|Fuel Saving Cookstoves (GTZ, 1984)|
Development and dissemination are not sequential but overlap; information on the benefits of improved cookstoves can be distributed well in advance of having perfect models for display. As soon as effective designs start to appear, dispersal systems can be started. Figure 4-1 shows how promotion, dissemination and design/development might dovetail together.
If improved stoves are to make a major impact on fuel demand, work will need to be immediate and broadscale. At current deforestation rates, it may be too late to merely seed a good idea, then go away, leaving it to grow naturally in its own time. Stove projects must be extensive, well-organized and adequately funded. Yet if heavy-handed methods are used for distributing or developing this technology, it may never be accepted. Involvement of the people is essential to effective dissemination.
There are as many ways of going about dissemination as there are cultures, but here are the points covered in this chanter:
A. Raising public awareness
B. Setting up an approach for dissemination
C. Where to go for help in distributing information
D. Promotion: ideas to try
E. Where and how to start dissemination
F. Setting up stove centers
H. Involving women
J. Evaluation and follow-up
K. Use training
L. Sponsoring and advising small businesses
A. Raising public awareness
Before starting stove promotion, there are two types of publicity that can be undertaken: 1. Alerting the general public to the fuel shortage and its effects on the ecology and economy of the region. This information should be based on local conditions, not borrowed from another country.
2. People should know that solution are possible, not only at some vague bureaucratic level, but for individuals personally; furthermore, that they can effect these solutions themselves by practicing deliberate fuel economy and by providing themselves with stoves. They need to know that stoves exist which will substantially decrease their fuel consumption, are convenient to use and are easily built or cheaply bought.
Publicity on both points can be made simultaneously, using the full power-of whatever communication systems are popular and widespread in the region, including both native news carriers and modern mass media. Native communication systems are often effective at reaching into every corner of society. T.V. and newspapers sometimes reach only an educated elite.
Stoves could be set up in conspicuous and prestigious locations such as the homes of top government officials. In at least one African nation there are plans for a demonstration stove and photo display in the lobby of the National Assembly. More down-to earth communications include posters, radio, comic books, and public demonstrations at clinics, fairs, market places and mass gatherings, where stoves can be demonstrated in use, cooking food or heating water.
B. Setting up an approach for dissemination
Supply and demand theory might suggest that if the need is great enough, carefully placed stoves in a few key locations would ensure rapid spread of the news through relatives and friends. It would then be necessary only to develop a good model for ownerbuilders, introduce the concept at a few influential places and teach some people how to build them; then go away and leave dissemination to pursue a natural course.
However, rural regions may in some cases be so dependent on Big City-village communication paths (rather than inter-village) that natural spread of ideas is now really slow. It is possible, too, that peoples' experience and common sense have become so dislodged by commercialism that only centralized promotion of a more spectacular kind will impress them. People may look down on something developed in another village, preferring instead shiny commercial products. A lack of pride in rural enterprise in general exists in some developing countries.
The stimuli that affect acceptance of technical innovations are very poorly understood. This is true even at the level of the consumer marketing industry (e.g., the failure of the Ford Edsel, despite millions of dollars spent on consumer research), and much more so when no economic gain is involved. Singer's stove failed to become widespread in Indonesia though it seems to have been a sound design. The Hyderabad Chula, introduced 25 years ago in a country of acute firewood shortages, has never gained widespread acceptance.
General principles of technology transfer and sensitivity to cultural values are still poorly understood. The success of any one introduction method or any particular design can hardly be predicted. No two informants agree with each other. Some advise working through religious leaders. In Senegal, which is 80% Moslem, they said, "If you convince the marabouts, they only have to order it, and in a few weeks everyone in the country will be building a stove." Others suggest working through rural health clinics, using radio propaganda, or building demonstration models in the foyers of the main government buildings. Hence, it makes sense to try as many approaches as possible, simultaneously.
