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Chulha, healthy indoor cooking

Philanthropy by Design

For many women in rural India spending several hours a day cooking over an indoor open stove is the norm. What these women fail to realize is that there is a invisible killer in their kitchen: burning biomass fuels causes almost 500,000 deaths every year in India alone. (Source: WHO 2009) This booklet illustrates how Philips Designs Philanthropy by Design initiative can use its design expertise to help these women continue with their traditional culture, while empowering them to select a way of cooking that does not endanger their lives. It describes the brief and the open-innovation process used in creating the Chulha a low-smoke stove that prevents sickness and death from indoor air pollution due to cooking activities with biomass fuels in rural low-income communities. The Chulha not only benefits the end-user but also various stakeholders active in the value chain of smokeless stoves. The production and distribution of the Chulha stimulates the creation of local entrepreneurial skills and provides low cost, affordable solutions that reach those who really need them.

Contents
Philanthropy by Design | 4 Killer in the kitchen | 6 Design brief and initial idea | 8 From idea to concept development | 10 Stakeholder workshops | 14 Design Innovations | 16 Testing and user feedback | 18 Final design and its benefits | 20 Challenges and achievements | 24 What now and where to? | 26 Conclusions | 28 Acknowledgements | 30

Chulha, healthy indoor cooking

Chulha, healthy indoor cooking

Philanthropy by Design
The philanthropy principle An increasing number of companies choose to help communities by donating their products or expertise to special projects. Known as strategic philanthropy, this approach is driven by the desire to combine social responsibility commitments while supporting the companys objectives to enhance brand image, strengthen employee engagement, increase trust and customers loyalty, and even develop new ways of working and innovative solutions. Philanthropy by Design Back in 2005, Philips Design initiated the Philanthropy by Design program with the vision of philanthropic giving through donating creativity to design meaningful solutions that empower some of the more fragile categories of society. The program launched with a workshop entitled A sustainable design vision design for sense and simplicity, in which NGOs shared some of their biggest challenges with Philips Design. The Philanthropy by Design program aims to create and deploy humanitarian propositions addressing social and environmental issues. Leveraging Philips Designs creative expertise and socio-cultural knowledge, the program channels design talent to develop meaningful and sustainable solutions that can contribute to a better future for all. It also opens up new perspectives in co-creating value through cooperation with unconventional partners such as international organizations, public bodies and social players with complementary expertise and values. Chulha; the first Philanthropic proposition The Chulha is a low-tech stove for healthy indoor cooking and is the first proposition resulting from the Philanthropy by Design program. Whats significant of the Chulha is the attempt to support the work of NGOs to create better living conditions for very low-income users, stimulating local entrepreneurial activities based on a deep understanding of local needs and conditions. In the case of the Chulha, Philips donates Intellectual Property and design to local stakeholders as a philanthropic contribution to sustainable development. This model of production and distribution engages and stimulates the local infrastructure.

Chulha, healthy indoor cooking

Chulha, healthy indoor cooking

Killer in the kitchen


In 2007, Philips Designs Philanthropy by Design initiative focused on the issue of indoor air pollution caused by cooking with biomass fuel in open stoves. The ambition was to fight respiratory problems and deaths of many women and children that, in rural areas around the world, still cook indoor burning wood. Our design community worked together with local stakeholders, including the end-user, in rural and semi-urban India, in order to create a stove that: - Burns bio-mass fuel efficiently and directs cleaned smoke out of the house through a chimney - Stimulates the formation of local entrepreneurial forces for its production and distribution

Total world deaths from indoor air pollution due to burning solid fuels are estimated at 1,619,000 each year. India alone accounts for 25% of such deaths: almost 500,000 of the victims are women and children
Source: WHO 2009

Chulha, healthy indoor cooking

Chulha, healthy indoor cooking

Design brief and initial idea


The design brief challenged the Philips Design team to come up with a low-smoke solution for healthy and safe cooking able to fit the local socio-cultural and infrastructural conditions of rural and semi-urban contexts of India. More specifically, objectives were to design, develop and test a solution: - Able to reduce indoor pollution and therefore health-related diseases - Able to respect local culinary habits and cooking behaviors - Easy to access (locally produced and distributed), use and maintain - At low cost, to facilitate its diffusion and scalability In order to feed the initial creative process, primary input from NGOs and a first exploratory study in the field were used to gather a basic understanding of local peoples cooking needs and indoor air pollution in rural areas.

