Lesson Learned from ProBEC’s
Impact Assessment Surveys,
Knowledge Management System, and
Public Relations Strategy
Regional Manager Monitoring and Evaluation, Knowledge Management, Public Relations
Programme for Basic Energy and Conservation
22 November 2010
Monitoring operations and stove production figures…………………………………….4
M&E challenges and recommendations…………………………………………………………5
Malawi 2010 Impact Assessment Survey results…………………………………………….7
Tanzania 2010 Impact Assessment Survey results…………………………………………..11
Zambia 2010 Impact Assessment Survey results……………………………………………..14
Mozambique 2010 Impact Assessment Survey results…………………………………….15
Adapting the M&E system for carbon reporting……………………………………………..17
Progress with Knowledge Management System and Public Relations……………..18
• “50% of involved women improve their disposable income by 10%, through the effective use of
efficient technologies, from September 2005 to December 2010. (MoV: Sample survey results.)”
This could not be reported on in monetary terms since there was no baseline data on income, and for
most beneficiaries, income is erratic at best, and at worst they survive in a subsistence economy where
cash is not always the modus of trade. At best, the questionnaires asked respondents what they did with
time and money saved and the general trend is that most beneficiaries use the money they save to buy
household stuff, pay school fees, pay utility bills and to a lesser extent, they invest the money in their
small businesses. So we can deduce that their livelihoods are positively impacted by the introduction of
• “An additional 700,000 people have long term improved access to better energy products and
services in households, institutions and small enterprises. (MoV: monitoring system)”
Assuming an average household size of 6, ProBEC has reached 498468 people so far. While 6 may be
marginally higher than the average household size in some countries, it compensates for institutional
stoves where we do not count the exact number of people per institution being fed. This level of detail is
available in the impact assessment surveys of some countries.
Other household energy related indicators under observation
1. Sales figures
2. Dual versus sole use (that is, stove replacement and removal of baseline)
3. Stove condition and durability
4. Fuel choices and usage patterns
5. How households access firewood
6. Correct Use: kitchen and firewood management techniques
7. Improvement in disposable income – what is done with time/money saved?
8. Effective marketing
M&E activities are focused on monthly collection of energy efficient device production figures, as well as
annual impact assessment surveys.
1. Stove production figures
Monthly collection of stove production figures by M&E officers and submission to central office broken
down by technology type, on a monthly basis, for collation, aggregation and reporting.
ProBEC overall 2004 – Oct 2010 Stove Production Figures
Country 2001 2004- Nov’07 1 June 08 1 Oct 09 1 Jan ‘10 TOTAL
Oct’07 -30 May -30 Sept -31 Dec -31 Oct
08 09 09 ‘10
Tanzania 1189 1555 2909 14362 35289 55304
Mozambique 2719 856 12479 5220 18377 39651
Lesotho 533 131 487 135 218 1504
Zambia 4697 851 5622 1698 10043 22911
Malawi 26154 10708 24189 4237 20244 85532
Swaziland N/A 6 187 16 161 370
Botswana N/A N/A N/A N/A 233 233
Zimbabwe 303 11275 4822 10 94 1651 18155
South Africa 5999 N/A N/A N/A N/A 5999
Total 52566 18929 51755 25832 83078 229659
2. Annual Surveys
Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania and Swaziland (results still pending in Swaziland)
• Household surveys (urban & rural)
• Producer surveys (includes rocket barns)
• Institutional surveys
M&E challenges and recommendations
Quantitative Research bias: Stove programmes have a tendency to provide weak qualitative
information. The use of impact assessment surveys with semi‐structured questionnaires, as well as the
emphasis on the counting of stoves, has resulted in a quantitative research bias as opposed to in‐depth
analysis of user’s livelihood changes as seen from their own perspectives. This compromises recording
of unintended and/ or negative consequences, as well as the ability to report beyond the “attribution
gap” of a results chain. Given the immensely personal and private nature of domestic cooking and the
ramifications of gender dynamics that they give rise to, it is recommended that a more sensitive
investigation into cooking practices and behaviour changes related to them and to fuel collection, be
embraced. It is recommended that more consultative methods be used such as participatory rural
appraisal research techniques. It is also better if the M&E officers themselves are women as there are
many taboos associated with strange men entering a house when the husband is not present.
While ProBEC tried to introduce the recording of “Most Significant Change” (MSC) stories, which was to
have been collected by both technical staff and M&E officers when interacting with beneficiaries in the
field, this was done on a very ad hoc basis. It is recommended that programmes incorporate MSC data
collection more comprehensively into staff work programmes.
Research quality was uneven. In order to conduct scientifically rigorous and reliable surveys, it is
necessary for staff to have experience in all aspects of social research, and M&E officers should have an
undergraduate degree and experience in social research methods. In many countries the staff skills set
was inadequate – a lot of training was needed in research, statistical software and report writing, with
numerous edits needed of submitted reports. The software package that was used to analyse the
information, Statistical Package for Social Surveys (SPSS) is expensive ‐ roughly R60 000 for software
with 3 user licences, R98 000 for 5 licences, valid only for one year. It is recommended that staff be
trained thoroughly in MS Xcel for research purposes as it is cheaper and more readily available. Despite
three years of training in writing reports for the purposes of monitoring and evaluation, staff were still
reluctant to introduce reference to indicators in their reports, nor reflect on the results chain, and they
preferred to adhere to general social survey report styles. For a large regional programme like ProBEC it
is very difficult for a centrally based regional M&E manager to provide the kind of support and coaching
needed to improve on such skills and ensure professional‐level reporting. It is recommended that more
staff be appointed to provide such training and support and capacity building in each programme.
Stove efficiency tests were poorly documented and had to be redone in many countries. It is
recommended that each stove programme performs regular and uniform stove tests that correspond
with international standards and protocols, as outlined by the University of Berkley’s Partnership for
Clean Indoor Air programme.