We are, it seems, in the position of a gardener who wishes to grow flowers all over a big piece of poor land. He knows that watering will be irregular and that conditions differ all over his plot: soils change, the trees throw shadows in places, there are places flooded, parts very steep. He knows his personal energies are limited and that the soil is poor. Any single species might be lost completely.
So he takes packets of all the most promising seeds and broadcasts them randomly all over. He waters where he can, weeds whenever there is time and throws a little compost here and there.
Some flowers come up in the sunshine, others in the shade, some eventually die from drought before flowering. He stands to lose order, control and any assurance of particular combinations. What he gains is a better chance of some sort of flowers, scattered irregularly but covering most conditions. Further, it is likely that the successful survivors will hybridize, throwing up a second generation containing undreamed of varieties suited uniquely to the particular conditions that prevail.
Our knowledge of conditions in most poor countries is similar to the gardener's. We know that there is great diversity, and understand some of its limits. Dissemination should be tackled initially in as many differing ways as possible, aiming always at village-level word-of-mouth distribution as the desired end result, but encouraging both owner-builders and the emergence of a new class of professional stove builders to achieve this goal.
C. Where to go for help in distributing information
It is often helpful to collaborate with other institutions in spreading information. First investigate which groups might stand to benefit from the introduction of stoves and in whose programs they would fit best. For example: an interesting experiment is ongoing in the Guatemalan highlands using Paolo Freire's principles to teach literacy, mathematics, nutrition, measurement, etc. all through the medium of improved stoves. Educacion Extraescolar, a branch of the Guatemalan government, is supervising the project.
Established groups may have experienced field workers who will be invaluable to you. These groups may also provide a structure to begin with. They may have experience with stove programs in other countries or may already be planning to promote stoves in your region. Here is a list of organizations you might contact:
- Health clinics - they may have particular interest in keeping
smoke out of kitchens,
- Women's organizations (mothers' clubs, women's cooperatives, etc.),
- Indigenous religious institutions,
- Foreign religious groups such as agricultural missionaries,
- Literacy campaigns,
- International relief organizations
- there are dozens, but CARE, SCF, Oxfam and World Neighbors have all contributed to stove programs,
- The prevailing political party
- in communist countries the Communist Party may well help, and in countries like Mexico, with a single political party, the network already established may be useful,
- Foreign volunteer organizations: Peace Corps, VSO, IVS, SATA, CUSO, and dozens more,
- Other organizations such as civic groups, agricultural cooperatives, school lunch programs, etc.
D. Promotion: Ideas to try
Investigations could be made of the motives that prompt people to install stoves or inhibit their doing so. To some degree social status is involved, "being first on your block" "keeping up with the Jones's" this should be studied further.
Trickle down effect
Standard marketing theory suggests that innovations normally spread through society by the poor emulating those who are slightly richer. The marketing industry in poor countries capitalizes on this trend to sell consumer goods - transistor radios, bicycles and fashion goods are all examples. Poor people, by copying the visible ways of the rich, somehow hope to absorb some of the qualities of affluence.
If this is an accurate model, the most potent proof to poor people of the value of stoves would be to see rich, successful and respected people using them. (Conversely, the rich usually reject anything that might identify them as having peasant origins. There is far less possibility of fuel conserving stoves spreading from poor to rich than viceversa.)
Attention should be directed to introduction of stoves into the homes of the urban middle class, village chiefs and religious and political leaders. It could be made known, with attendant pomp and ceremony, press conferences and radio coverage, that the president himself has adopted a fuel-conserving stove. Middle class stoves could be tile surfaced or painted bright colors (Lorena stoves in the USA and Guatemala have decorative paint work or tiled surfaces), and could include permanent hot water reservoirs (this has been very popular in Guatemala). The middle class models can be skillfully crafted, and perhaps be more expensive, but should incorporate fuel saving principles that are difficult to lose when people make copies, even from memory. The principles of why they save fuel should be reiterated in every explanation given.