Chulha, healthy indoor cooking

Chulha, healthy indoor cooking

From idea to concept development


At this stage of the design process, a broader and deeper research in the field was necessary to collect all information required to develop a truly effective, context-specific solution. Information was collected on local production and distribution channels, peoples insights on various cooking behaviors and culinary habits, user interaction with available devices, and peoples purchasing power. The design team with the support of Green Earth, a local sustainable development agency dealing with grass root behaviors and social studies gathered deeper, more specific insights into people by carrying out research in the villages of Kerwadi, Phaltan, Maltan and Karad, all in the state of Maharashtra. The research consisted of an initial 3-day visit and introductory meetings with people from the villages, followed by one week of observations and in-depth interviews targeting four rural and two semi-urban families. The interviews, conducted in the local language (Marathi), were kept quite informal. All the family members were observed, with particular attention paid to the women who were carrying out cooking activities. Infrastructural conditions, production facilities and distribution channels for stoves currently in use were investigated using the network of ARTI, an NGO with considerable expertise in the smokeless cooking domain. A needs analysis of stakeholders already active in the business of smokeless and non-smokeless stoves was performed by organizing various focus groups involving local entrepreneurs and self-help groups, in order to understand the major issues they face with regard to current solutions and the replication and scalability of their activities. Current issues It soon became clear from the results of the research that the key local design requirements called for a cooking solution able to fulfill the following physical and socio-cultural conditions: - Adaptability to different biomass fuels (from wood to cow dung), available in different seasons and locations - Adaptability to peoples needs when cooking chappati (bread), steaming rice, boiling water - Adaptability to the use of different, non-standard cooking vessels - Adaptability to various logistic constraints

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Lack of basic infrastructure and amenities and damage during use maintenance and thermal instability of materials.

Variety of Biomass fuel collection and squatting while cooking and preparing.

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Stakeholder workshops
User insights, and the findings relating to stakeholders needs were used in a local workshop involving the various players engaged in the design process (ARTI, SEDT, SHGs, two local entrepreneurs and two users). The workshop, intended to define the key product features desired, involved 16 participants who were invited to share their viewpoints and concerns in informal dialogues. The dialogues were then followed by a session to conceptualize ideal stoves and their expected performance within the contexts under investigation. During this phase, several pages of insights (context-of-life cards) offering a stakeholders needs analysis including end-users needs were circulated among experts in the production, distribution and use of wood-burning stoves, for their feedback and refinement. At the end of the workshop, key design features were pinpointed and prioritized as easy to use and maintain, context specific, flexible, able to radiate value, and accommodating.
ARTI Appropriate Rural Technology Institute Technology research/development and training NGO, technology integrator / provider to rural communities for employment generation and improving overall quality of rural life SEDT Socio Economic Development Trust an NGO for field implementation and development programs. Rural intelligence and people mobilization on field Two SHGs Self-Help Groups Mahalaxmi Bachat Gat & Dhanalaxmi Bachat Gat have established a highly efficient socio economic network to empower women to become entrepreneurs. Agents of change. Key link to rural users. Two local industrial entrepreneurs Rural and Semi Urban Individuals / Small Industrial Units driven by economic and social development in the long run.

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Design innovations
In the next step, a fine-tuning process conducted by the design team proposed the following major design innovations: - Modularity to facilitate distribution, installation and reparability of both the stove and the chimney - Mechanisms to ensure the chimney could be cleaned safely (currently, where chimneys are available, they are monolithic blocks which can be cleaned only from the roof) - Improvement to construction (the weak bridge in current stoves is a common problem) - Flexibility of use for roasting and steaming, additional functional features and appealing design format. These innovations were incorporated in two versions of our Chulha: Sampoorna and Saral. In collaboration with ARTI, both versions have been translated into real applications. The Saral is a double oven with a hotbox which costs between 9 to 11 Euros. The Sampoorna offers a more sophisticated solution, including a steamer, at a cost between 13 to 15 Euros. The stoves and their chimneys are mainly made of concrete modular components, covered with clay. Their modularity facilitates the replacement of broken parts over time as well as transportation. The stoves can be packed in recycled woven polypropylene bags, which are by-products of waste from agricultural storage, etc. The moulds are made of FRP fiber reinforced plastic at a cost of 183 Euros, with the capacity to turn out more than 3,000 pieces.
- Adaptability of use (different cooking functions) and appealing design format - Flexibility of use (biomass / wood) and burn efficiency - Easy transportation and cleaning of the stove and the chimney (modularity) - material improvements and easier manufacturing