There are risks with appointing external consultants and employing outside enumerators to work since
ProBEC experienced consultants doing bad work, missing deadlines, and many did not understand
stoves nor domestic energy and so much information was overlooked in their data analysis, there was
little cross‐correlation of data, and reports were weak and superficial. Likewise, enumerators often
skipped whole questions. It is recommended that the skills of in‐house staff be upgraded and improved
as part of programme activities, to render more substantial research. Also, contracted staff should be
paid half on completion of job, and half after satisfactory evaluation of their reports.
Access to houses: Interviews did not take place during cooking time, and this also has implications for
undertaking of Controlled Cooking Tests, needed to establish stove efficiency for the purposes of carbon
verification. It is very invasive to attempt any study or research in the domestic realm, and even more so
if this must be done during cooking hours. Time should be made available to ensure access to houses.
Another problem encountered is locating households, since in rural areas there are no formal
addresses, and ProBEC staff developed close relationships with village‐based elders and community
leaders over the years, to the extent that these people can act as guides and informants. This has big
implications for the introduction of rigorous sales record keeping needed for carbon monitoring.
Correct use: Effecting behavioural change is one of the hardest things to do in a development setting.
Since so much of the efficiency of a stove is based on its correct use, ProBEC staff have spent long hours
introducing kitchen management techniques, however, existing habits remain hard to break – in
particular, the following tasks people are particularly reluctant to embrace: soaking beans, preparing
ingredients before cooking and lighting the stove, and chopping wood into smaller pieces.
A thorough marketing campaign with a range of marketing activities is desirable: airing on television
cooking programmes, public demonstrations with very bright and visible branding in markets, and
frequent coverage of products and ProBEC on national television news. This presents the stove to
households in an appealing and enticing way that makes the stoves an aspirational product.
Business skills and costs: The research results repeatedly show that the capital start‐up costs for small
stove producers are prohibitive and they live a hand‐to‐mouth existence, so that they can only make
stoves once there is an order for a stove or once they have sold one. In the case of clay stove and tin‐
stove producers, simple tools are needed like wheel barrows and hammers. Loans are needed to buy
raw materials like metal sheets and kick‐start a consistent production chain so that supply can keep up
with demand. Entrepreneurs also need assistance with simple bookkeeping and business management
training, so that they can formalise their work and engage in budget planning. There is a very real
danger that such entrepreneurs expect a patronage relationship with ProBEC, to the extent that
sustainability is compromised. To go to scale, more business training is needed and the development of
a production value chain, linking stove makers to sellers. Production could also expand hugely if there
was transport to get the stoves to market places.
Baseline technology persistence: The three‐stone fire continues to be used because of the following
design flaws in promoted technologies: users need two plates to cook off, and so the efficient stove
cannot be used to prepare all the ingredients for a meal and hence users supplement their cooking with
the baseline technology. Also, the stoves often are too small to accommodate large pots, and so the fire
is used to cook large pots of food or to boil large pots of water. Some said that they prefer using the
three‐stone if wood is wet since the intense heat of the three‐stone fire dries out the wet wood. Cooks
complained that they have to be in the kitchen all the time to add wood pieces to the improved stoves
and that the stoves require constant attention and heat regulation. In the case of institutional rocket
stoves, users complained that they do not cook rice well since the stoves burn very hot and their
temperature cannot be regulated to simmering heat needed for rice. Perhaps the introduction of
hotbags could be a solution for countries that have rice as a staple. While these were introduced in
Lesotho, they were prohibitively expensive and did not take off, and in Botswana they are promoted as
part of a domestic energy package. Simple, cheap designs could bring down the price.
Malawi Fixed Household Stoves (on tea estates)
The survey reveals an overwhelming acceptance of the stoves and that people are happy with the
technology. However, results show that the households had more than one cooking device even though
all the households had an improved fixed household rocket stove. According to the data, 50% of the
households had three‐stone fires, 20% had clay stoves and 30% exclusively used the fixed rocket stoves.
The use of more than one cooking device was also a result reflected in the 2009 impact assessment.
However, in 2009 other cooking devices that were recorded then, like the Kenyan ceramic Jiko and fixed
mud stoves with ceramic liners were found and these were absent in 2010.
The condition of the stove affects the efficiency of the stove and certain features play a big role in
ensuring the effective performance of the stove. If people continue using a stove that has a broken fire
chamber, no pot rests or no firewood shelf, then the performance of the stove will be as good as the
performance of an open fire. The study showed that 67% of the stoves were in good condition while
21% of the stoves had broken pot rests, 7% had no shelves and 3% had no wire mesh. Thus we can
conclude that the stoves are very durable and, if good care is taken of the stove, they will last 4 years.
88% of the households indicated that the stove saves time through its speedy cooking, and this time is
used for socialising, doing household chores, running small businesses such as selling sugarcane,
groundnuts, potatoes, and other agricultural produce.
All the 107 households indicated that they use firewood as the main source of fuel, followed by tea bush
and thirdly, by maize cobs. The tea bushes are frequently used as they are readily available: these stoves
were built in tea estates where the tea bushes are periodically uprooted in order to replant new tea
bushes, and people are allowed to collect them and from the tea fields where they are drying out.
97% of the household access firewood through collection, 2% buy firewood and 1% do both buying and
collection. Out of the 97% that collect firewood, 56% collect firewood in public forests while 44% collect
firewood in private woodlots.
Compared with earlier surveys, the households have improved enormously in kitchen and firewood
management and most of the firewood management techniques are being practiced by the households.
The use of three sticks when starting fire is the only technique which is not being practiced.
On average, the households have also improved on their cooking practices if we compare them with
what was reported in the 2009 impact assessment survey. However, some practices are not being
adhered to, such as shortening the cooking time of dry foods by soaking the legumes and beans first,
and using the stove once for bulk cooking rather than several shorter times. The users claim that when
they soak leguminous foods they change taste. It is a matter of convenience that makes them opt for
cooking frequently, the main one being that it enables them to eat the food when it is hot rather than
cooking everything at once and then leaving it to go cold until one is ready to eat.
There were some areas where people were not using the stoves and this was usually when they had just
recently occupied the houses and the stoves were new to them and they resorted to using the open
fires which they are more familiar with. A recommendation could be made to the estate management
that they appoint someone to introduce new residents to the stoves and train them in correct use. In
particular, the Esperanza stove has some openings that need tending and this can only be done when
one is trained how to do so.