One aspect of introducing technology is often overlooked; that people need "fun" in their lives. In general, people enjoy color, music, ceremonies, parties and rituals. Perhaps it is more important to the cook that the stove is enjoyable to use than that it saves wood. Maybe introductions into new areas should be made with great unveiling ceremonies, celebrations and parties. It is possible that artifacts introduced in an atmosphere of music and happiness (Coca Cola for example) are accepted better than strictly utilitarian objects, however functional they may be.
News media, traditional and modern
Take advantage of the news media, both traditional and modern. In every traditional culture there exist means of conveying important information. In Africa it is drum language; beacons systems and smoke signals have been used for thousands of years. Village meetings, the village well or clothes washing place, traders and markets are still used widely to spread news. Use could be made of these systems to disseminate stove information.
Transistor radios are popular throughout many poor countries; broadcasts reach a broad population and are often transmitted in local dialects. People tend to tune out advertisements and tune into news programs. Stoves make good news stories; e,g., interviews might be arranged with cooks from important families who have a stove, telling how well it works, that it makes delicious sauces, that it is more comfortable to cook on than an open fire, and that it has greatly reduced their firewood expenses (or time gathering wood).
Television and newspapers usually reach only the better educated and relatively -wealthy people. This is a limited but influential group, consisting of government officials, village leaders, business men, students, and development workers from different international, religious or other agencies. Their example is likely to be followed by poorer people, and their support and understanding is essential.
In some countries, good use could be made of educational T. V. Perhaps a weekly program on the fuel crisis could be produced, along with step-by-step instructions on how to build, maintain and cook on your own stove. Programs could be aimed at stove promoters and interested householders, using local people to describe the process, or perhaps showing animated cartoons. Involve local people, especially women, in designing these educational programs.
Take care not to let the media make exaggerated claims for stoves. Be cautious in your claims. If you suspect that a particular model will need to be rebuilt every two or three years, promote it as a stove "that will last a whole year without rebuilding." Set the expectation that it will at least need thorough inspection each year, and maybe some repair work.
In Mexico, poster campaigns are used to publicize information on agriculture, health, family planning and other public issues. Pictorial posters reach everybody, rich and poor, urban and rural, literate and illiterate. A well designed poster will attract attention, deliver a message and sell an idea. At a small capital outlay, hundreds of thousands of colorful posters could be printed for distribution to village leaders, cooperatives, stores, clinics, etc. all over the country.
The design of such posters needs to be carefully adjusted to local norms of decency and interest, and should be understandable by illiterate people. Recent research on posters for illiterates indicates that cut-out photographic images are recognized more easily than most drawings. The more abstract imagery that many graphic designers favor is especially hard to understand.
In countries where comic books are read, a skillfully written story about the advantages of stoves might be a rapid way to spread the general idea of stoves. Again in Mexico, the "fotonovela" format (cheap comic book with photographs in place of drawings) has been used to carry social messages about the importance of birth control, not using drugs, etc. More specific instruction on how to construct stoves could maybe use this type of format. Often, the distribution and preparation of such booklets is already well organized; a stove program could plug into the existing system.
Health clinics are a good way to reach women. Sometimes there are classes in nutrition and cooking, kitchen hygiene, etc.; demonstration stoves could easily be used for these classes. Trained health workers will see the advantages of stoves and be keen to promote them; many of them know the local culture and people well and sometimes speak local languages.
In China, drama has been extensively used to carry social messages. If drama, dance, or song is an important part of the local culture, it may be suitable for carrying really graphic messages about the fuel crisis and stoves.
National, regional or local cookstove competitions would generate ideas, encourage local inventiveness, stimulate awareness of the fuel problem, and popularize the concept of fuel conserving cookstoves. Stoves could be judged on:
- firewood savings,
- low cost,
- suitability to the cook's needs,
- ease of use,
- chimney design,
- types of materials used (availability, cost, innovativeness).
Competitions could be organized by a National Stove Committee, making use of local skills, right down to village level, to set up and adjudicate them. This would draw a wide sector of the population and involve ordinary people, educating them to the problems and potentials. Pots, pans, pressure cookers, utensils, tools or cash could be given as prizes. In some places civic awards, medals, honors or titles might be more appropriate.
