of money spent in purchasing fuel.

Table 2: Reported time savings and reduction in smoke


Time savings (%)

Smoke reduction (%)


























KENGO (approx)















nr = not recorded

In Indonesia, Niger and Kenya, the main reasons cited for not purchasing a stove were its high price or local unavailability. Some respondents had not heard about the stove, others felt that it would not suit the range of pots or the cooking methods that they used and others were unconvinced of the claims made in the advertisements.

In Kenya, Niger and Indonesia, where commercial dissemination strategies are used, the largest group of adopters are women who come from the middle-income group.

In areas surveyed by Madhu Sarin (NADA), most of the users came from tribal groups, scheduled castes or lower socio-economic groups. There were two main reasons why the lower socio-economic groups participated. Firstly, there was very little cost associated with the adoption of the stove. Secondly, both programmes were targeted at these groups.

Table 1 shows substantial savings in fuel consumption and if reliable and representative provides a very positive motive for funding stove programmes.

However, the figures for CEMAT and Dian Desa appear to require some explanation and the following statement on p 123 does not reflect the view now taken by many stove programmes and trainers. 'The efficiency of properly constructed, enclosed and well-insulated stoves is not affected by bad operating procedures and poor fuel to the same extent as is that of open fires and semi-enclosed stoves.' The authors also make the interesting point that the new, fuel efficient, charcoal burning KCJ's are being used by the better off Kenyans to replace kerosene, gas or electric stoves.

Four of the surveys showed that ,when properly used and maintained, improved stoves cooked faster and produced a large reduction in smoke in the kitchen. This resulted in less time spent on cooking and cleaning and more time for other activities. Where stoves are not used correctly those benefits were not obtained.

M & E Guidelines

Many lessons were learnt from these surveys, and can now be used to improve the FAO Guidelines. The following points emerge from discussions with the surveyors and from the authors' experience in synthesising the results.

• Surveys would have been more effciently and effectively carried out if a formal monitoring system had been in place during the implementation of pilot programmes.

• More training of some of the participants in areas of sampling techniques and data collection and analysis would have helped solve or avoid many problems encountered. A thin-week practical course is the minimum necessary to ensure quality data collection and analysis.

• Some of the surveys had too many questions, and some surveys did not collect all the necessary information. Questionnaires must be designed around specific objectives and should be as short as possible. A small number of questions need to be asked in the main survey to determine why people adopted the stove; how often they use the stove; if it is acceptable and, if not, why not; what users like and dislike about the stove. Impact questions should relate to reduction In fuel, smoke, cooking time, collection of wood or house cleaning.

• Data tabulation was a problem; in particular, those people with little or no experience with the use of computers found them more of a hindrance than a help.

• Too little use was made of the data from in-depth interviews. More emphasis needs to be placed on participant observation techniques rather than questionnaires.

Much practical, field experience has gone into this book and the short, clear but very important guidelines given above should be followed by anyone planning M&E for a stove programme.

Ed Note: The book is summarized in FOOD's "Stove Notes I" 1990, pp 38, by Stephen Karekezi under the title "Using Surveys to Monitor Stove Programmes".