58 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2014 12:59 PM by pmcardle RSS

    Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?

    cathytao89 C4D Extraordinaire

      For years, international development practitioners have been working tirelessly to change people's behaviors towards a more sustinable fashion. To enable such changes, one could not avoid baseline issues of understanding the needs of local community, current level of social behaviors, factors determining people's preferences as well as how potentially they would react towards new technologies. Not surprisigly, such questions are also frequently asked by our cookstove-professionals.

       

      Recently, two studies have been conducted to understand the consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia respectively. These studies were done carefully by leading experts in the fields - all the way from survey data collections to post-survey analysis. Interesting observations were found in both studies, and if we take a step further to do a cross check, there are phenomenal similaries and differences on various aspects -

       

      • What does it take to elevate improved cookstoves for communities in needs?
      • How are various stoves perceived from consumers' ends?
      • Which social elements should be better integrated?
      • What lessons have we learned from these studies?

       

      Please take a moment to read about findings from the studies and join the discussion in this thread where panelists from the fields provide online facilitation to answer your questions.

       

      Reading Materials:

       

      Marketing Clean Cookstove Indonesia CSI.pdf

      What Do Cooks Want? What Will They Pay? A Study of Improved Cookstoves in Bangladesh


      Comparative Analytics:

       

      BangladeshIndonesia
      Methodology
      • "Trials of Improved Practices” testing user reactions to one of 5 different improved cook stoves (ICS) in 120 households
      • Three-day kitchen performance test (KPT) in 116 study households and 24 control households
      • Field research, participant observation, and survey of about 1400 households on the current status of cook stoves usage
      • Three mutually exclusive market segments - biomass users, biomass & LPG users, and LPG users
      Cooking Practices
      • A major obstacle being that the cooking time was slower using the ICS.
      • Households prefer to cook rice for the whole day all at once in the morning during the three-month winter, rather than throughout the day, as is customary during the rest of the year.
      • Most households only do one major cooking in a day.
      • Water boiling is one of the most important activities carried out in the kitchen using both biomass and LPG stoves.
      • Biomass users prefer sitting while LPG users prefer standing and the majority prefers sitting height slightly above ground level.
      • Most believes that food tastes good when cooking with firewood and it’s convenient, inexpensive to do so.
      Cookstove Preferences
      • At least two stoves were perceived as preferable to traditional stoves during the trails.
      • None as then produced met all consumer needs, and none met sufficient consumer needs to completely replace traditional stoves.
      • A vast majority believed ICS produced less smoke than their traditional stoves.
      • It was widely complained of the inability to cook large volumes of food in large pots.
      • The horizontal fuel entry of ICS was not desirable.
      • Most households have strong desire to change cooking environment.
      • People dislike smoke, but are unaware of its health threat.
      • Being able to use different size/diameter of firewood is important for 82% of participants.
      • About 86% of the households agree that pots are more expensive than stoves, reflecting the fact that at present households are spending more on pots than stove.
      Fuel Saving
      • Homes using four out of the five improved stoves were found to use at least 16 percent to 30 percent less fuel than the control homes over the course of the KPT.
      • About 1/3 of people put time spent in collecting firewood as first priority in changing cooking environment.
      Willingness to Pay and Decision Making
      • Certain stove features were valued, but the monetary worth of the stove was dramatically undervalued (most estimated them to be 1/2 to 1/4 of their actual calculated value).
      • Householders realized that metal stoves are expensive, but they were not ready to buy them at market price.
      • When given the stove as a gift in one village, almost all participants chose to keep the stove over a market value cash buy-back.
      • Consumer groups most likely to be interested to purchase ICS are: small families, especially poor but not destitute peri-urban families, headed by 30 to 55 year-old women.
      • About 50% households agreed that they were willing to pay more on pots than stove and they preferred to buy nice looking pot.
      • Similar to the decision making process of buying other small home appliance, women are the one deciding to buy new stove when they are under less than five dollars.