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Testing and user feedback


Prototyping at the ARTI training centre in Phaltan, and testing in rural and semi-urban homes, involved SHG representatives and stove users. Feedback regarding improvements suggested a few modifications to the initial versions of the stove. Design interventions included technical changes related to the manufacturing process to optimize gas flow within the stoves and improve their thermal efficiency, an easier way of assembling components such as self locking pieces for do-ityourself assembly, the introduction of a soot collector, and a solution for fixing chimneys to the wall. Modified versions were then installed in 12 homes for further trial and to evaluate their technical performance. Technical testing: College Pune and Approvecho During the product development and testing phase, a technical assessment of the Chulha has been conducted in laboratory to define its eco-efficiency and emissions. Evaluation included a certification of stoves thermal performance, fuel consumption, particles and carbon monoxide emissions. Stoves under testing used bio-organic waste. The firewood used as fuel was free from any potential pollutants. Test conducted: a few comparative values Saral - Time requested for boiling 1 litre water 11.5 minutes - Fuel requested for boiling 1 litre water 225gm - Heating effeciency highest - Rate of cooling lowest - Soot retention 100mg
Quotes from users The stove is good for cooking regular meals. The second pot is very helpful for boiling water / milk Most of the smoke goes out of the house. The house used to be full of smoke but now it is much more clear. We like the way it looks. I like working at it.

Sampoorna 14 minutes 315gm lower lower 80mg

Traditional 22 minutes 415gm lowest highest 20mg

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Sampoorna (meaning Complete) with integral steamer:

Final design and its benefits


The value co-creation process undertaken during this journey of understanding and learning has resulted in a stove that makes indoor cooking healthier, cleaner and faster when compared with traditional indoor open cooking fires. The Chulha also claims to be: - Simple to use and easy to maintain - Produced and distributed locally - Relatively cheap - Suitable for different culinary habits. It also helped to go one step further. According to Dr. P. Karve of ARTI, the overall research and design contribution has helped in proposing a Chulha that has a better chance of succeeding than other concrete smokeless stoves because it is more attractive, and has improved functional features (Karve 2007). It has helped to shape a stove that is easy to handle, from manufacturing to installation and maintenance. The Chulha and its chimney are easy to transport thanks to their modular design. They are quick to assemble and broken parts can be easily replaced over time (Karve 2007).

price around 13-15 Euro

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Technical product features bringing benefits include: Bypass duct for efficient draft - It ensures equal heat distribution and right turbulence under the first and second pot, resulting in faster cooking and boiling. - It helps bring down the boiling time by 3 minutes, reaching boiling time in 10-11 minutes: standard stoves boils around 22 minutes while our previous Chulha version (without bypass) between 13-14 minutes. Soot collector for cleaner air - The soot collector reduces the amount of soot that reaches the chimney and therefore both the risk of pipe obstruction and the time required for chimney maintenance. - Soot can be collected by passing the gases through a zig-zag path in the chimney chamber at the stove level. - This path built as a separate assembly can be removed and scrubbed to clean the soot. - As soot is collected at the earlier point the frequency of cleaning chimney is reduced.

Chimney connector for easy maintenance and installation - Conventional chimneys, being monolithic blocks, needed to be cleaned from the roof. - Earlier chimney design was splitting chimney in 3 parts to allow the cleaning from inside. However, this created an issue of soot falling on the wall and surrounding from the fixed piece during cleaning. - Latest chimney design improvement moves the joint up so that the top part of the pipe connected to the roof is smaller and the fixed pipe -connected to the chimney is longer. the connection in-between holds the pipes and when from cover is openend can help cleaning the fixed part ensuring all the soot alls in the chulha.