It has been seen that people frequently use the stove on daily basis even though they are also using the
open fire. It was observed that many households had more than one cooking device, they had either a
clay stove or three‐stone fire alongside the fixed stove.
In the Thyolo district, ProBEC facilitated the construction of a double Esperanza stove at Makandi tea
estate, which has two fire chambers and it accommodates cooking two pots. However, after visiting the
houses that had the double Esperanza stoves, some continued to make use of other cooking devices.
Some said that when they do not have dry firewood they prefer using the three‐stone fire to using the
Esperanza stove since the intense heat of the three‐stone fire dries out the wet wood.
The study showed that people are still using firewood as the primary source of fuel. In places like the
estates where the study took place, apart from firewood people are also using tea bush, maize cobs and
other sources that are available in the areas.
People collect firewood from private forest and public forests. Women are very much involved in
firewood collection and they normally go for firewood collection early in the morning, mid‐morning and
in the afternoon. No issues were raised whether the firewood collection time has other effects on their
living. Firewood is mainly collected in head loads which may vary in size depending on the one carrying
the head load. It was good to note that there is little involvement of boys and girls in firewood collection
because of school. Children are encouraged to attend classes and so they are not foregoing school to
contribute to wood collection. Women gladly go to collect firewood. It was observed that now women
go in groups to collect firewood which will stop them being raped in the forests.
The study has shown a very big change in firewood management techniques practiced by the
households. Firewood saving would be more effective if the tea estate health officers taught users to
adhere to these good practices. Such lack of knowledge is causing negligent use of the stoves. It is
recommended that people should still be sensitized on good cooking practices so that they can
efficiently use the stoves and can save firewood.
Maintenance of the fixed stoves has been a big challenge. It was seen that many stoves that need
attention have not been fixed even after being reported to the responsible officers. To some extent it
has been observed that people do not own the stoves and there is still an attitude that it is a company
property and as such it is the responsibility of the estate owners to fix the stoves.
As ProBEC is phasing out this year, it should be noted that fixed stoves are in use and if we need the
stoves to still be in use in the next five years, then it will be necessary for extension officers, chief
compounds, and health assistance workers (HAS) to be trained in correct use of the stoves, stove
handling, and simple maintenance of the stoves.
Malawi Institutional Stoves
The institutional rocket stove has contributed to the success of the school feeding programme in
Malawi. Users are satisfied with the performance of the stove, and many users expressed their
appreciation that the stove has simplified their work. As it has already been narrated at the advantages
of the rocket stove, users are able to do domestic chores after using the stoves and they have time to
run small businesses.
A total of 50 institutions were visited, and all the schools had at least an institutional rocket stove of
which some were in use while others were not in use for different reasons. The stoves in the schools
were bought by donors: 58% are schools funded by the World Food Programme, 38% are schools
funded by Mary’s Meals, and 4% are UNICEF‐supported orphanages.
Volunteers from the neighbouring community cook the food and partake of the meals.
There are two types of cooking devices in use in schools, the institutional rocket stove and the three‐
stone fire. In the 50 institutions, there were 171 institutional rocket stoves and 25 three‐stone fires. 84%
of the schools were exclusively using rocket stoves when cooking, while 16% were using both rocket
stoves and the three‐stone fire.
There were in total 196 pots that were in use in these 50 schools and these pots are feeding 53,524
people. This then means that, on average, one pot is feeding about 273 people. Therefore the person to
stove ratio is 273:1. Out of the total 53, 524 people that were reported to be regularly eating in the
schools 229 people are adults (>18 years) while 53, 295 are children (<18 years).
84% of the schools have stoves that have been in use for more than one year and 52% of the schools
have stoves that have been in use for more than two years. 57% of stoves are in good condition, 18%
had cracks in the fire chamber, 19% had damaged skirts, 5% had broken door/chamber and 1% had
broken pot rests. Many WFP schools had stoves that needed simple maintenance and due to the lack of
this, many stoves were still in use, but were not operating efficiently since the above‐named damages
In all the schools the primary source of fuel is firewood, however, the species differed. The schools were
using blue gum (exotic wood), indigenous wood, and twigs. The schools that started with three‐stone
fires before switching to the rocket stove indicated that they were using more firewood in the past.
The accessibility of firewood by the institutions is a combination of donor provision and community
donation: 34% of the institutions are provided firewood by donors, while 66% obtain it via community
contributions to the school feeding programme.
Users cited the following advantages of the rocket stove: fuel saving, fast cooking, less smoke, comfort
when cooking, and less burns/accidents. In general, the users were very happy with the performance of
the stove. Regarding the disadvantages of the stove, the users cited the heaviness of the stove,
especially when carrying it from store rooms to the kitchen, and they also complained that the stove
does not accommodate smaller pots.
The volunteers explained that through the use of the rocket stoves they have fewer respiratory diseases,
eye inflammations and burns, but this remains anecdotal information.
There are still some gaps in the adoption of kitchen and firewood management techniques, and the
volunteers are willing to be trained in these techniques if the training can be arranged. In particular,
there is a tendency to overload the stoves with wood which is hard to eliminate.
Even though some stoves are in bad shape, simple maintenance training could be undertaken by donor
staff. The monitors for MM had attended simple maintenance training of the stoves which was done by
ProBEC, but the Field Monitoring Assistants (FMA) for WFP need such simple maintenance training.
There are many stoves that are just locked in the store room and remain disused because of minor
damages which can be corrected with this simple maintenance package.
ProBEC developed a user guide on correct use of the institutional rocket stoves in full colour poster
format with educational graphics that circumvented the need for words and hence overcame any
language barriers. The user guide comprises a poster which can be posted on the walls of the kitchens
which illustrates graphically the correct and incorrect ways to use the stoves, the “do’s” and the
“don’ts”, without necessarily having to read the words. It is advisable that all donors be introduced to
the user guide so that they can adopt it and promote its use in the schools.