       

      Panelists:

      CROPPED-DerbyElisabeth.jpgElisa Derby has worked in the cookstoves sector for over a decade and manages Winrock International’s household energy and health program, with projects and partnerships that reduce fuel use and exposure to cooking-related household air pollution. This work incorporates field-based capacity building, formative research, network building, knowledge dissemination, grants management and direct implementation activities. She is the household energy and household air pollution specialist for the WASHplus project, and supports WASHplus consumer preferences, needs and willingness to pay research, and other activities designed to support the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves mission and goals.
      Tig Pic.jpg

      Voravate Tig Tuntivate has over 20 years of experience as a rural and urban energy specialist. He has designed, implemented, and analyzed multiple projects focused on household energy and rural/peri-urban/urban energy access including clean cooking solutions and electrification. Mr.Tuntivate is also a survey research specialist. He served as lecturer at the UN Statistical Institute for Asia and Pacific Region and has conducted numerous surveys and authored reports for the World Bank as well as other government and non-governmental organizations. Currently, he is a team member of Indonesia Clean Stove Initiative responsible for the social marketing strategies. Most recently he developed the market survey questionnaire, established the sampling design, supervised the implementation, and analyzed and wrote the report for the project.

      veronica.jpg


      Veronica Mendizabal Joffre has been working on social/rural development for the past 12 years in Papua New Guinea, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bolivia, and Peru. For the past 6 six years, she has been providing consulting services to the World Bank in the areas of institutional development, gender and social research. Her interest in gender and energy, and expertise in qualitative research led her to join the Indonesian Clean Stove Initiative team in 2012 to integrate social and gender aspects in clean stove design and promotion.

        • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
          cathytao89 C4D Extraordinaire

          Welcome! The Q&A session is now officially live. We are pleased to have three excellent speakers to discuss about consumer preferences of cookstoves with their experience in the field. Please join us, raise questions, and connect with your peers. I hope you all enjoy the conversations!

           

          Elisa Derby

          Voravate Tuntivate

          Veronica Mendizabal Joffre

          • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
            cathytao89 C4D Extraordinaire

            What do you think was the most unexpected result stemming from your study? And how do you think this finding will likely to impact the market (stove manufacturers) and future development initiatives?

             

            Elisa Derby

            Voravate Tuntivate

            Veronica Mendizabal Joffre

              • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                C4D Enthusiast

                Our willingness to pay results were the most surprising result from the WASHplus study in Bangladesh.  Only one out of 105 study participants given the option to purchase the stoves at market value did so, although of the remaining 15 households given the stoves as gifts, and then offered the option of a cash buyout at that same market value, only three chose cash; the other 12 preferred to keep their stove. People valued the stoves when acquisition barriers were removed, indicating a need for better financing options.

                  • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                    C4D Enthusiast

                    Hi Elisa,I was also struck by this result ... I wonder however, whether the soothing result when offering cash for the stove really showed a value for the stove rather than just being polite or not wanting to appear cheap:

                    "When I am asked to buy a stove, my self-interest kicks-in because it is taking away from my funds, when i am proposed cash for the stove, i have nothing to loose and I may then afford to  either want to be rude or seem cheap, especially towards someone that would have spent time to explain me how to use it and I would have had created a relationship."

                     

                    Maybe one way to counter this point could be to send an anonymous trader and see at which price-point he gets that household to sell.

                      • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                        665682 C4D Master

                        Willingness to pay and willingness to sell normally do not at the same value. I think there are a few economic experiments on this. The question is how financing options can be better designed on this. Is it only the matter of acquisition barriers?

                          • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                            1171474 C4D Enthusiast

                            Exactly. WTP and WTA/WTS can be determined by very different factors. The affordability issue needs to be examined in a broader context than only demand, e.g. cost on supply side.
                            Thanks Elisa for sharing such an interesting study and Laurent's good point. In Mongolia, I think a similar study in Mongolia will produce very different results. Given the high market price of clean stoves, hundreds of households who recieved subsidized stoves resold their stoves. This difference can partly be explained by Laurent's point. Also, when the price difference is high enough, people are much more incentivized to sell...(much higher willingness to sell).  

                          • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                            C4D Enthusiast

                            Thanks, Laurent, yes, that could definitely be a factor.  The other possible factor we've discussed is the endowment effect-- wherein once someone owns something they value it more highly.  We'll be refining and replicating this research in Nepal next year, so will have the opportunity to tease out some of these possibilities a little more-- your anonymous trader suggestion is well-received!

                              • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                crispin C4D Expert

                                When offering people a product at a certain value proposition, I find two interfering factors that sort of trump the best plans. One was encountered clearly in Central Java which is this: People were asked about the willingness to pay for a stove, and to pay for pots. Exploring the willingness to pay far more for a pot than a stove on which to cook it, they reported that they can make a stove for free if they want, but have to pay what the market charges for pots.

                                 

                                In fact they do pay for stoves, but consider that they could make one for free, which drives down their willingness to pay for an improved stove. A similar tendency was found in South Africa during improved stove demonstrations and follow up interviews.  It was realized that people viewed the stove positively because it burned wood, and wood was considered to be free.

                                 

                                Thus was strange because people did not have access to free wood, having to purchase it from the coal vendors. The important point was that they considered wood to be collectable and therefore free, even if they bought it all the time. Strange as it seems, this became a major factor in the decision to purchase the stove: that the fuel was free, even if they had to pay for it. There is security in knowing that if they run out of money, they can collect some free. They don't plan for the average, they plan for the extremes. The marketing line that they are buying 'well cooked-meals and happy families' was combined with the 'free fuel' idea are the benefits.

                                 

                                So the willingness to purchase a stove with manifest benefits was resisted in Central Java because it is possible to make a stove for free, even if the people involved always paid someone to build their stoves for them.

                                 

                                Asking a person to sell a stove for which they have taken ownership is complicated because not only is there the issue of the perception that is has a low intrinsic value (measured against a free homemade one) it is also a source of pride (pride of ownership is about the number three rated stove purchase metric in South Africa). Thus once a purchase has been made, it is wise to analyse the perceived value.

                                 

                                If the value proposition (stove + benefits) exceeds the purchase price (not 'matches it') then people will buy. This is perceived as a 'profit' so selling it for the same amount of cash as the cost would be a loss.  Thus having purchased a stove (or been given one) its perceived value will be above the cash cost and selling for the same cash value will be perceived to a losing proposition.

                          • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                            crispin C4D Expert

                            Hi everyone

                             

                            Cecil and I are sharing my office so we are discussing things on the side as well.

                             

                            First notes are that the water heating need, combined with the easy availability of fuelwood combine to create an opportunity to introduce water heaters. It seems in the past water heating has been thought of as a cooking task, even if there was no food involved.

                             

                            Hot water for tea, washing, cleaning dishes and bathing has been heated with wood in the majority of households. Why then is there no wood-fired device just for heating water? The field information is that even in LPG-cooking households (HH) water is still heated with wood a great % of the time. This indicates a strong preference for that activity.

                             

                            Is it because of cost? Efficiency? Speed? Pot size?  Perhaps large pots for water will not fit/heat on an LPG stove.

                            • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                              C4D Enthusiast

                              The mixed-method study in Indonesia provided many interesting findings. Three of the ones I found most relevant for market aggregators include: the growing practice of fuel stacking and the widespread practice of stove stacking; (ii) that despite the successful conversion from kerosene to LPG firewood (FW) remains a primary fuel even in urbanized areas; and (iii) that women, the actual users of stoves, have very limited decision-making over household expenditure allocation, including for stoves.

                              Fuel/stove stacking: In a sample of over 1,400 HH in peri-urban Yogyakarta, we found 3 specific fuel consumer segments users of FW only; (ii) users of LPG only, and (iii) users of a combination of both fuels. Users of single fuels were at the margins with 25% FW/ 27% LPG, while combination users made 48% of the sample. In rural communities on a smaller sample of 70 respondents, 25% were using LPG-FW combination, while 75% used FW only. Stove stacking was much more widespread. Most HH used more than one stove, either from the same type or a different type. Even among users of LPG only, biomass stoves are kept for emergency situations such as running out of gas or for celebrations when more burners are needed. Estimates in peri-urban areas suggest an average ownership of 2.4 stoves per HH. Stove stacking addresses the limitations of the various stoves, as there isn’t one single device that answers all needs. Stacking allows optimizing fuels (LPG for fast cooking/ FW for staples, water boiling, sugar processing), multiple burners, fitting the size of burner to pot, taste preferences (fragrant rice produced on FW), niche tasks (baking on kerosene add-on ovens, rice-cookers), and emergencies (running out of gas/ wet wood). Within this universe of cooking devices, what would be the market proposition of clean stoves?

                              Use of firewood in urbanized areas: still quite large. Adding users of FW only and combination with LPG we have that 73% of the peri-urban sample in Yogya was still using FW, and further analysis revealed that their share of LPG was small compared with FW. This market is not only key because of their continuous dependency on biomass, but because of the exposure to LPG peri-urban HH are much more likely to be receptive to awareness raising on the negative effects of IAP, and improvements in fuel efficiency (in more densely populated areas HH combine FW gathering with purchase).  

                              Decision-making on HH expenditure: we found that women have a threshold of decision making on household expenditure that ranges from $ 6-10. Husbands decide on expenditures over the threshold. Beyond an indication for pricing, the key point to this finding is that non-users of inefficient stoves who are not directly affected by the negative effects of smoke, the burdens of wood collection, or fuel preparation, and the lengthy periods required to operate biomass stoves, are the ones with the power to decide on potential purchase for clean stoves. Some companies are tackling this by adding mobile chargers as an incentive for husbands and I think this is going in the right direction. This finding also indicates that husbands have to be specifically targeted by awareness raising campaigns.

                            • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                              C4D Connoisseur

                              Elisa - The WASHplus study adopted the “Trials of Improved Practices” (TIP) methodology. What makes this innovative and could you please explain how this methodology works?

                                • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                  C4D Enthusiast

                                  The USAID Mission in Bangladesh enlisted WASHplus to help them assess consumer preferences, and identify types of stoves that would be a good fit for their cookstove promotion program, as a follow-on activity to a cookstove market assessment already undertaken.  Because cooking is such a personal experience and so integral to daily life, there’s no better way to get feedback on a particular stove type than to ask potential consumers to bring the stove into their homes and assess it as they go about their daily routine over a period of weeks. TIPs is an established qualitative methodology in the WASH sector, and invites participants to interact with researchers and identify, discuss, and resolve barriers to using the new technologies through semi-structured “elicitation” questions.  We gave each household one of five imported ICS models to evaluate, and used both qualitative and quantitative methods to gather data. The latter included monitoring wood and stove usage via Kitchen Performance Tests (KPTs) and stove use monitoring sensors (SUMS) for both traditional and improved stoves, as well as indoor air pollution (IAP) in a subset of homes. We ended the trials with two different perceived value and willingness to pay approaches.

                                    • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                      665682 C4D Master

                                      Elisa, following up on this, how do you select five imported ICS models? Somehow as a program manager, you need to have some screening criteria, right? I see this method can collect many valuable information, but also has its limitations. Apparently, no perfect improved biomass stove exist that can meet all households preferences.

                                        • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                          C4D Enthusiast

                                          Hi Yabei,

                                          We chose the stove models based on regional availability, performance and characteristics.  All models were produced in China or India; only the Greenway was currently available for purchase in Bangladesh at the time of the study, albeit in small quantities, but others had potential to be manufactured and/or assembled in Bangladesh. They all met a minimum of Tier 2 fuel efficiency according to ISO IWA 11:2012 guidelines (the Tier 0 traditional baseline in Bangladesh is a hand-built sunken-hole mud stove). Stoves were selected by characteristics (chimney/not, fan/not, portable/not), not by brand, to represent a range of stove types. An added benefit of using imported stoves with which consumers were not familiar was the avoidance of any influence of brand loyalty. Several of the manufacturers have made modifications to their stoves in response to consumer feedback from our study, and are exploring or already pursuing expanding their markets into Bangladesh.

                                    • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                      C4D Enthusiast

                                      Bouncing on Crispin post, and the statement by Elisa that "None [tested stoves] as then produced met all consumer needs, and none met sufficient consumer needs to completely replace traditional stoves.", I wondered if there are some studies/analysis in Bangladesh as to whether some specific taks (water boiling for bathing and/or for drinking, rice cooking) are taking place ans whether there is room for adoption of dedicated devices that would be efficient for these specific tasks (water boiler as noted by Crispin, orelectric rice cokers).

                                      In other words, could the future be towards several type of effcient task focused-devices rather than trying to go for the "mythical" do-it-all-cleanly-and-effciently-while-customer-friendly stove as very nicely noted in the Wash 4 pager?