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Challenges and achievements


- Building community trust - Collaborating with stakeholders with various interests - Beyond deep listen to community engagement - Communicating value and benefits The route to create the chulha was not without obstacles. Initially, we faced a communication barrier that slowed down interaction with the key stakeholders and end-users, and therefore the entire design and development process. We had to learn to speak a language able to: - create convergence of different (political, social and economic) interests - give a voice to vulnerable end-users, bringing their viewpoints into the dialogue with multiple stakeholders with precise, and often consolidated, opinions Such a language could be developed only through a long and patient process of intensive listening and engagement. An effort that, in the end, paid off. With regard to environmental aspects in particular, it has been estimated that, in theory, the Sampoorna and Saral stoves could reduce indoor air pollution from smoke by up to 90% in comparison with indoor open cooking fires. Whats more, technical evaluations conducted by ARTI and College of Pune show that exhaust gases, carbon monoxide emissions and fuel consumption were reduced in comparison with other concretebased indoor smokeless stoves. However, no official quality standards of reference are currently available to judge the technical performance of concrete stoves. Various NGOs use different criteria to evaluate performance and different values for acceptable emissions. As a consequence, it becomes difficult to scientifically prove the added value of the Sampoorna and the Saral in technical terms. At the moment, our intention is to go beyond evaluating the technical performance of our stoves, to fully assess their economic and social performance over the long-term, in order to verify all the benefits they claim to deliver. Current plans include a small social impact study that will run from September 2009 to February 2010.

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What now and where to?


So far, to facilitate replication and diffusion of the Sampoorna and Saral stoves, design innovations have been recorded in sketches and technical drawings. A comprehensive package of communication and training materials, including posters and videos, has also been created to explain how to produce, distribute, install and maintain the stoves. With the support of local NGOs, the intention is to allow Self-Help Groups and citizens to use this knowledge for free. The hope is that this will create not only better living conditions for the end users women and children but also stimulate local entrepreneurial activities centered on the production and distribution of safe and healthy stoves. ARTI will continue to play an essential role in all of this. It has included our solutions in its portfolio of stoves (gas-fired, double wood-burning stove, simple concrete stove) for rural and semi-urban communities, and it trains local stakeholders to produce and distribute the most appropriate solution for the selected target audience, according to income level and infrastructural conditions. The current production and distribution model proposed for the Sampoorna and Saral stoves can easily be adapted as a decentralized model, in which a trained entrepreneur invests in a mould that is able to cover the demand of a couple of villages, with 50-60 households each. However, the aim is to shift to a semi-decentralized model where localization takes place at district level: with this model of scalability, the new entrepreneur will be able to serve up to 30-40 villages, with 200-250 households each. Besides the activities carried out by ARTI, ERIN Foundation approached us with the intention of stimulating the broad diffusion of the Sampoorna and Saral stoves in the rural areas of Karnataka state (Southern India). Knowledge transfer from our side has taken place and replication activities from ERIN have started. Our ambition is to answer requests from NGOs spread throughout India, but also in countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc., where these stoves can provide appropriate solutions to very similar peoples needs and culinary habits. Social impact study In collaboration with ERIN foundation, by considering the installation of 40 new Chulhas, we want to verify and assess possible socio-economic and environmental implications of our solution over space and time The study will mainly focus on a better understanding of the value generated for the end-users and their family members in their contexts of living. However, it will also try to understand the benefits generated for the key local stakeholders affected and/or involved in its value network. This pilot study will take place in rural areas around Bangalore, over a period of 6 months General questions to be addressed: - What kind of benefits do the end-users experience, in terms of functional performance, healthcare benefits, potential wellbeing claims and lifestyle advantages? - How would the local communities benefit from the diffusion of the chulha, in terms of healthcare awareness and local socio-economic development? - What is the value / benefits created for the key stakeholders involved? - In which way do the local natural environment benefit?

