Wood Energy Catalogue

A Review of Improved Cookstove Technologies and Programs (2014)


Many cookstove programs have been implemented in many countries around the world. The objectives of these programs have been to reduce fuel use and hence reduce deforestation and improve the health conditions of users by reducing environmental emissions. Other objectives include improving the social life of people in developing countries and reducing global climate change. The success of improved cookstove programs has been reported as mixed. While some of the programs have achieved their target objectives, many of them have failed.

This paper reviews the literature of improved cookstove programs around the world. It starts with a review of some selected cookstove technologies, classified by the types of fuel they burn and whether they are fixed or portable. This is followed by a review of different cookstove programs, with the objective of finding the factors that determine their success, the form they should take, and the role played by the stakeholders.

It is found that the success of the programs depends on the factors such as: compatibility of technical parameters of stoves with social expectations, consistency with local needs and culture, attitude of the users who are often afraid adopting new technology, and the stove cost. Also, programs that use a “bottom-up” strategy, where users and local artisans play participatory roles in establishing a self-sustaining industry ensure success of the program.

Review, improved cookstove, ICS, cooking technologies, rural energy, sustainable fuelwood, household energy, success factors, stakeholder participation
Type of initiatives
Sector review and study
Level of intervention