Using status locations for early models
A possible approach would be to build the first stoves in an area in places where their very position confers respectability and acceptance. In villages the house of the chief or a respected family, in cities the homes of high-ranking officials are good places to start. In one African country the President himself is intending to adopt improved cookstoves in his kitchen as an example.
In cultures where religion plays an important role, ask the local religious leader if he or she would like the first model in the area. Schoolhouses, local clinics, community meeting halls are all used and visited by large numbers of people, though in some cultures it will be hard to contact women this way. In Catholic countries the Parish House has need for cooking facilities; stoves could be both demonstrated and sometimes monitored there. Nepal's improved stove program will build some of the first demonstrations in the homes of teachers, village notables and religious leaders, and in local schools.
Fairs and festivals
In many traditional cultures there are long-established seasonal fairs. These are times when people gather to trade goods and news, meet friends, eat, drink, dance and have fun. People look forward to them from year to year and talk about them for months afterwards. Fairs and large gatherings are good places to demonstrate stoves as the stove will then become associated in people's minds with the festivity and gaiety of the fair. There should always be something simple, tasty, and sweet cooking on the stove, preferably a delicacy that people can not at present prepare but that could be easy with a stove. It should be given away or sold at a low price. When pancakes were made at fairs in Guatemala, the pancakes became almost as big an attraction as the stove.
Stove exhibitions in Guatemala, at local fairs attract thousands
of people because:
- many people see the stove working,- the stove is seen repeatedly at nearby fairs, and the following year when the fair returns to the same town- people who want stoves can-sign up right there to have one built or to take a construction course.- people become interested and enthusiastic upon seeing the enthusiasm of others, which attracts more people.- skilled extension agents are present to answer questions and give demonstrations.
Public cooking places
In most poor countries, it is common for food to be cooked at stalls in markets and on the street in full view of the public. Cooking is often done on inefficient and bothersome contraptions which are hot and smoky and irritating to eyes and lungs. If stallholders were supplied with well tested trial models, the new cookstoves would likely be well-discussed and proudly displayed, especially to influential customers.
In Nepal, where 15000 demonstration stoves are projected in the early '80's, many prototypes will be used in the tea houses which are found along every road and walking path. This way travellers who stop for tea will have the opportunity to closely examine a stove which will always be in use.
"In Nepal, prototypes will be used in the tea houses found along every road and walking path",
E. Where and how to start dissemination
When a general public interest in stoves has been established, further steps might follow this sequence:
- Build demonstration models in key locations: in public places,
in homes of influential families.
- Training in construction: for householders and cooks, for official stove promoters, for professional stove builders.
- Use and maintenance training: follow-up courses, 1-month home checkup.
- Seek out new ideas: 1-month home checkup, 6-month home checkup.
Note that the follow-up sector occupies half the chart. Checkups are of major importance in dissemination (see page 62).
To raise the chances of success the first stove introductions in each region should be in carefully chosen places where, to use marketing jargon, "the market is softest," i.e., where conditions make it easiest (see Where and when to start, Chapter 3). Having achieved success in one place, it is then possible, in further introductions, to use that area as a demonstration of what may be done.
Try totally different approaches at first. In the earliest attempts at dissemination, a carefully controlled experiment might be generated, where two separate approaches can be studied simultaneously. For instance:
Approach 1: Slow, careful introduction of a few stoves by an
extension worker in one village. No financial help, no outside specialists, no
publicity, careful monitoring of:
- quality of fuel used,- quantity of fuel used, before and after stoves.- spread of stoves within the village, who built them and when,- spread to other villages, - how the stoves are used, - any innovations or changes that develop with second generation and subsequent models,- expressed shortcomings; ideas that villagers have to remedy them,- sociocultural factors which inhibit or stimulate dissemination, acceptance and use.
