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Session 2. Traditional Methods of Coking: an Introduction to Cookstove Technologies[edit | edit source]

Total time: 2 hours
Objectives: * To discuss the need for alternative sources of energy and energy conservation in developing nations
  • To describe the advantages and disadvantages of open fire cooking * To discuss fuel-saving cookstoves and other alternatives to open fire cooking
Resources: * Aprovecho Institute, Helping People in Poor Countries
  • Evans and Boutette, Lorena Stoves * Eckholm, The Other Energy Crisis: Firewood
Materials: Matches, locally collected fuels (firewood, dung, dried corn stalks, rice hulls, etc.), cooking utensils, cups, water, earthen stoves, stones, hatchet, machete or ax (if needed) and the ingredients for a hot beverage


Step 1. (5 minutes)

Present the objectives and list the session activities. Outline the phase schedule.

Trainer Notes

Post a copy of the phase schedule on newsprint to refer to during this presentation.

Step 2. (5 minutes)

Review some of the issues raised in Phase I: Session 14, "Global Energy Issues," and have the participants list some of the results of deforestation.

Trainer Notes

Mention Eric Eckholm's pamphlet, The Other Energy Crisis: Firewood, as a resource describing the results of deforestation on developing nations.

Step 3. (10 minutes)

Have participants list some of the possible ways of addressing the problems of deforestation and fuel wood scarcity.

Trainer Notes

The following approaches should be mentioned: reforestation for fuel wood, erosion control, solar ovens and cookers, retained heat cookers, electrification, other fuels such as biogas, kerosene, coal, natural gas, etc., a change in the politics of wood use (lumber use, slash-andburn, etc.). Mention that these responses to fuel scarcity will be discussed in more detail in Session 18 of this phase.

Step 4. (15 minutes)

Discuss the advantages of the use of improved cookstoves as a way of dealing with the problem of firewood scarcity.

Trainer Notes

Explain that there are many responses to deforestation and the lack of fuel, and that improved cookstoves are only one aproach. However, they are an approach which has been identified as immediate and appropriate. Briefly mention some of the advantageous characteristics of improved cookstoves (such as low cost, fuel-conserving, built from locally available materials, easily maintained and repaired, smoke control, more sanitary). Stress that villagers may have motives other than fuel conservation for accepting improved cookstoves (such as enhanced status and/or smoke control). Mention how cookstoves only delay the problem -- not solve it. Reforestation and perhaps population stabilization are the final answers.

Step 5. (10 minutes)

Facilitate a discussion of open fire cooking (over rocks, on a grate, in a pit) as a traditional method throughout the world.

Trainer Notes

Ask if anyone has ever cooked on an open fire, or if they have seen it done. If people in the group have traveled, they may be familiar with cooking on an open fire as a traditonal method Ask them to describe what they saw, the type of fire arrangement and the fuel burned.

Step 6. (45 minutes)

Have participants form small groups and:

  • Collect a small amount of fuel from the area.
  • Prepare a traditional open cooking fire.
  • Bring water to a boil and make a hot beverage to drink.
Trainer Notes

Emphasize that a minimum amount of fuel should be used to simulate a condition of scarcity. If possible, use a fuel that best illustrates the conditions in countries where people will eventually serve. The teams may be formed according to the region of future Peace Corps service.

Step 7. (10 minutes)

Ask each group, while they drink their beverage, to list on newsprint the advantages and disadvantages of open fire cooking that they have gained from this experience. They should also list any additional advantages and disadvantages that might be encountered in a developing country.

Trainer Notes

Be sure a number of categories are included (e.g., safety, efficiency, cost, convenience, impact on health and tradition, social/ceremonial focus, source of heat and light, insect control, etc.) and that specific concerns are discussed (e.g., uneven heat, burns and scalds, fire easily built without practice, easily seen, controlled and moved, accommodation of varying fuel and pot sizes, need for constant tending, health hazards, smoke, much heat not directed to pot, fire doesn't hold heat, etc.).

Step 8. (10 minutes)

Reconvene the groups. Have them post their lists and briefly review them. Ask how the ideas listed could be incorporated into making improvements on the open fire method of cooking. Record any suggestions on newsprint.