Considering the health risks that are there due to the continuous use of three‐stone fire, it is
recommended that donors should discourage the use of the traditional technologies and promote the
use of the efficient cook stoves.
However, with regard to the need for chopping wood into smaller pieces there has been significant
progress in comparison to last year’s impact assessment results.
If the volunteers were exposed to some training on these cooking practises, it would prolong the life
span of the stoves.
Malawi Portable Clay Stoves
The study has shown that the households use more than one cooking device. However, all the 202
households that were surveyed had an improved portable clay stove, 98 households had a three‐stone
fire and two households had the fixed rocket stove as well as the clay stove. Hence 51% of the
households were exclusively using the clay stove.
Frequency and period of use of the improved stove: 31% of the stoves that were visited in 202
households have been in use for more than three years, these stoves are still in use. This means that the
durability of the clay stove may also be pegged at four years, depending on care. 70% of the clay stoves
are used more than three times a day.
The condition of the clay stove: 91% of the clay stoves were in good condition, 7% had broken pot rests
and 2% had no pot rests. The survey also showed that 44% of the households have replaced their clay
stoves due to breakages, stolen stoves and donated stoves. The clay stove producers indicated that they
do not replace broken stoves for free unless it has never been used.
Users indicated the three main advantages are: fuel saving, fast cooking and less smoke. The users said
that they are satisfied with the performance of the stove and, in some areas, they have made the clay
stove a fixed stove in their kitchens so that it can last longer.
Firewood remains the primary source of fuel in all the households. However, the households also use
other sources of fuel like maize cobs, maize/sorghum/cassava stalks, twigs, saw dust, charcoal, pigeon
pea stalks and tea bush. The agricultural residues are seasonal, so firewood is used.
90% of the households collect firewood for free from different places and 10% both buy and collect
firewood. Of the households that collect firewood, 40% collect from public forests, 17% from private
wood lots and 43% from their own farms.
The households are following good firewood management techniques by splitting firewood, using dry
firewood, starting fires with few sticks, removing surplus firewood once the fire has started and keeping
firewood leftovers for next fire after cooking.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Households are still using more than one cooking device, which apart from the improved stove is usually
the traditional three‐stone fire. While the latter is not used as frequently as the improved stove, it is
usually used for heating bathing water.
The households have also shown that their trust in the improved stove is increasing by looking at the
number of households that are exclusively using the improved stove, the frequency of use of the
improved stove and the period that they have been using the improved stove. The users also showed
that the most advantages of the clay stove according to the way they have been using it is fuel saving
which to some extent shows that they see the pressure of collecting firewood and the saving of the
stove gives them a relief on fuel collection.
The households use different types of fuel to cook, but the primary source of fuel for all the households
remains firewood. However, there are some seasonal fuel types that are used by the households like
agricultural residues which the households also use. It is interesting to note that the clay stove also can
burn other sources of fuel.
There was evidence of an improvement in adherence to good firewood management techniques by
splitting firewood, using few sticks to start fire and so on; however, there are still some challenges on
cooking practices. The results are in agreement with the results that were found in 2009 impact
assessment on cooking practices. More cooking demonstrations could overcome this obstacle.
The households indicated that they came to know the stoves through extension officers, which are field
officers for ProBEC partners and also Government extension officers for forestry and health
departments, and it is recommended that these people assist with stove maintenance training and
correct use training.
Tanzania Institutional Rocket Stoves (IRS) for schools, orphanages and prisons
10 schools in Tabora region (North West Tanzania) were visited and school chefs/administrative staff
interviewed about the use of IRS. The 10 schools visited represent 10% of the total IRS stoves sold in
schools Tabora between 2008 to May 2010.
The results show that highest usage rate of stoves is found in schools with boarding and day scholars
that serve more than one meal per day. In these schools, the stoves are fired twice per day to enable
cooks to prepare student meals. On the other hand, lowest usage rates of stoves are found in schools
with day scholars that serve a single meal, usually porridge, in the morning. Hence stove usage depends
on school enrolment figures and the concurrent number of meals served per day in school.
All schools use IRS every day; however 50% of the schools also use three‐stone fires to prepare meals
alongside the use of the IRS. The main reasons cited for this by school chefs are that the IRS takes time
to light and cannot cook food fast enough when chefs are in a hurry to serve food to students. Schools
using three‐stone fires alongside their IRS only use the three‐stone fire to cook “hard” foods like beans
and a local dish known as Kande because with the three‐stone fire they do not have to be at the kitchen
all the time to add wood pieces on the stove which requires constant attention and heat regulation.
All the IRS were in good condition and functioning well, and only two schools had stoves with minor
problems such as cracks on the stove body and damages inside the fire chamber. This indicates that
stoves built and produced by ProBEC ‐trained stove producers are of good quality and are durable.
School chefs and administrative staff said they enjoyed the benefits of using IRS, listing the benefits as
follows: fuel saving (100% of respondents), less burns and accidents (70%), less smoke (50%), and clean
kitchen (50%). School chefs also mentioned the comfort and convenience associated with an IRS since
their hands are less exposed to heat than when using traditional three‐stone fire, and hence they are
less prone to burns.
Disadvantages cited by chefs were few but significant nonetheless. The most common complaint is the
inability of the IRS to cook rice well, as it is too hot for rice which needs a simmering temperature.
However when stove producers were contacted for comment on this, this can be circumvented by
correct use of the stove, especially the removal of surplus wood from the fire chamber to moderate the
temperature because rice does not need too much heat to be well done.
On average, all schools demonstrated good cooking and kitchen practices. Half of school chefs (50%)
were observed monitoring the heat while cooking and only 60% of school chefs removed surplus wood
when food is boiling. In Tanzania correct use training is done by stove producers when delivering the
stove at school where school chefs or some cases school teacher (the matron or responsible teacher for
cooks) is trained on how to use IRS correctly. ProBEC also provides stove user guides to schools with the
IRS for chefs.
There is a design flaw in the IRS insofar as it takes a while to light, thereby encouraging chefs to use
another stove alongside the improved stove for those foodstuff that need to be heated rapidly.