Approach 2: In an area not in communication with the area used for Approach 1, but close enough to have good ethnic and cultural parallels (about 50 kms might be suitable, depending on geography and population spread), a government agency could recruit, train, and pay a 3-person mason team working within an easy day's travelling distance of their home base. In one village they might build stoves without charge for anyone who asks for one; in another, teach anyone who wants to learn how to build and maintain them; in a third, build stoves for a small fee. Monitoring should be standardized with Approach 1.
Several parallel trials of this kind, perhaps with minor variations, should be run as early as possible. Variants could be tried on systems of payment, one team earning a flat salary, another being paid a bonus on each stove in regular use in their territory after three months. A third could be paid salary for three months as a starter, after which they would earn only bonus. Results from these experiments would form the basis for any wider extension project.
A third system: Here is another system, perhaps more suited to areas where there are strong formal women's associations.
If this is to be a widespread introduction effort, there should be a regional program manager with experience in technical extension work. The manager could be male or female and would preferably be a national, though a foreign person with extensive experience of the region could be hired.
An extension team is formed. Suitable members could be the project manager, a technician in charge of training or testing, a female extension worker and a representative of the local women's group. The importance of women in the whole scope of extension work cannot be overemphasized.
Meetings to introduce the concept should be set up between the team and women, at a time when they have plenty of free time (the time after harvest for instance). The women should be consulted on whether local chiefs, civic dignitaries or husbands should be part of meetings or consulted at different stages. The local women's ideas and reactions should be recorded and discussed by the team after each meeting.
Women volunteers are selected to be official experimenters. They will be the first to receive stoves and will participate in evaluations as long as they have stoves. They may be paid in cash or in kind, or ;the cost of their stove may be reduced. Other incentive systems may work locally - titles, medals, trophies, photos in newspapers are all commonly used. Find out how society honors its important volunteers with rewards other than money.
Sometimes the women participants are involved in building their own stoves; more often the stoves are supplied. Before the stove is installed each woman is helped to learn methods of measuring wood consumption, usually by the simplest method woodstack measurement.
Work with existing agencies: Government agencies, international organizations and local groups such as agricultural cooperatives should be encouraged to initiate their own stove dissemination programs) and stove centers. Technical expertise should be made available to these different government and development agencies. They represent an important resource for dissemination; they have established extension services; their promoters are familiar with local problems and are known by the community.
Regular meetings of people from each agency should be held to exchange information and adaptations being used.
In both Guatemala and Honduras it was these organizations who were responsible for diffusing Lorena stoves into the communities. By mid 1979, two years after the beginning of the program, at least 11 separate agencies were involved in this work in Guatemala alone. They concentrated their efforts in areas where they were established, by including their stove programs in existing activities such as health extension and reforestation.
Diversity of methods should be stimulated with each agency's center developing its own system of training and dissemination.
F. Setting up stove centers
In setting up regional and national stove programs it will be
invaluable to have stable centers whose job is to deal chiefly with stoves. A
national center could act as a liaison with other organizations, both domestic
and foreign, collecting experience and collaborating with stove development
organizations in other countries. The function of each regional center might
- demonstrations of working models, - experimentation and testing, - stimulating public awareness, - coordinating training programs in design, construction, testing, repair and use,- follow-up studies and processing ideas from villages (see next section).
Regional centers are designed to make the local people feel comfortable. They should be as humble as possible; e.g., imposing architecture will not be inviting to native women as it may feel awesome to them. By including local stove developers and builders on the board of directors, their concerns will be better represented and the center may have closer ties with the general public.
Location is important; close to public transport and not too remote from towns, so that ordinary people can come for advice. If centers are accessible to stove promoters and others involved day to day in stove work, there is a chance that such people will visit casually to share experiences. Estación Choqui, for instance, is eight kms outside of a regional capital, on a public bus route and main highway. In Senegal, IPM is 1/2 km from a city bus stop on the outskirts of Dakar.
These will be demonstration centers, having on display a range of stove models made of different materials, and for different purposes. This is not a museum experimental models should be an active part of a center. As long as successful models are on display, there is no reason to hide test and experimental stoves, even complete failures they are sometimes useful in explaining what not to do.
