Fuel-Efficient Stove Programs in Humanitarian Settings

An Implementer’s Toolkit

Fuel-Efficient Stove Programs in Humanitarian Settings: An Implementer’s Toolkit

Humanitarian organizations are becoming increasingly concerned about energy issues in communities, camps, or settlements where internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees are settled temporarily. At a minimum, all displaced people require fuel to cook, and the manner in which fuel is obtained and used can have significant impacts on displaced populations, host communities, and the surrounding natural environment.

Firewood and charcoal always are in high demand for traditional methods of cooking. Fuel-efficient stoves (FES) can have many positive impacts in a camp, settlement, or other IDP setting. These stoves can help save energy, reduce the time and burden of collecting firewood, and limit the associated exposure for collectors to physical attack and/or gender-based violence. The production and sale of FES can provide important income-generating opportunities for local manufacturers and sellers. Because traditional open fires can be very unsafe in crowded camp or settlement conditions, FES can reduce the risks of uncontrolled fires, as well as burns suffered by cooks and children. FES also have the potential to reduce the impact of health problems related to smoke inhalation. In many cases, cutting trees, shrubs, and roots for fuel can lead to the depletion of forests and environmental degradation in areas that host transient populations. Fuel-saving stoves can slow the degradation and help ease tensions over the use of, and access to, these natural resources.

There is much debate over what types and styles of stoves are the most fuel-efficient and user-friendly, and whether a particular stove will be useful to displaced populations. The purpose of this Toolkit is to help humanitarian organizations determine if an FES program is feasible and appropriate for a given setting, and if so, how to design and implement an effective program for wood-burning stoves. These guidelines and associated tools represent standard good practices approved by the United States Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) for FES programs in immediate and protracted humanitarian contexts.

How to Use the Toolkit

This Toolkit is designed to take you and your organization through a step-by-step process of assessment, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of a proposed activity. While these guidelines focus primarily on wood-burning stoves, OFDA also will consider funding applications for stoves that utilize other fuels. A similarly thorough needs assessment and justification analysis will be required for those programs as well.

The Toolkit contains twelve steps. Each step includes an introduction, explanation of the task(s) to be conducted, tools to help you carry out the task(s), and information on additional resources. Each step is color-coded for ease of use. In addition, data log sheets for all surveys and testing protocols are provided below. You therefore have the ability to reproduce and modify the forms as necessary for your particular project.

While this Toolkit has been developed to be as comprehensive as possible, it is not possible to account for all possible circumstances or situations. This Toolkit provides the framework to make informed decisions, but you must also apply your knowledge about the unique needs, experiences, and preferences of your target beneficiaries and the natural and political environments where you intend to work. Moreover, the fields of stove design and testing methodologies are dynamic, and USAID priorities and indicators will change over time. Therefore, you should refer to the USAID/OFDA Guidelines for Unsolicited Proposals and Reporting to determine if there are any relevant revisions or updates before submitting your proposal for funding.

Download the Toolkit

Use the link below to access the entire toolkit as a PDF file containing all 12 steps and accompanying tools.

Download Customizable Tool Files

Separate links for the tools themselves are provided below, so that you may adapt and manipulate them for use in your own projects.

Step 2: Developing a Concept Paper

  1. Rapid Site Assessment, (DOC 32K)

Step 3: Designing Your FES Program: Collecting Background Information

  1. Site Survey Template, (DOC 57K)
  2. Household Survey Template, (DOC 130K)
  3. Household Survey Data Sheet, (XLS 123K)

Step 4: Designing Your FES Program: Interpreting the Survey Data

  1. Interpreting the Survey Data Table, (DOC 60K)

Step 9: Implementing Your FES Program: The Pilot Phase

  1. Controlled Cooking Test (CCT) Protocol, (DOC 62K)
  2. CCT Structured Observation Data Sheet, (DOC 55K)
  3. CCT Data Calculations Sheet, (XLS 183K)
  4. Production Log Template, (DOC 46K)

Step 10: Implementing Your FES Program: Stove Dissemination and End-user Training

  1. Distribution Log Template, (DOC 66K)

Step 11: Monitoring, Testing, and Reporting

  1. Kitchen Performance Test Data Calculation Sheet, (XLS 98K)
  2. Post-intervention Survey Template, (DOC 77K)
  3. Post-intervention Survey Data Sheet, (XLS 68K)

Step 12: Putting it all Together: Ten Tips for Successful FES Programs

  1. Resource Guide, (XLS 127K)

Publications and Resources

Humanitarian Issues

Indoor Air Pollution

Monitoring and Evaluation


Other Sources of Information