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From the Lab to the Field and Back

2015-10-27 12:32:46

From the Lab to The Field and Back 
Executive Summary
Important progress has been made in recent years in developing a range of biomass cookstoves that reduce pollutant emissions and burn fuel more efficiently. These improved stoves have the potential to improve health and enhance the quality of life for the 2.5 billion people worldwide who still cook their meals and heat their homes by burning biomass in open fires or inefficient traditional stoves.
Despite substantial efforts, however, the rate of adoption of clean stoves has remained low.Studies confirm that failing to meet the needs and preferences of intended users is a key obstacle to adoption.
To Deliver Helath and Environmental Benefits, Clean Stoves Must First Meet Users Perceived needs
To make clean stoves more responsive to the particular needs of women, who are their main users, and to improve understanding of how gender and social dimensions can be incorporated into clean stove efforts in Indonesia and beyond, the World Bank, in collaboration with the Directorate of Bioenergy within Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR), launched the Indonesia Clean Stove Initiative (CSI) in 2012.

Executive Summary 3

The Indonesia CSI invested in experimental approaches to better understand end users’needs and preferences and to assess the performance of technologies and products in their intended context of use. The goal of this work has been to shed light on the social and cultural aspects of technology adoption as complements to technical performance tests on emissions and thermal efficiency. The overall objective of the work has been to make clean stoves more responsive to the preferences of end users, thus increasing the probability that the stoves will actually be used widely over time.

Approximately 25 million households in Indonesia rely on biomass as their primary cooking fuel—85 percent of them in rural areas. An overwhelming majority use traditional stoves with very high fuel consumption, low combustion efficiency, and high levels of pollutant

emissions. Various initiatives for the diffusion of improved stoves have been initiated since the 1980s, but these have remained dispersed and small in scale, and uptake of clean stoves has been limited.

In 2012, the Indonesia CSI established a team of social scientists that included a sociologist,an anthropologist, and a statistician supported in the field by a local NGO that had several decades of knowledge on biomass stoves in Indonesia. The team conducted qualitative research in more than 200 households on Sumba Island and in Central Java, including in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and case studies. To validate the qualitative findings a survey of more than 1,400 peri-urban households outside Yogyakarta City, Central Java, explored cooking fuel consumption, biomass cookstove preferences, and cooking habits.

This work was described in three background papers (box 1). Using the information gained during this initial sociocultural exploration, a social protocol for clean stove testing was developed, tested and validated on various locations in Central Java.

To develop the protocol, data was obtained on patterns of fuel use and user segments,stove inventories, cooking practices and sequences, preferences, gender roles, and innovation patterns.

Following the selection of a group of clean stoves that passed the CSI’s technical tests for emissions and efficiency, an experimental procedure was developed to assess the actual performance of the selected stoves on parameters of interest to end users under real-life conditions. The emphasis was on obtaining comprehensive and systematic user feedback on stove performance in context, actual stove usability, and user satisfaction. The testers were experienced local household cooks using biomass as primary fuel. The approach was tested in Central Java in December 2014 and validated in May 2015.

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