The few disadvantages reported by schools chefs can be addressed by regular user training, especially
for new school chefs that might not have been trained by ProBEC when the stove was installed in school.
Minor stove problems like cracks on stove body should be addressed in technical trainings to stove
producers to maintaining quality and durability of stoves disseminated.
There is still a strong need to increase awareness on the existence of the rocket stove technologies,
especially in less wooded regions like Singida, Mwanza (rural) and Musoma where the demand for such
technologies is big. This can be done by building stoves in public schools for demonstration purposes.
There should be public demonstrations for school administrators to showcase the benefits of using
institutional rocket stoves, as well as conducting technical training sessions on how to build fixed IRS to
meet the demand.
Tanzania Stove Producer Survey
This study assessed the impact of stove businesses on stove producers trained by ProBEC in Tanzania to
find out how profitable their stove business is, the benefits of stove production, incentives for stove
producers as well as problems experienced in their line of business. The study was done in May 2010 in
Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Tabora and Ruvuma (Songea district) regions, and involved interviews with 10
stove producers trained by ProBEC in Tanzania. Interviews were conducted with stove producers at their
All stove producers received technical training from ProBEC and its partner organizations COSTECH,
VICOBA and TaTEDO on how to fabricate improved cooking stoves. Before receiving formal technical
training from ProBEC, four stove producers reported having started the stove businesses after they were
trained informally by their friends in how to produce rocket and charcoal stoves. All demonstrated a
high skills level for producing quality stoves.
Results indicated that stove businesses are profitable for almost all stove producers interviewed, with
seven out of 10 reporting a profit. While clay stoves do not make money but operate as a subsistence
relief product, charcoal stoves are more profitable than rocket and clay stoves mainly because the
market is geared towards the high demand for charcoal stoves in most parts of the country. As with
2009 survey results, the 2010 survey reveals an ongoing profit for stove producers.
Profits are used to pay school fees, house rent and utility bills like water and electricity.
Stove producers use different promotional activities for reaching their target customers. The most
common tactic is participation in local and international exhibitions, namely the National Agricultural
show locally known as Nane Nane, the Dar es Salaam International Trade exhibition locally known as
Saba Saba, and World Environment Day. These events are held each year and provide a chance for stove
producers to promote their stoves to a large audience.
Other stove producers use promotional materials like brochures, posters and T‐shirts to increase
awareness among customers about their stoves. Clay stove producers promote their stoves by way of
demonstrations in village‐based public meetings and house‐to‐house visits where promoters explain
All stove producers are supported by ProBEC and its partners to participate in promotional events by
providing transport of their stoves to exhibition grounds, payment of exhibition fees and printing all
promotional materials. Stove producers proposed further support in promotion and marketing of stoves
through radio and television programs broadcast on national channels with wide coverage. Further
suggestions included cash payment, support in procurement of production tools and support in
registering their businesses as formal companies. The results show that ProBEC current support in
promotion is viable approach by supporting not only in exhibitions, but also in generally helping
producers to expand their businesses by providing tangible markets.
Stove producers reported a number of problems pertaining to the stove production business including
the high costs of raw materials like insulative bricks, cement, mild steel, the lack of a transport facility to
transport stoves to their customers and market places, and market competition from readymade stoves
from foreign countries like China and India.
While all ProBEC‐trained stove producers are benefiting from their stove business, with the main benefit
being an increase in income, there has been a decline in the overall number of household rocket stove
producers, indicating that this technology might disappear after ProBEC ends in December 2010.
The market for household rocket stoves is declining every year, especially in urban areas, which is due to
the fact that household users in almost every urban centre in Tanzania prefer charcoal stoves to rocket
stoves that are mainly designed to use wood. Efforts should then be directed towards stove producers in
regions like Tabora where there is still a market due to reliance on wood, even in urban households.
The market potential for charcoal stoves is huge all over the country, the challenge remains for stove
producers to formalize their stove business and take it to the next level where they can make more
profits. Entrepreneurship and business development seminars for stove producers are needed where
issues like record keeping, preparing business plans and customer service will be covered.
Tanzania Household Stoves Impact Assessment Survey
The sample size was based on 5% of total sales per stove technology type in a particular survey area. 133
households were interviewed in three regions, namely Morogoro, Tabora and Songea district. This
encompasses interviews with 100 households using charcoal in Morogoro, 20 households using rocket
stoves in Tabora and 13 households using wood‐burning clay stoves in Songea.
Fuel saving of charcoal and wood is the most important advantage of a ProBEC stove cited by all
households, followed by monetary savings, as reported by 56% of users. Other benefits of using ProBEC
stoves cited by users include comfort in cooking (17%), less smoke (9%), clean kitchen (9%) and fast
The study concludes that there is high adoption rate of ProBEC stoves indicating ProBEC stoves will
replace other stoves in near future. All households use ProBEC stoves daily to cook their meals; however
other stoves are also being used, including the three‐stone fire, traditional metal charcoal stoves and
kerosene stoves that are used regularly as alternative cooking devices. Households using a Chinese
kerosene stove reported using it only to boil water or warm food, especially in the morning and those
observed with three‐stone fire and traditional metal charcoal stoves were using them before they
purchased ProBEC stove.
Over half (68%) of ProBEC stoves used by households are in good condition and functioning well. Minor
problems include broken liners observed by 11% of users; the deterioration of the stove metal part
observed occurred in 8% of households. Charcoal stove users reported experiencing these problems
nine months after they bought the stove, while other problems also reported were cracks on the stove
body (8% of respondents) and broken pot rests (3%). Overall, this indicates that ProBEC stoves are
durable, in good condition and perform well, and hence are of good quality.
Users also pointed out few disadvantages associated with ProBEC stoves. 26% of users complained of
breakages of the clay liners that are inserted in charcoal stoves, and 13% complained that the metal
parts wear down. Other disadvantages include the stoves not being able to accommodate bigger
cooking pots and the need to chop wood into smaller pieces.
Money saved from fuel consumption is invested in buying household items like sugar, salt, fish beef and
paying water bills as part of household expenditures.
