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close this bookAppropriate Community Technology - A Training Manual (Peace Corps; 1982; 685 pages)
View the documentThe Farallones Institute Rural Center
View the documentCHP International, INC.
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsPhase I: Introduction to training
close this folderPhase II: Earthen construction and fuel-saving cookstoves
View the documentPhase II Calendar
View the documentSession 1. Environmental health and sanitation
View the documentSession 2. Traditional methods of cooking: an introduction to cookstove technologies
View the documentSession 3. Fuel-saying cookstoves: gathering information
View the documentSession 4. Cookstove design and innovations
View the documentSession 5. Thinking in pictures: introduction to design drawing
View the documentSession 6. Introduction to independent study
View the documentSession 7. Cookstove operation function and design principles
View the documentSession 8. Understanding the cookstove design process and soil mixes
View the documentSession 9. Insolation meter construction
View the documentSession 10. Cookstove construction
View the documentSession 11. Nature of volunteerism: expectations beyond training
View the documentSession 12. Food issues
View the documentSession 13. The role of the volunteer in development: definition of appropriate technology
View the documentSession 14. Stove promotion and dissemination
View the documentSession 15. Explaining completed cookstoves
View the documentSession 16. Evaluating cookstove efficiency
View the documentSession 17. Diagnosing and repairing malfunctioning cookstoves
View the documentSession 18. Other responses to fuel scarcity
View the documentSession 19. Charcoal production and stoves
View the documentSession 20. Custom and food
View the documentSession 21. Design and construction of the second stove part one: stove base
View the documentSession 22. Alternative cookstoves: presentations
View the documentSession 23. Basic nutrition
View the documentSession 24. Cookstove operation
View the documentSession 25. Cookstove development and innovation
View the documentSession 26. Cookstove information and resources/ evaluation of cookstove training
Open this folder and view contentsPhase III: Pedal/treadle power
Open this folder and view contentsPhase IV: Solar water heaters
Open this folder and view contentsPhase V: Solar agricultural dryers
Open this folder and view contentsPhase VI: Concluding the program: The energy fair
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices

Session 14. Stove promotion and dissemination

Total time:

2 hours


* To identify and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various development approaches
* To discuss various approaches to stove promotion, dissemination and information-gathering


* Aprovecho Institute, Helping People in Poor Countries, pp. 35-77
* Attachment III-14, "Stove Introductions and Dissemination: Case Studies 1 and 2"


Newsprint and felt-tip pens, chalkboard/chalk


Step 1. (5 minutes)
State the session objectives and outline the activities.

Step 2. (10 minutes)
Distribute Attachment III-14 and have the participants read it.

Step 3. (1 hour)
Have the participants identify and discuss the advantages and limitations of the development approaches described in each case study.

Trainer Notes

* On newsprint, record the advantages and disadvantages of each development approach as it is raised.

* Encourage any conclusions or observations from the participants.

* Point out that there is no clear, correct approach. There are advantages and disadvantages to all approaches.

* Stress the following guidelines:

Learn about the community.
Discover existing needs, resources, ideas and methods of problem-solving.
Use a participatory, dialogue approach in working with a community or other groups.

Step 6. (40 minutes)
Discuss various approaches to information- gathering, stove promotion and dissemination

Trainer Notes

Encourage discussion by asking:

* Assuming a need for cookstoves (or stove improvement) exists, how would you help a program get started?

* Then, how would you get people interested in cookstoves?

Some responses that may be generated are:

* Assess the needs and receptiveness of villagers.
* Establish rapport and trust in the community.
* Assess local resources, i.e., materials, skills (potters, mason).
* Examine other development programs in the community, analyzing the community's receptivity to change, amount of free time, etc.

Additional questions that could be raised during the discussion are:

* How would you promote the development of a national stove program?

* What would be a good location for a stove demonstration center. What would it do? What would be the drawbacks of a regional or local center?

Step 6. (5 minutes)
Have a participant summarize the key points of the discussion.

