Adoption and Abandonment of Improved Cookstoves: A Case Study of Proyecto Mirador’s dos por tres Cookstove

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Robert Bailis
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The literature surrounding improved cookstove projects is primarily concerned with the “adoption gap.” Although 2.8 billion people rely on solid fuel, such as biomass, coal, or dung, for their cooking needs, improved cookstove projects have yet to achieve widespread adoption. Indoor air pollution emitted from incomplete burning of solid fuels in poorly ventilated indoor kitchens has led to 3.7 million premature deaths per year. Since improved cookstoves increase cooking efficiency compared with traditional stoves, their use reduces the amount of fuel needed and time required for gathering and cooking, thereby improving health and saving money. This thesis focuses on the factors that condition adoption and sustained usage of improved cookstoves, with a focus on Proyecto Mirador’s dos por tres improved cookstove. The adoption of an improved cookstove is a complex process that requires the alignment of project goals and local needs. The factors that surround sustained usage and abandonment of improved cookstoves are equally multifaceted. Proyecto Mirador has paid special attention to the issue of sustained usage and has begun to effectively institute policies to mitigate abandonment.