The benefits of using ProBEC stoves are evident enough to call for large scale promotion of these stoves
in other parts of Tanzania that have not been introduced to such fuel saving cooking devices. Partner
organizations taking over ProBEC activities should scale‐up stove promotion activities in big towns like
Mwanza, Musoma and Kigoma that experience similar energy problems.
Problems with the charcoal stoves need to be addressed immediately through refresher trainings for
charcoal stove producers on quality control since these stoves exhibited more problems than any of the
others. The market for charcoal stoves in urban areas is huge and readily available; it is up to the
charcoal stove producers to secure this market and demand with quality charcoal stoves that last longer,
and to keep up with demand. ProBEC and its partners should then provide further training on charcoal
stove production in other parts of country where improving the quality of clay liner production should
be top priority.
Zambia Household Pulumusa Charcoal Stove
The Pulumusa metal charcoal stove, aimed at the urban market, has shown increasing success in its
production – by mid‐2010 the stove figures for Pulumusa had reached 4,630 as opposed 4,975 which
was the achievement for the whole year in 2009. There has also been an overwhelming response from
the public with regards to the effectiveness of the stove compared with the traditional brazier. The most
frequent benefit cited by users is that the stove saves energy compared to the traditional charcoal
The survey focused on the users and the producers of the Pulumusa in order to understand the extent
to which this technology was a success. 230 Pulumusa users and 20 Pulumusa producers were
interviewed. Of the users, 97% were female and 3% were male, while of the producers, 100% were
male. The users of the Pulumusa have found the stove to be energy efficient and have rated it as a
better stove in comparison with the traditional brazier (mbaula) because all the users said that it saves
The promotion of the Pulumusa stove has really been effective because a good number of people now
have access to it and are aware of places where they can buy the stove, however more marketing is
needed for upscaling production.
More producers should be trained to make the stove to make sure that supply keeps up with rising
demand. More marketing of the stove is needed, including radio and TV.
Entrepreneur start‐up capital should be provided to that producers can scale up their Pulumusa
production capacity. There is need to reach out to other parts of the country especially those places that
have a fuel crisis like Northern Province and other parts Luapula province where the stove has not
Zambia clay stove production
Clay stoves were first introduced in Zambia by ProBEC in 2006, when 90 people were trained to make
them in two districts. Some challenges caused it to be abandoned in 2008:
At project sites due to poor quality of the clay since are sandy areas,
Local partners did not buy into the concept as they expected to be remunerated.
The clay stove programme was then re‐ introduced in November 2009, and 1145 been made altogether,
costing between US$2 and US$3 each. In order to counter earlier problems with clay stove promotion,
the following was done:
Selected project areas with better clay, in 3 project sites
Trained 18 members in a woman’s co‐operative = 24 clay stoves.
35 members female producers were trained who have 950 stoves as at August.
Another 20 members were trained in a mixed‐sex co‐operative and they had
made 111 clay stoves by August.
ZENGO trained 5 of its staff, and 60 stoves were made by August
Therefore, a total of 73 people were trained starting 2009.
While consumers appreciate the benefits, they have complained about stove quality since they are
brittle and crack or crumble long before the purported 3‐year lifespan – due to poor quality clay and
firing them too rapidly. Technical officers will visit groups again to make sure they are firing them slowly.
Another problem encountered by producers in one district, where producers needed the Chief’s
permission to access better clay, and ProBEC staff duly organised this. One co‐operative has made the
bricks for a shelter for the stoves to cure and dry in, but they are waiting for timber & cement. The long
distance from markets is also an issue and so marketing activities were stepped up & a radio campaign is
about to start. With profits, the trend is for producers to buy farming inputs such as agricultural
fertilizer. In one district, clay is 5kms away from production site, however they have pooled money to
organise transport, $1 each. Upscaling planned and suitable sites with high‐quality clay have been
Mozambique household clay and fixed mud stoves
ProBEC, together with the Mozambican government introduced improved cooking stoves
(fixed mud and portable clay stoves) in the provinces of Manica and Sofala in 2004 and this year, 2010,
the rural programme has expanded to the provinces of Maputo, Inhambane and Nampula.
Results of the 2010 IA show that:
• 61% of respondents use portable clay stoves, 31% use fixed mud stoves and 7% use both,
• 54% of respondents use no other type of stove, 28% use the traditional charcoal stove as an
alternative and 15% use a charcoal stove,
• Improved cooking stoves (ICS) are used for all household purposes (preparing meals, boiling
water, heating etc), and the alternative stoves are used for the same purposes as the ICS,
• 16% of respondents have been using an ICS for less than 6 months, 41% of respondents have
been using the stoves for a period of 7 months to 1 year, 35% of respondents for 1‐2 years, 7%
of respondents for 2 to 3 years and 1% of respondents for over three years,
• 24% of the respondents replaced their stoves and of these 96% replaced them with another
stove promoted by ProBEC,
• 70% of the users use the stove three times a day, 17% of respondents use it more than three
times a day and 10% of respondents use it only twice a day,
• 99% of respondents said the stoves save fuel, 64% said they save cash, 98% said the stove cooks
fast, 97% said it emits less smoke and 65% said they have less health problems since the
introduction of the stove,
• Of the respondents who said the stoves save cash, 97% use the extra cash to buy household
stuff and 3% invest in their small businesses,
• Of the respondents who said the stoves saves them time, 52% use the time to do other
household chores, 12% use the extra time to work in their fields, 11% for working in their small
businesses and 7% use the time to rest,
• 99% of the cases use firewood as a primary fuel, 62% use maize cobs as a secondary fuel and
43% use twigs as a third option fuel,
• 94% split their firewood before cooking,
• 53% of respondents collect their firewood whilst 42% buy it and 4% do both, buy and collect,
• 43% of firewood is collected from open lands, 36% is collected from people’s own farms, 16% is
from public forests and 5% from private woodlots,
• 77% of the time firewood is collected by women, 16% by girls, and 83% of the firewood
collectors leave very early in the morning and come back mid‐morning which would suggest a
maximum time of 5 hours for firewood collection. Since most of the firewood is collected by
women and girls this would mean that girls miss out on some classes and the introduction of
energy saving stoves would greatly reduce this and give equal opportunities to boys and girls for
• 92% practice firewood management techniques which consist of splitting firewood before
lighting the fire, keeping firewood in a dry place, using appropriate quantities of firewood,
• Wood is bought in small bundles of 1‐3kg which cost between 3 and 10MT (US$0.1 – US$0.3)
and larger ones of 15‐30kg which cost between 20 and 50MT (US$0.6 – US$1.4). Only a few buy
in large quantities of ox‐driven carts which cost between 300‐600mt (US$9 – US$17),
• 32% of respondents heard about the stove from a friend, 27.6% of respondents heard about
them from a member of a local organisation such as local ProBEC partners ADEL, CCSA, ADEM
and 18.2% of respondents heard about the stoves directly from a producer.