Trainer Notes

All suggestions should be welcomed, reviewed and discussed for cultural sensitivity and feasibility. Some ideas may not work but it is important that people begin to imagine how existing and indigenous technologies may be used as a basis for modifications, rather than assuming a new technology must be introduced. Suggestions include: methods to control air flow, directing and retaining heat more efficiently, reducing hazards eliminating smoke, orienting wind, using wind breaks, placing lids on pots, enclosing fire, controlling height of pot, etc.

Step 9. (10 minutes)

Conclude the session by reviewing the variety of approaches that may be taken to improve cooking methods and to save fuel.

Trainer Notes

Mention that in some cases, improved use of open fires can result in significant fuel savings. Point out the importance of respecting tradition and of encouraging people to identify their problems and propose the solutions based upon their own experiences. Ask for comments and observations about the session. * Were the objectives met? * Did people learn about issues, examine advantages and drawbacks, etc? Fires should be completely doused, the area cleaned and utensils stored before participants move on to another activity.

Session 3. Fuel-Saying Cookstoves: Gathering Information[edit | edit source]

Total time: 1-1/2 hours
Objectives: To discuss the range and complexity of issues and factors to be considered when investigating the need for the promotion and/or development of new technologies
Resources: "Socio-Cultural and Technical Checklists," Helping People in Poor Countries, pp. 31-34
Materials: Newsprint and felt-tip pens


Step 1. (30 minutes)

Begin by stating the session objectives. Then - ask the participants to divide into groups of 4 or 5 in order to consider the following question:

As community development facilitators, what information would you need and what factors would you want to be aware of before deciding that there was a need for helping people improve or change the ways they cook?

Both the discussion question and the instructions for this activity should be posted on newsprint to provide participants with focus and clarity while they are working in their groups.

Step 2. (30 minutes)

Reconvene the groups and ask a representative from each group to present their lists. Facilitate any questions or discussion raised by the lists.

Step 3. (5 minutes)

Distribute copies of pp. 3134, "Socio-Cultural and Technical Checklists" from Helping People in Poor Countries and allow participants time to review the material.

Step 4. (15 minutes)

Referring to the checklists, ask participants to identify and discuss any factors that were not covered in the earlier lists.

Step 5. (10 minutes)

Ask that a volunteer participant(s) facilitate a discussion which reviews and summarizes the session.

Trainer Notes

In summarizing the session, these key issues should be highlighted: * The importance of appreciating the complexity surrounding the promotion and development of a new technology * The significance of social-cultural awareness ant sensitivity in the assessment of needs * The understanding that the promotion/development of cookstove technology (or any other technology) may not always be the answer

Session 4. Cookstove Design and Innovations[edit | edit source]

Total time: 2-1/2 hours
Objectives: * To compare and contrast a variety of traditional and improved cookstove designs
  • To practice designing cookstoves * To discuss available resource material on cookstove technology
Resources: * Farallones/Aprovecho slide presentation, "Indigenous and Improved cookstove Technologies from Around the World".
  • Attachment II-4-A, "Hypothetical Design Situations" * Attachment II-4-B, "Catalogue" from cookstove News, Vol. I, No. 1 * Aprovecho Institute, Helping People in Poor Countries * Evans & Boutette, Lorena Stoves
Materials: Projector and screen, chalkboard/chalk or newsprint and felt-tip pens


Step 1. (1 hour)

Provide a brief overview of the session objectives and present the slide show, "Indigenous and Im proved cookstove Technologies from Around the World."

Trainer Notes

The slide show presentation will expose the participants to a variety of cookstoves that have been built and used worldwide The program is designed to stimulate the participants' thinking about different cookstove innovations before they begin actual design and construction. Don't dwell too long on any slide. Just briefly explain the origin of the stoves and the location of firebox and tunnel systems.

Step 2. (30 minutes)

Ask the participants to form four design groups. Assign each design group one of the hypothetical design situations outlined in Attachment II-4-A, "Hypothetical Design Situations," and ask them to prepare an explanation and a drawing of their cookstove design on newsprint, showing top and side views.

Trainer Notes

Circulate among the groups, providing hints and suggestions regarding their cookstove designs. Let them work it out themselves. Ideas are more important at this point than technical feasibility.

Step 3. (30 minutes)

Reconvene the groups. Ask each group to present their design. Facilitate any discussion which may arise.

Step 4. (20 minutes)

Distribute Attachment II4-B, the "Catalogue," and facilitate a discussion of the various cookstove models shown as well as the models seen in the slide show.

Trainer Notes

Explain the Spanish term "lorena" and its significance in this program: "Lorena" refers to a sand/clay stove and a stove construction process. It also refers to a specific stove model, developed for use in highland Guatemala. It is the sand/clay mix and not the particular stove design that will be emphasized during this training phase.

Step 5. (5 minutes)

Distribute copies of Helping People in Poor Countries and Lorena Stoves. Present any other resource materials on cookstove technology or charcoal production that will be available during the training program

Step 6. (5 minutes)

Conclude the session by reviewing the objectives and facilitating a brief discussion of how effectively they were met.


Design Situation #1

  • Hot tropics. It rains about three months of the year.
  • Cooking is done outside, except during the rainy season.
  • Fuel is charcoal.
  • Morning meal: thin gruel or warmed leftovers.
  • Hid-day and evening meals:

One pot, 40cm diameter and made out of cast aluminum, is used for a mush of sweet potatoes or millet which must be stirred constantly.

A second pot, 25cm diameter and made out of cast aluminum, is used for a sauce or soup made of onions and meat or fish fried together, with vegetables added later and all simmered together like a stew.

  • People drink tea after meals and between meals but not during meals.

Design Situation #2

  • Highland tropics. Nights are cool; days are warm. It rains in the afternoon about six months of the year.
  • Outdoor market stall: Food is cooked in the morning and kept warm while it is served during the course of the day (from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
  • Fuel is firewood (small sticks to pieces about 4" thick and 18" long).
  • Items cooked: rice, beans, sauces, meat stew, soup, tortillas and coffee. All foods are cooked in earthenware pots of various sizes, most with rounded bottoms. Tortillas are cooked on a large clay griddle and coffee is heated in a metal teakettle.
  • As many of these foods as possible should be ready to serve at any one time.

Design Situation #3

  • Very cold arctic climate, with 8 or 9 months of snow and cold.
  • Cooking is done indoors. Excess heat from cooking is needed for warmth.
  • Fuel is small sticks and driftwood. There are no trees in the area.
  • Morning meal: pancakes and tea. Pancakes are cooked on an iron griddle.
  • Mid-day and evening meals:

Meat stew, leftover pancakes and tea. Stew is cooked in a large iron pot and tea in a tea kettle with a flat bottom.

  • Tea is often served during the day and evening.
  • Once or twice yearly, great quantities of whale blubber are rendered in a very large (60cm diameter) iron kettle.

Design Situation #4

  • Northern desert climate. Summers are hot and dry; winters, cold and dry.
  • Semi-nomadic people who cook outdoors when they camp in tents for seven months of the year. During the winter (5 months), they cook indoors while living in huts.
  • Fuel is brush and small twigs. Fuel is scarce.
  • Morning meal: cold leftovers.
  • Mid-day and evening meals:

Porridge from grass seeds, stew from wild tubers and vegetables and occasionally meat or pancakes from acorn meal. They use metal pots and griddle.

  • Warm water is used for washing, especially in winter.
  • Tea is drunk after dinner and when visiting friends.

CATALOGUE FROM cookstove NEWS, VOL . 1 /NO. 1






These are only a few examples of improved cookstoves. Details and contact people available from cookstove News/Aprovecho Institute.

Session 5. Thinking in Pictures: Introduction to Design Drawing[edit | edit source]

Total time: 2 hours
Objectives: * To discuss basic concepts of mechanical and perspective drawing
  • To do a sample mechanical and perspective drawing * To discuss the effectiveness of mechanical drawing as an appropriate aid to communication
Resources: * Ching, Architectural Graphics, pp. 44-45, 67-69
  • Lockard, Design Drawing Experiences
Trainer Notes

Copies of pages from Architectural Graphics should be prepared for distribution during this session.

Materials: Soft lea

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