                                      • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                        C4D Enthusiast

                                        First of all, I would like to point out that our market survey for Indonesia Clean Stove Initiative (Indonesia CSI) attempt to show the current market condition of cookstove market.  When we did the survey (both quantitative and qualitative) responding households had not had any exposure to any clean biomass cook stove.  I think this is the fundamental different between Indonesia CSI and Bangladesh.


                                        Cookstove market study presented relies on two main sources of primary data, namely quantitative survey and qualitative data.  The first primary source of data is the household
                                        survey data.  The household survey was conducted among peri-urban households outside Yogyakarta City.  The area coverage of the survey includes households that are living in Bantul and Sleman Regency.  Since peri-urban area is defined as areas that are located 10 kilometers beyond the ring road of Yogyakarta city, only sub-villages in Bantul and Sleman Regency that are located 10 kilometers beyond the ring road are included in the survey area.  Out of 2,143 sub-villages in these two Regency, 945 sub-villages are located 10 kilometers beyond the ring road.  The sampling methods involve two stages, in the first stage a total of 100 sub-villages were randomly selected from the list if 945 sub-village, and in the second and final stage a total of 1,434 households were selected for interview.  Approximately 10-20 households from each sub-village were randomly selected.

                                        • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                          C4D Enthusiast

                                          What we learn for the survey is that vast majority of households in the survey area have strong desire to change cooking environment.  Unfortunately, households’ desires to change are not based on the health threat from indoor air pollution or impact of smoke from burning solid fuels.  However, households’ desire to change cooking environment is based on the soot deposit on the wall and ceiling of the kitchen, pots and pan.  Apparently, households in the survey area are not aware of the health risk of smoke from burning solid fuel, albeit that do not like smoke and would like to see less smoke in the kitchen. 

                                           

                                          It seems to me that people are not aware of health threat or do not care, so how can we tie promotion of improve cookstove with health? 

                                           

                                           

                                          • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                            C4D Explorer

                                            Thanks for these very informative studies.  I loved the description of the 'mythical' stove in the Bangladesh study.  May it soon be a reality!

                                            Was there any consideration given to including the use of retained heat devices in any of these studies?  I recall that several experienced 'stovers' recommended the inclusion of retained heat cooking in DOE's clean cookstove research back in January 2011 during the DOE conference in Alexandria, Virginia.

                                            The use of retained heat containers with fuel efficient stoves can reduce fuel consumption by more than 30%.  It allows women to cook several pots of food sequentially over one fire by heating each pot to boiling for only for a few minutes (before the boiling pot of food is placed inside a retained heat containers to finish cooking).  Retained heat containers can be easily made with locally available baskets and straw or newspaper for insulation.

                                            The Indonesia study stated that , "there is a good potential for marketing biomass stoves to specifically use for boiling water."  Has any consideration been given to studying the use of parabolic solar cookers for this purpose?  Several million locally made, inexpensive parabolic solar cookers are currently used in western China primarily for boiling water for domestic use.  You can see how it's done in this video:  Solar Cookers in Tibetan Areas of China - YouTube .  Mark Bryden's and Nathan Johnson's 2012 study revealed that up to 30% of the fuel consumed in villages is used just for heating water.  As you can see in this video, Early morning solar cooking - YouTube a parabolic solar cooker can boil water even in cold weather as soon as the sun rises in the morning (and until just before the sun sets in the evening).  Water can be boiled late in the afternoon and kept hot overnight in a thermos as is done in western China. 

                                            Combining retained heat cooking and solar cooking with the use of biomass stoves has the potential to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 60% in addition to the reductions obtained from improved combustion stoves.   A group at California Polytechnic University in California is testing a hybrid solar parabolic/rocket stove combination stove.  Here's a video on that project. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Solar Cooker Research -...

                                            • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                              C4D Enthusiast

                                              Another question to Elisa.

                                               

                                              Was the finding regarding "unwillingness of customers to chop wood" reported to stove manufacturers/designers (e.g. the tech. people)?

                                              What is their reaction to this issue?

                                              This is major in my mind, as it goes directly towards adoption and actual use ... because the trend in adoption overall is towards devices that make life easier and (possibly more pleasurable), not that do good only if you follow a certain set of rules.