Taking into account the benefits that the stove users from the study area are getting from using the
improved cooking stoves, this initiative should be taken to other parts of the country. One of the
objectives of the government is to combat deforestation; the use of improved cooking stoves could
contribute significantly to this effect. More public awareness campaigns should be conducted so that
users practice all the kitchen and firewood management techniques to get maximum benefits from
using their stoves.
An integrated plan including all the stakeholders that is all relevant ministries, private sector and civil
society should be developed to guarantee the sustainability of the programme.
More assistance should be given to producers so that they run their businesses professionally to
increase production and avoid cases of some areas running out of stoves. At the moment demand far
POCA ceramic charcoal stove
• 90% of the respondents in the study area are women, who are the primary cooks in the
household and interviewers were always referred to women in the household if they
encountered a man,
• The POCA is used for preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner. 50% of the families cook once a day
and use the stove for warming up the precooked food at other mealtimes,
• The traditional metallic charcoal stoves and gas stoves are still widely used by more than half of
• Close to 60% of the respondents have owned the POCA for less than six months, which is not
unusual given that the stoves only went to market in early 2010,
• About 5% of the respondents have replaced their stove and of these 55% replaced it with
another POCA stove. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the stoves have only been in use
for only six months (the second successful POCA factory only started production early 2010) but
there is a good number of stoves which were bought in 2007 from the first factory which are still
in use which indicates that the average lifespan of the POCA is three years.
• All the respondents said that the stove saves fuel, 95% said that it saves money, 94% said that it
cooks fast, 80% said that it emits less smoke and 87% said that they have a cleaner kitchen as a
result of using the stove,
• Only about 30% said that they feel comfortable cooking on the POCA. This is because its
alternative, the metal brazier (mainly used in Maputo and Matola) has metal legs and people
can cook whilst they are upright as compared to the POCA which requires that they bend over
and cook on the ground. Many of the families interviewed were suggesting that the stove be
manufactured a bit higher so as to make it more comfortable to cook on and also to have a two‐
plate stove so that they could avoid using the traditional metal charcoal stove to prepare meals,
• Of the people who save money, 95% use it to buy other household stuff, while 73% use the
time to do other household chores and 21% invest the time in their small businesses,
• The majority of the respondents buy charcoal in small quantities, with 40% of respondents
saying they buy it in 1‐2Kg parcels, which costs between US$1,5 and US$0.3,
• About 30% of respondents buy bags of 50kg which cost between US$11 and US$14 and another
20% buy bags of 90kg which cost between US$14 and US$17 per unit,
• About 67% of the charcoal is bought from the market, about 26% is bought from neighbours and
only about 7% is bought from roadside vendors,
• Close to 80% of the respondents practice kitchen management techniques.
• Television was very instrumental in the marketing of the POCA stove with 35% of the
respondents saying that they saw it on TV which prompted them to try out the stove, and about
30% heard of the stove from a neighbour or friend. A more integrated marketing approach has
to be adopted so that people would know their nearest retailers or distributors marketing the
The demand for the POCA stove is growing fast and production has to be stepped up to meet demand.
With the benefits being reported by the POCA users, it is suggested that the experience be implemented
in the rest of the country. Beira City in Sofala, Quelimane in Zambézia or Nampula are all ideal locations,
based of the market demand and the widespread use of charcoal. These could be the sites for a second
POCA factory. Although ProBEC has not subsidized the POCA, a great deal of financial and technical
support was channelled to the producer, Cerâmica Térmica, in order to bring it up to speed with the
demand for an affordable and, yet, efficient cooking stove. Similar support would be needed to erect
Adapting the M&E system for carbon reporting
In order to fulfil the requirements of a PDD, the design of a monitoring plan was commissioned and was
developed by Atmosfair, Berlin. This company was chosen because they already have a stove project in
Nigeria and hence are familiar with the challenges involved in working in an often rural African context.
They were also the cheapest.
M&E activities for carbon compliance
Over and above the usual collection of monthly stove production figures and annual impact assessment
surveys, the following new activities were introduced:
• Introduction of stove serial numbers, with distribution dates
• Receipt book introduction to track stove sales and to develop master database of stove users, as
well as to ascertain what incentives are needed along the stove supply chain
• Stove efficiency tests updated; training of People's Energy Network staff. In order to get this
information, M&E officers were sent a template with stove testing protocols as well as stove
technology profile to fill in for each technology type, including estimated emissions reductions.
This exercise is far from over and ProBEC’s stove efficiency testing results is still full of gaps. It is
recommended that stove programmes make this a priority from the start of a project.
• Adaptation of annual impact assessment questionnaires to reflect in more detail stove use
decay and durability: is the stove still in use and if not, is it being repaired or replaced?
• Stove use – upgrading of data in annual impact assessment surveys to ascertain:
• Distinction between usage patterns of supplementary stoves and devices alongside the
• Assessment of non‐renewability of biomass (NRB) (how much is the wood the vicinity of the
stove being depleted) by way of in‐house desktop studies using FAO data from M&E officers. In
Mozambique a professional NRB study was commissioned from forestry experts and this yielded
the required level of detail needed for PDD reporting and it is recommended that this be done in
all countries. There was also an attempt to capture this information via the impact assessment
surveys by asking respondents the amount of time/ distance it takes to collect the wood (for
example, it has increased from 2 hours to 4 hours, or 1km to 5km).