Trainer Notes

Refer the participants to Helping People in Poor Countries, Chapters III and IV, for additional information, background and ideas.


A volunteer health worker in a small town in the Sahel noticed many women suffering from the smoke in their kitchens. Remembering the wood stoves she had seen as a child in Europe, she developed a simple box shaped stove with two potholes and a chimney. She had a local mason build the first stoves to her specifications, using adobe and mud mortar as material and making the cooking surface low, to suit local cooking habits.

She convinced some women friends in the town to try out the new stoves and they liked them. Not only did the stoves eliminate the smoke, they also saved firewood, allowed for more stable cooking and provided a raised surface to prepare food and place condiments. Soon the word spread: the stoves became popular in town and in the surrounding villages. The mason could hardly keep up with the orders for "a stove from Mademoiselle." The volunteer began to charge a fee to cover materials and construction costs. This became especially important after she and the mason decided to substitute fired bricks, mortar and concrete for the adobe, in order to make stronger and more durable stoves.

When the volunteer's term was up, one of the foreign aid agencies offered to expand her work into a nationwide stove promotion and dissemination program. She moved to the capital, where a stove demonstration center was built. Publicity campaigns were started in the newspaper and on radio. A local artist designed a stove T-shirt. Three or four standard models were on display at the stove center and could be ordered from a young woman hired to run the stoves for demonstration. A team of masons then came to the customer's home and built the model she had chosen in her kitchen, with instructions of how to properly cure the concrete stove top. Customers were mainly the wives of merchants and government officials. The stoves were becoming a sought-after status symbol in the capital city.

Plans for dissemination included creating more stove centers in other major towns throughout the country. Each would have its own mason team, trained in the capital, to build stoves locally. Radio promotion and word-of-mouth were counted on to create a demand for stoves.

Unfortunately, many of the stoves cracked badly in spite of the improved materials. Users were often impatient and did not let their concrete stoves cure long enough. If a stove broke down, it was sufficient to call the stove demonstration center, and a mason would be sent to repair the stove.

To date, the program is a success. There is a three-week waiting list to have a stove built, and orders are still coming in.


In one Sahelian country, stove developers and local people designed a cookstove together. Local awareness of the firewood crisis was high, due to a Peace Corps energy survey which had recently been taken in the village. The villagers talked to the stove developers of their methods for conserving wood: windbreaks, lids on pots, putting out embers with sand, etc. Then they all talked of reducing heat loss during cooking, using the analogy of light lost from a lantern. Together they decided that putting walls around the fire would be a great improvement. There remained a question of materials: what should this wall be made out of? At this point, the stove developers showed the villagers some dried Lorena, and it was decided that this material might be suitable. Together with the local people, a stove was designed: the cookies pot would be surrounded by Lorena walls, and there would be an entrance on one side for feeding wood into the fire. A space all around the pot would allow the smoke to escape.

The result was a very simple chimneyless one-hole stove. This stove came to play a key role in the national stove dissemination program, especially for regions where one-pot cooking is common. The stated aim of the national program is to saturate the country with stoves by training as many different groups and individuals as possible in stove construction. Workshops are being held all over the country, either by an itinerant mason team or by volunteers stationed in out-lying areas. Local social service organizations are also involved in the training effort. It is hoped that trainees will either become trainers of others, or stove masons who will construct stoves for pay.

Here is an example of how this dissemination effort has worked: a Peace Corps Volunteer taught several women in his village how to build stoves. When he returned after a fortnight away from his village, he found that over a hundred stoves had been built in his absence. Half of them had been built by the women he had trained; the other half by women whom his trainees had taught. The stoves look like volcanoes, rather than model stoves, but they save wood and direct smoke away from the eyes towards the ceiling of the hut. Even though many of the firebox bridges crack and some cave in (partly due to construction flaws and partly due to wear-and-tear), cooks continue to use them and are enthusiastic about their stoves.

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