                                              And there may be some unintended consequences on teh social side of this increase need for chopped wood, but I will let Veronica elaborate on this.

                                                • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                                  C4D Enthusiast

                                                  Thanks Laurent for this question. I see quite sophisticated and aesthetic stoves coming up and this is quite an exciting development. However, most of these stoves are single burner rocket/gasifier stoves that require small woodcuts, and I worry about their actual fit with contexts where traditionally large pieces of wood are the norm. In Sumba for example people prefer large sticks of wood to better control the heat in the 3-stone fires. Chopping is perceived as a burden and is usually done by gatherers (school age girls) at the point of collection. The distribution of free gasifier stoves in Sumba allowed us to see the consumer reaction. People considered extra chopping a burden, and few were willing to do it and the stove remained idle despite being cleaner, smokeless, and more efficient. In Yogya chopping is more common, but still considered a burden. In addition, it is women who are tasked with fine chopping. Stoves that require small woodcuts run the risk of actually increasing the time women spend on cooking plus the additional physical effort.  

                                                  • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                                    C4D Enthusiast

                                                    Hi Laurent, yes, all of our findings were shared with manufacturers.  Fuel processing is always an especially challenging factor.  We know that we get the most complete combustion and therefore cleanest burn from fuel with high surface/mass ratios, but of course any user would rather just throw a big log in the fire; not have to chop up the fuel or continuously feed it.  I know many in our sector have high hopes for a fuel processing service solution—wherein entrepreneurs can make a living processing wood, or selling processed wood to users, who then get a cleaner burn.  I wish I had the answer!

                                                  • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                                    cathytao89 C4D Extraordinaire

                                                    To all three panelists - Based on the study, what do you think is the biggest challenge/barrier in promoting ICS in countries like Bangladesh and Indonesia? Was the lesson learnt from your study applicable for other developing nations as well?

                                                      • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                                        C4D Enthusiast

                                                        For me the biggest challenges are on three fronts.  First, is the consumer or on the demand side.. Second is the supply side which include stove manufactures and the whole supply chain of clean stove market)  Finally, the government which have the roles to create all enabling environments.  On the consumer is side I think the biigest challenge is how to educate consumer and raise create awareness in such a way that they will take action and will not track back to traditional stove again.  On the supply side is to convince the whole supply chains that there are profit to be made.  On the government side is how to convince high level government to take the issue of clean cooking solution at the national level and create enabling environment to promote clean cooking solution.     

                                                        • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                                          C4D Enthusiast

                                                          I think the biggest challenge in our sector, regardless of where cookstoves are promoted, is that we don’t have biomass solutions that both burns cleanly (read: meets WHO air quality guidelines) and that users like to use, and prefer over their traditional stove 100% of the time. So we see a LOT of stove stacking, and the benefits of ICS are watered down at best, and completely negated at worst. But it’s entirely rational—if you spend 5-7 hours/day cooking, of course you’d rather do it on the easy-to-use stove than the “allegedly better but annoying to actually use” option, even though the latter may provide health benefits down the road.  Everyone loves cooking on LPG (and I posit in most cases would do so almost exclusively were it not for cost), and I firmly believe that universal clean fuel access should be our end goal, but we need many really good biomass solutions in the meantime that cooks will use consistently, correctly, and exclusively, and we’re just not there yet.  I’m grateful for the recent R&D funding that’s been brought to the table in recent years to support that work.

                                                            • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                                              C4D Enthusiast

                                                              As Elisa mentions households use more than one stoves.  I our survey in central Java we finds that each household two or more stoves.  If we can sell one clean stove for each household, we will only achieve partial benefits.  To convince consumers, the new clean stove must be visibly far more superior than thier old stove.  This will drive them to add another clean stove. We must remember when cooks use new and old stove side by side they can compare them.  We will have harder time to sell another clean stove, if the new clean stove is only marginally better or consumers cannot see the difference.  The issue is:

                                                              We need good stove, or  we want to promote marginally better stove to ensure that consumer can afford one or more than one.  Of course good stove is expensive and consumer may be able to buy only one.

