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Adoption of effective improved cookstoves in sub-Sahara Africa: case study in the Arua District
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In rural areas of least developed countries, the preparation of meals remains the predominant energy consuming activity. Cooking is mostly performed with firewood – using the ancient “technology” of the 3-stone fire. This practice results in numerous challenges that hinder the transformation envisioned by the Millennium Development Goals and it therefore contributes towards slowing the development of rural areas. Activities focussing on amending this status-quo can be termed insufficient in scope- and sustainability.

The main deficiencies of most projects are that the prime focus of the mainstream of these endeavours has been on demand side management, mainly performed by disseminating cookstoves, and that there has been little innovation in respect to raising stove adoption rates. As the strict efficiency focus obviously only captures one side of the problem – merely focussing on treating symptoms rather than providing an effective solution, this thesis stresses the need for a paradigm shift towards more holistic interventions.

This work very much focuses on the topic of stove adoption. This is a complex topic - very much linked to attaining behavioural change. Deliberations concluded that the identification of enabling factors for adoption, which can be termed a prerequisite for developing sustainable methods for stove projects, requires a mix of instruments. To suffice the required data demand the initial literature review was complemented by a thorough assessment of the kitchen environment and the cooking behaviour of stove owners. The fieldwork concentrated on 210 beneficiaries of an efficient cookstove project. The applied methods included interviews, observations and pictorial documentation.

As a remedy to the challenges and current shortcomings identified during field work and literature review, the author herein develops a novel and more holistic implementation strategy for stove projects – the so- called 3-Step approach. This is based on the simultaneous implementation of availing cookstoves, building capacity in respect to kitchen management, as well as performing small-scale household level tree planting.

The research, which further encompassed the piloting of the 3-Step approach, led to the overall conclusion that the proposed increase in project scope holds a multitude of opportunities for improving the livelihoods of the rural target groups. The main impact of this innovative strategy lies in a decrease of average transaction costs as well as in a considerable increase in project sustainability. As will be extensively elaborated, the former is achieved by a more effective utilisation of the extensive infrastructure of trained artisans. The latter refers to the expected income increase on household level, as well as to improvements in environmental- and human health. In combination these enable rural communities to better adapt to climate change. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 97 p.
Keyword [en]
Effective improved cookstoves, sustainable development, 3-Step approach, improved project methodology, holistic approach, artisan structure, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem service protection
National Category
Energy Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104461OAI: diva2:567726
Educational program
Master of Science - Sustainable Energy Engineering
2012-07-09, via Skype, Stockholm, 13:26 (English)
Available from: 2012-12-12 Created: 2012-11-04 Last updated: 2012-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Bubendorfer, Alwin
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