People who work at a stove center can be encouraged to use the stoves for making hot drinks, heating their lunches, etc., keeping the stoves constantly in use. A stove with something cooking on it, even if it is only water, is much more convincing than a cold stove.
Local women can be invited to cook trial meals for their families on the center's demonstration models. This helps to get direct feedback to technical researchers, adds to the realism of demonstrations and helps encourage cooks to try installing their own stoves.
Stove centers can be places to experiment with and test different models, with free access to the general public, creating an air of activity.
Testing might include: efficiency tests for all stove models being used and promoted in the region; materials tests such as durability of concrete or clay/sand mixes; firing capabilities of local clays; tests for adaptability of native cooking techniques, local stoves, etc. Equipment need not be complex or expensive. A range of inexpensive thermometers and a simple pyrometer, measuring and weighing equipment, a covered space big enough to continue work during the wet season, and lockable buildings for records would be enough to start with. (See Chapter 6, for further details.)
Other functions of the centers would be stimulating public awareness and arranging dissemination programs. These would include demonstrations at local fairs, press and radio coverage of the fuel situation, and contacting local officials who could be influential in promoting stoves.
Stove centers should also be training centers for groups of promoters, development workers and the general public. Training programs are part of the dissemination process, and because of their importance merit special discussion.
One training scheme that has worked is to hold two or three day construction courses that train a broad range of people to design and build an inexpensive efficient stove.
In Guatemala, the range of trainees has in" eluded:
- workers from other organizations,
- groups from peasant cooperatives,
- members of women's groups,
- foreign volunteers from Peace Corps, CUSO, SATA, VSO, etc.,
- interested individuals without agency affiliation,
- masons intending to diversify their businesses,
- journalists writing about or filming the work,
- sociologists and anthropologists studying the dissemination of stoves,
- inventor/developers from other research organizations,
- technicians from other Central American countries intending to establish programs in their own countries,
- government extension workers in community forestry, rural education, health, agriculture, and social service,
- university students who see the training as a way they can help their compatriots,
- persons intending to become stove promoters/trainers,
- teachers of technical subjects in high schools,
- mayors and other community leaders,
- restaurant owners and people with small businesses preparing specialty foods.
Each training session should include a wide range of participants, if possible, representing most of the above groups, to encourage sharing different ideas and experiences.
From Guatemalan experience, although people can and do build their own Lorena stoves, a professional builder is able to create a better stove. The professional develops an adroitness of finish and a grasp of principles that is possible only with practice, often supplying a more durable, economical product.
Estación Choqui at first taught mainly at the Experimental Center. Promoters, professionals, etc. were trained at the center, where they could be exposed to a range of stoves from which they could select the ones most appropriate to their situation. Gradually, as contacts were made in outlying villages, the emphasis shifted to training peasant groups in their own villages.
Conducting workshops in the villages has advantages: it means the transport and housing of only one promoter in place of 10 or 20 trainees. Also some peasants are reluctant to leave the village overnight, for all sorts of reasons. The disadvantages include not exposing villagers to a range of stoves - and potentially other simple technologies - and difficulties the promoter may find in a strange village, where materials may not be assembled ready for use.
Development of teaching aids will improve the quality of these courses. Slide shows, models showing cross-sections of the insides of closed stoves, and small leaflets designed for illiterate people will all be helpful.
At Choqui, each 2-day course begins with a narrated slide show in the language(s) most appropriate to the trainees. Many Guatemalan peasants have never seen color slides so they are attentive and alert to new ideas. Many questions are asked and discussed. Then they begin construction. (It may be best to ask people to bring their own tools; this will force the trainer to adapt methods to those tools.) Lunches are cooked on existing stoves from previous courses throughout the workshop; a range of models is kept for comparison and criticism.
Promotors from CEMAT, another Guatemalan organization, carry with them to the villages scale models of the stoves they will build in training courses.
This system of workshops has several strong points:
- Rapid spread of information - promoters from other organizations who learn stove building techniques will take their newly acquired skills back to their region where they can teach others, who in turn teach others.