                                                            • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                                              C4D Enthusiast

                                                              In line with what Tig and Elisa have said I think a big challenge ahead will be to work on the compatibility of consumer preferences/direct personal benefits with the higher end development outcomes of reducing emissions, improved health, etc. - designs then have to meet a variety of quite different expectations.  Showing data on the specific improvements is also needed. Currently the focus on testing is pretty much limited to emissions and efficiency.  But we should be able to tell consumers of improvements in the areas they are interested in, e.g. how much faster? heat ranges, time required for ignition compared with traditional or other stoves, efficiency gains in terms of fuel use and money saved, that can help consumers find the products they would be willing to invest on. In the Indonesian CSI we are exploring the potentials of a social assessment of stoves and will report on findings.

                                                            • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                                              cathytao89 C4D Extraordinaire

                                                              Thanks for all the brilliant participants who have been actively involved in this interesting discussion.

                                                               

                                                              As we are approaching the end of our Q&A session, I would like to ask for a final round of comments from the panelists: Could you please share some key lessons learnt from your project, or essential take-aways, esp. on those topics that have not yet been discussed in the above thread? Anything that might be helpful for future project development and design, social marketing, awareness campain is warmly welcomed.

                                                               

                                                              We will keep this thread open after the session to continue our conversation on the issue. I hope you all enjoyed the conversation.

                                                                • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                                                  C4D Enthusiast

                                                                  For me, key take away message would be:

                                                                  1.  Awareness raising campaign on health and indoor air pollution is important and must be carried out, but awareness will not sell clean stove.  We must convince consumer to buy new stove using the same message of their concern.  For example, in Indonesia consumer are concern about soot deposit on the wall ceiling and pots and pans.  Perhaps it may be more effective to tell consumers that new stove would produce less soot deposit on the wall, kitchen, pots and pans, or new stove will take less time to start the fire.

                                                                  2. Social marketing must rely on more comprehensive approaches than before.  I think we should address all levels including individual, interpersonal, community, and national level.  Moreover, we must take social marketing very seriously with significant resources.  At present, we are thinking of three prongs campaign.  First, shaping knowledge which includes adverting and other promotional activities.  Second, we use reward. i.e., subsidies.  Finally we use social support such as, cooking demonstration.   The question is: (1) Are these three prong approaches enough to convince consumers?

                                                                  • Re: Q&A Session #1: What have we learned about consumer preferences of cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
                                                                    C4D Enthusiast

                                                                    Some important take-aways from our research in Bangladesh is the need for larger and higher fire-power stoves for Bangladesh, and given the prevalence of mixed fuel use we also recommended the development of a mixed-fuel stove.  Happily, several of the manufacturers we worked with have come out with larger/higher fire-power versions of their stoves to better meet Bangladeshi needs, and Prakti has received Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves funding specifically to develop a mixed-fuel stove for Bangladesh, which is already in prototype stage.  Finally, I would say our findings underscore the need I think we all recognize for consumer-centered design, to really meet consumer needs while still achieving emissions reductions and efficiency goals.

                                                                     

                                                                    The other take-away from our work in Bangladesh that we haven’t gotten into on this thread is the issue of quality control and durability.  By way of background, Bangladesh has a long history of improved stove promotion over the decades, primarily focusing on variations of one type of artisanal clay (and more recently cement) chimney stove, generally called the Bondhu Chula, of which there are an estimated 500k still in use.  We performed CCTs on both the imported and (expertly constructed) Bondhu Chula stoves, and they all demonstrated significant efficiency gains over the traditional stove.  All of the chimney stoves were very successful in venting the smoke out of the kitchen.  But in the field we saw a LOT of very smoky Bondhu Chulas.  This is likely in part due to varying quality control prevalent with artisanal production. That said, even expertly constructed Bondhu Chula’s depend on the user to keep the stove well-maintained.  The challenge with any chimney stove is that when not cleaned regularly, they can redirect all the smoke (of which there may be just as much as the traditional stove generates) back into the cooking area.  In Bangladesh there isn’t a culture of chimney-cleaning, and given that the Bondhu Chula has a cement chimney that must be cleaned from the top (unlike metal chimneys that you can clean just by banging on the side), and many homes have thatched roofs, this kind of cleaning can be next to impossible.  So field testing for chimney stoves over time is really critical, especially in Bangladesh.