• ProBEC also experimented with the development of monitoring technology such as Stove Use
Meters and electronic M&E data capture systems. The latter was an online data capture forum,
linked to a private section of the ProBEC website, whereby staff inserted stove figures on a
three‐monthly basis. This was however abandoned because monthly figures were more
comprehensive and revealing, and because the tool required a lot of back‐up IT support from
the company who designed it, Eco, and they were too short staffed to provide regular service,
and being based in London, this was difficult to negotiate.
Progress on receipt book pilot exercise
The aim of this exercise was to formalise sales and to track stove users more accurately, at the point of
sale. It was also an attempt to see what response people along the stove value chain would have to the
introduction of such a formal business tool: from producer to wholesalers to retailer and to end user.
Would people happily part with such information?
The format of the booklet comprises carbonated paper that records three copies of each receipt:
customer, seller and the final copy for ProBEC / SADC Regional Carbon Facility (SRCF). It also includes a
carbon disclaimer saying the credits belong to the SRCF.
This was accompanied by renewed drives to train partners in record keeping systems, and to brainstorm
incentives to ensure their co‐operation. It was anticipated that this would be better than the existing
system of log books since sellers could just fill in the receipt so that it becomes an ordinary business
transaction, with the hope that there would be stronger adherence. It could also function as a tool for
stock control and record keeping
• Requests for translation into local languages
• Some producers like it since it is seen to legitimise their business
• Addresses are not always formal ‐ no street names or numbers, so reliance on M&E officers who
know how to locate producers. In rural areas, village and district details are enough to track clay
stove producers, however, there was no resistance to giving phone numbers.
• Motivation and incentives must be linked to help with production lines – eg: buckets, storage
place, wheelbarrows for clay stoves and hammers for tinsmiths, transport. This raised the issue
of how the carbon money will be distributed along the value chain, an issue that requires more
investigation and debate.
• In the event that T‐shirts are used as an incentive, it is important that they be distributed to all
producer groups otherwise competitiveness ensues.
• The best option seems to be if the receipts are linked to guarantee / replacement system, so
that the damaged stove is repaired or replaced on provision of the receipt.
Knowledge Management System and Public Relations
The primary purpose of developing a KMS system is to ensure that institutional knowledge is retained,
and to collate and share data on progress. In August 2007, ProBEC commissioned the development of a
Strategic Communications and Public Relations plan from consultant. This reflected a new emphasis on
the importance of communicating ProBEC’s activities, products and policy as the organisation has
expanded and matured. Public education, grassroots awareness campaigns, research, political action,
etc. are vital to the success of ProBEC, and these activities need to be communicated to the outside
world. A strategic communications plan could drive this dissemination of information and action, as well
as integrate the ProBEC team and assist with deploying ProBEC’s resources more effectively and
strategically by highlighting synergies and shared opportunities.
The primary vehicle of the public relations initiative was the web‐based knowledge management
system, linked to the website (www.probec.org) and a public relations plan. Together, these improved
ProBEC’s internal and external communication. The website will remain hosted for the first 6 months of
2011 to facilitate the sharing of our documentation with interested parties. This is a free service offered
by the web hosting company.
As of 2008, the following activities were introduced:
• Branding with a new logo and accompanying brochures, fact sheets, promotional material, as
well as displays for events – posters, pull‐up banners, nomads and model stoves,
• Introduction of a monthly e‐newsletter which increases exchange between countries and with
general public and international community; it is also a marketing tool,
• Development of the editing and report templates (naming of files, reporting protocols,
standardisation of formats, templates and logo and letterhead dissemination),
• Development of filing system on the shared drive (network/backup drive),
• Development of a Public Relations plan (defining goals and audiences and key messages),
• Approaching the media and developing contact lists,
• Exhibitions, events and publicity material,
• Annual themed media campaign,
• PR budgeting for every year for every country
• Tracking and evaluating impact ‐ use of Google Analytics, a site analysis tool with feedback on
traffic to the site, the length of time spent on various sections, when it is most visited and so on.
This helped inform content for subsequent issues of the e‐newsletter. The average number of
monthly hits on the site is 1100. The subscriber list comprises 865 people.
A simple PR toolbox has been designed to help each national and regional co‐ordinator to come up with
key messages that convey ProBEC’s mission. The toolbox was expanded into a half‐hour PowerPoint
presentation that was used for training country staff, and general public relations training was provided
with guidelines for generating stories. Each year staff were encouraged to identify four potential press
release topics based on operational plans of the project, and the importance of timing was stressed to
ensure that media interest coincided with an actual event. An online press room was introduced to the
ProBEC website, and scans of media coverage in the various countries were uploaded there for quick
and easy downloading by interested parties, with ready‐made report articles in an accessible format.
Training workshops were undertaken and covered the following:
• Define each country’s audiences
• Establish the key media partners for each audience
• Determine the sector / trade journals & magazines on related topics
• Design an advocacy / lobby approach for targeting key opinion leaders / govt departments
• Interpret issues such as “sustainability” for grassroots audiences
• Determine decision‐making criteria for ad‐hoc requests (for exhibiting / meetings)
Other general activities:
• A Stove Technology profile was published outlining stove specifications, location of sellers and
estimated greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
• Educational posters and pamphlets were provided to country staff on request.
• In 2009, a competition was introduced to encourage staff to reflect on and share their
experiences as national co‐ordinators whereby they could win prize money for developing a
research paper. Three entries and three winners were the result. This was abandoned in 2010
due to the high workload for staff to prepare for the exit strategy.
• Annual media themes:
o The media theme for 2008: “ProBEC pioneers basic energy in the carbon market”
o The media theme for 2009 was: “ProBEC leaves sustainable structures”
o 2010 was dominated by World Cup preparations; however, no interviews with the press were
Other GTZ‐specific media activities covered the following:
1) Development of World Cup media key messages
2) Support to GTZ website, DMS and general GTZ press activities
(For supporting documentation and the impact assessment surveys,