- The faster stoves spread in a community, the greater the chance of local improvements and adaptations that can be incorporated into the training courses.
- The greater the number of stove builders, the greater will be the capacity of the program to reach out into the community to more families. Training programs provide poor people with an alternative to hiring a mason, giving them the skills to build stoves for members of the family. Many village people are expert in the use of local materials, and can use this experience in stove building.
- People are given the opportunity to start their own business building stoves; this has happened in Guatemala.- Every trainee becomes a stove promoter, tester and innovator.
What should training comprise?
All trainees: an explanation of how heat works, how fire burns, the flow of hot gases through the stove, and the function of chimneys. Teaching methods will need to be very practical for most trainees, arid carefully pitched to their understanding of the work. Most ordinary people have no sense of physics as it is taught in high schools. You will have to design special training tricks appropriate to your trainees. Find out what makes them laugh. In Central America for instance puns are remembered and are used in teaching. An example is telling the trainees that they should make tunnels in Lorena stoves "big enough to take two eggs in your hand and pass them through the tunnel": The Spanish word for eggs, huevos, also is local slang for testicles. - "Then if you break your eggs it will be disastrous. . ." This one is less suitable for mixed groups of trainees. Find out what subjects are taboo or unmentionable and avoid them.
Illiterate people sometimes have trouble working in figures; use body measurements or local units of measurement ;with which they are familiar. The handspan, stride, fingerwidth, boiling, are units anyone can understand.
Promoters: can be taught flexibility in approach. which is sometimes difficult for people whose formal education has been by rote. They somehow should. find a balance between promoting a single well-tried model, which is how most Guatemalan trainers work, and offering a way of using the principles of the material to give people a range of stoves from which to choose.
Playacting is usually well-understood. One possible scenario has two trainers dress up as a stove promoter and a housewife; they act out the scene of promoter coming to the house and persuading the cook that she could use less firewood with a stove. She protests in every way possible but the promoter's arguments finally convince her. This will give potential promoters a chance to preview the attitudes that cooks may have; they can evaluate the cook's reluctance or enthusiasms, and discuss them in the class.
Training monitors: (these will always be local people, usually women with some formal education, who are respected). Teach them a thorough understanding of the function of the stove, how it would be operated for best efficiency. Their job could include looking out for initiative from the cook in inventing new ways of using the stove, and encouraging people to try new ideas.
H. Involving women
As cooking is so often a woman's job, and construction often a man's, deliberate efforts should be made to involve women in the introduction of stoves, as promoters, teachers and extension workers.
Most importantly, the women who are to cook on the stoves need to be introduced to building them, caring for them, and using them really efficiently. As this is a new craft, no precedent exists for who should build them; here is an opportunity to involve women artisans from the outset.
In Guatemala, Estación Choqui has developed some interesting methods for involving women, who are sometimes difficult to reach. A few weeks after teaching a workshop on building Lorena stoves (to groups containing mostly men), Choqui offers a follow-up course for women to learn specialty cooking. This is taught by local women in the local language. As it is the ambition of every Guatemalan cook to make cakes and fancy baked goods, the courses are well attended. Then, in addition to teaching baking, they are able to talk about how to feed the stove, maintain it and use little tricks for fuel economy. This is a good time to demonstrate some principles of stoves which may be hard to grasp at first; for instance the concept that on multiburner tunnel-type stoves the second pot cooks on hot air alone, you don't have to get a flame under it.
I. Evaluation and follow-up
Centers provide essential evaluation and follow-up, to help assess the progress of stove dissemination. This involves:
- maintaining contact with stove users to help them with
- evaluating acceptance, finding weak points in the program, and learning what needs more emphasis,
- testing innovations for inclusion in other designs,
- watching for poor stove models so they are not copied,
- maintaining quality in craftsmanship and teaching methods.
