How Can We Support a Market Aimed at Improving Health, Livelihoods, and the Environment?
Ready to get started on the newest IDEO.org project, Fellow Liz Ogbu breaks down the cookstoves project and the human-centered design approach that the team will be using to tackle the challenge.
How can we support a market aimed at improving health, livelihoods, and the environment? Well, an IDEO.org team comprising of myself, Robin Bigio, and Emily Friedberg are setting out to do just that. We are working on a pilot project with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC), a public-private initiative of the UN Foundation that seeks to advance the global market for clean cookstoves. A compelling technology, clean cookstoves have the potential to improve health through reducing exposure to smoke from traditional fires and stoves, livelihoods through increased savings from reduction of fuel use, and environment through the decrease in emissions.
Despite the significant improvements in cookstove technology in recent years, there has been too little attention paid to the habits, motivations, and aspirations of the cookstove’s target market that strongly influence adoption. Our team will focus in particular on bringing some clarity around user preferences and behaviors. Typical of our process at IDEO.org, we’ll be diving deep into this subject. In the next few weeks, we’ll be talking with experts across the cookstove ecosystem, mapping the journey of the product and the end users, conducting intensive field research, and prototyping concepts and strategies around this topic. From understanding cultural rituals around food preparation to examining the role of the cookstove in the home, we’ll be seeking insights and identifying opportunities that can provide the GACC and its partners with tangible direction to grow the cookstove market.
In particular, our team is excited to head to the field and really explore the challenges and opportunities of the cookstove in context. We’ll be heading to Tanzania, one of the focus countries of the GACC. We’ll be armed with a research plan and discussion guide, but also a willingness to deviate from those plans whenever a meaningful opportunity presents itself. It should be interesting. Stay tuned for future dispatches!
What is (or will be) the impact of your project?
An approach to cookstoves research that will pay attention to the habits, motivations, and aspirations of the cookstove’s target market, factors that have strongly influenced adoption (or lack of adoption) of this technology.