Millions of people worldwide die prematurely or suffer from severe health ailments due to cooking equipment that causes unhealthy doses of (household) air pollution. Many attempts to address this have fallen short because technology was not improved sufficiently or the way it was introduced constituted an ill fit with the broader “cooking eco-system”. In terms of technology, (biomass) gasifier stoves look promising on all three sustainability dimensions (people, planet, profit) but have not been adopted on a substantial scale across cultures and regions either. We therefore used a design approach that takes multiple contexts (target groups) into account and compared the performance of a gasifier stove that was developed following this multi-context approach with four previous gasifier versions. With the comparative assessment using criteria well beyond mere technological performance we found that it performed better than these versions as well as than what could be expected based on historical learning, while providing additional systemic advantages. These results encourage verification of the value of the multi-context approach in more settings while providing clues for refinement of the assessment method.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited