Stakeholder perspectives in a cookstove implementation project in rural Mexico Karin Troncoso, Alicia Castillo Leticia Merino and Elena Lazos National University of Mexico (UNAM)
In Mexico 25 million people use fuelwood in open fires mainly for cooking • The use of fuelwood has negative health and environmental impacts
Since the 70’s, a technology that addresses these 2 problems has been developed: The Improved Cookstove
The interest for ICS came first from governments and environmental organizations that became concerned about the possible link between fuelwood harvesting and deforestation • Exposure to smoke was later identified as a serious health problem, especially for women and small children • Therefore, the designs of improved cookstoves have been driven mainly by the perceptions of external stakeholders, and actual people’s perceptions have played a minor role.
The adoption of improved cookstoves has been limited, due to several factors: • Problems with the technologies • Problems with the diffusion methodology • Cultural aspects
Case study • The implementation program carried out by GIRA, a local NGO
Project location: Purépecha Region 19 municipalities 220,000 fuelwood users 30 communities 1,500 ICS built
Diffusion, construction, follow up Indoor air pollution study Efficiency study Improvement of life quality in rural homes through the sustainable use of fuelwood in the Purépecha Region Greenhouse gas emissions study Health study Social perceptions study
Technology: Patsari cookstove
Research questions • How was the strategy followed by the NGO in this implementation project? • How was the relation between the different stakeholders of the implementation project? • What are the constraints faced by these projects?
Research methodology • A qualitative research methodology was followed, which explains actions from the stakeholders’ perspectives • Interviews were made to: • Researchers • Students • Development worker • Stove builders • NGO team • Technicians • Users
Diffusion strategy • The project followed an adaptative management strategy, giving place to three different ICS models • The diffusion focused on women • There was a follow up of the ICS • In the first stage women had to pay 30% of the value. The second and third models were given for free as a reward for women’s participation in the studies
Relations between stakeholders • Managing the relation between the studies and the implementation was a complex issue: • Lack of joint planning • Lack of a shared vision • Lack of communication • Lack of clarity with regards to the NGO’s support to the study teams
Relation between the project and the users • Many women got tired of the studies; they were not explained the extent of their involvement • The diffusion of three different models caused problems • Women were aware about the health problems and low efficiency addressed by ICS • Women who adopted an ICS were in general satisfied • Women did not know who had built their ICS
Stakeholder visions • Two different visions on the approach to be followed by implementation projects were observed: A people-centered vision, and a technology-centered vision
Project constraints • The diffusion program was constrained by the NGO’s commitment with the donors • Technology requires external supplies • The studies took the NGO out of their diffusion scheme • The studies involved a number of problems regarding their approach with the users • Low adoption rates involved problems for the studies • The NGO needs to decide which of the two visions better represent its objectives