Experience in Guatemala and Senegal shows that villagers themselves usually initiate the most appropriate adaptations - after all' they know their own needs better than anyone else. Ways should be developed to catalogue and test these innovations in the regional centers and make them widely available
Keep records of all known stoves; in the early days of a program, check up on every one built, especially the first few in each location, after about a month of use. This is the best time to catch any problems before they become serious issues. (See "The stove that broke a tooth", p. 47.)
A local person trained as a monitor checks up on all stoves about a month after they are first in use. These visits will be chiefly to help with maintenance, to teach new cooking techniques and show how to derive the most benefit from the stove. For many people, switching from open fire to the stove is the biggest technical change of their lives; it will take time and assistance for them to make the adjustment. Visiting users' homes is not merely for observation; you should involve the cook in the whole investigation, make her feel she is an important part of an effort that may improve the quality of her life. The monitor should be prepared to answer questions as well as ask them. Here is a checklist of the kinds of things to look out for:
- mechanical failures and construction faults,
- chimney failures
- not taking smoke away,
- wet fuel,
- overfeeding the fire,
- not keeping pot lids on,
- inefficient use of stove, for instance not using dampers,
- stove not satisfying basic needs
- warmth, light....
- not satisfying cooking needs
- pots too big, fire too cool, too far from pots, special foods not accommodated.
- adaptations of the basic design,
- innovative uses,
- fuel saving tricks.
K. Stove use training
Use training is really important, without it even the best designed stoves can be misused so as to consume more fuel than open fires. Research (Aprovecho, 1980) is showing that careful attention to how fires are built and how stoves are used may have more impact on fuel use than what kind of stove is utilized. A well-built fire can save more wood than a badly-used stove. Promoters, artisan-builders and users should all be given clear demonstrations of how much difference this can make.
Simple lists of do's and don'ts are easily remembered; one good one is the Ten Laws of Conserving Firewood. These are, guidelines; you might want to substitute some which are more relevant to local conditions.
1. Use only wood that is dry enough.
2. Split your wood really thin.
3. Simmering cooks food almost as fast as a fast boil.
4. Keep lids on the pots.
5. Cook out of the wind.
6. Use pressure cookers or metal pots whenever you can.
7. Make your fire as small as you can.
8. Use residual heat to slowcook, and to precook the next meal.
9. Cook all your dishes for one meal at the same time.
10. Attend the fire regularly to snake sure it is doing what you want and is not wasting fuel.
Use training teaches several things including how to maintain and repair stoves and how to cook on them efficiently. The benefits can be demonstrated to the users, directly. For many cooks this will be the first time in their lives they have cooked on anything other than an open fire. They will be less discouraged by problems which may arise if they learn to cope with them in advance. Their enthusiasm and expertise may then spread within their communities.
L. Sponsoring and advising small businesses
As an outsider, the development worker or official is in a good position to help set up small stove builders in business: by technical assistance such as design suggestions, by making sure the builder is responding to what is really needed, by being a go-between who can arrange loans or grants, by ensuring the product is economical in fuel consumption.
Stove popularization programs can take advantage of local street markets which sell local metal and terra cotta products. In most parts of the world an extensive street marketing system has existed for hundreds of years. Today, merchants in these markets sell metal cooking stands and rings. A lightweight fuel conserving stove could be sold by the same merchants. Merchants who sell ceramic cook pots could sell terra cotta stoves.
Potters, metal workers and concrete/adobe workers should be helped to establish small stove businesses. Local artisans are a part of the market system and could make a profit building stoves, either custom-built to order or for sale in the markets. Artisans building stoves professionally would be pressured by competition to constantly improve their quality or drop their price, helping to ensure good quality and keep the product affordable. On a bigger scale, brickworks and large manufacturers of concrete components may be suitable for production of ready-made stoves, either complete or in kits. They might, for instance, sell just the top plates for stoves that are built up of adobe by the owner, or kits for insulating pot lids with fireproof covers.
Industrial production of ready-made stoves will certainly be appropriate under some conditions. However, the workings of industrial-commercial marketing systems are so well known that it seems unnecessary to deal with them at any length in this manual.