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Conclusions
How have design and creativity contributed to sustainable development in this overall humanitarian experience? What are the major lessons learned? Although it is difficult to provide a complete evaluation of an experiment still in progress, it is possible to outline certain considerations about the approach used and the results achieved to date. From the very start of the experience, adopting a process in which designers and researchers operate in a multidisciplinary team, in an open dialogue with NGOs and various local stakeholders bringing knowledge from the field, was essential in envisioning an effective human-centered solution. By developing a tangible design application, we were able to bring our Philips brand to life and, consequently, establish conditions for a return on brand equity: either by putting an appropriate solution to the problem in place directly, or by enabling local players to replicate and diffuse such a solution autonomously. We have used our design knowledge beyond traditional tasks of technical product design. Our designers, often used to working in different domains and across various businesses, have demonstrated that it is possible to assume a steering role in organizing a proper network of competencies, connecting multiple players with complementary expertise, and facilitating a value co-creation process right up to its implementation. Operating in contexts of developing and emerging economies, we have certainly learned some basic ground rules that should be considered in future projects, especially when addressing under-served people and problems within unfamiliar territories. First of all, we have realized that an understanding of the local physical infrastructural, economic and socio-cultural conditions is imperative before making any technological choices. The challenge in coming up with an accessible, affordable and sustainable solution for local needs is to evaluate the best technological solution at a given moment in time, rather than opt for the best available technology (which is typical of a technology push approach). With our Chulha for instance, insights from the targeted users and local stakeholders helped us to understand current barriers to cultural acceptance, as well as constraints on product dissemination. Based on these insights the most feasible and appropriate technological answer to achieve our objectives could be given. The design phase should be treated as a continuous and iterative process, which goes backwards and forwards in relation to the feedback received when the solution is tested in the field. Any change and adjustment made to the initial proposition needs to be evaluated in the field, not only in terms of technical performance, but also in terms of possible far reaching effects. For instance, feedback from evaluation of the Chulha provided information to inspire improvements beyond product and usage performance, to include instructions for easy and cost-effective installation, distribution and production aspects that have stimulated new design interventions which could result in the optimization of the entire value network. Last but not least, it should be noted that the co-design approach resulted not only in a way of delivering a solution that better fit the context of application, but also enhanced the potential benefits of the stakeholders involved, democratizing the value creation process, and therefore increasing the chance of implementing valuable solutions for all. Indeed, with this approach, users and stakeholders worked together in a participatory process where they all put their own interests on the table. Key, in this regard, was to go beyond listening intensively to local communities to acquiring their true engagement, where users were even empowered in the decision making process. The question facing us now is this: how do we capitalize on what we have learned? Our hope is that we can continue make use of our imagination and design skills. It is our belief that imagination, creativity and holistic thinking from design communities if they are underpinned by solid research to help understand people and their socio-cultural and natural environments can become important assets to break down boundaries and help move sustainable development forward. After all, sustainability is, and remains, a collective creative process of change.

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Acknowledgements
Community stakeholders: - Mahalaxmi Bachat Gat, Kerwadi, Parbhani District, India - Dr Suryakant Kulkarni, Socio Economic Development Trust, Kerwadi, Dist Parbhani - Dhanalaxmi Bachat Gat, Phaltan, Dist Pune, India - Mrs. Ashabais Family, Kerwadi, Dist. Parbhani, India - Mr. Bhosle and Family, Maltan, Dist Pune, India Local entrepreneurs: - MG Rural Technologies, Karad, District Satara, India - Vaishali Bhosale, Individual entrepreneur, Maltan, District Pune - Shakuntala Ingale, Kerwadi, District Parbhani Project partners (ARTI) - Dr Priayadarshani Karve, Appropriate Rural Technology Institute, Phaltan, India - Research team at Phaltan centre of ARTI. Research support Green Earth Consulting, Pune, India Perfomance testing and feedback - College of Engineering, Pune, India - Approvecho, Pondicherri, India Philips Design team: Core Team: Unmesh Kulkarni, Praveen Mareguddi, Simona Rocchi, Bas Griffioen Philanthropy by Design program owner: Yasu Kusume Philanthropy by Design program founder: Stefano Marzano References: - World Health Organization studies on indoor pollution - ITDG studies - Aprovecho - ARTI research

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