Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact
The Darfur Stoves Project has helped to improve the safety of displaced women and girls in IDP camps, and when completely launched, will help to curtail the deforestation process and release of CO2 emissions in Darfur.
Collecting firewood for stove fuel is the primary reason displaced women and girls in IDP camps leave the relative safety of the IDP camps. These women and girls often face violent conditions during their long searches for firewood. Extensive deforestation has exacerbated the risk of violence as women are being forced to walk farther and more often in search of firewood.
Through our analysis and assessment of international aid organization reports, it is estimated that the average IDP camp family uses traditional three stone fire cooking methods, which require 1.8 tons of firewood for cooking each year, emitting 3 tons of CO2 equivalent per year. Through the use of the Berkeley-Darfur Stove, families are able to drastically reduce their firewood use thus saving 1.3 tons of firewood over the course of a year. Likewise, the average household will be able to reduce emissions by more than 2 tons of CO2 equivalent per year. With an anticipated 14,000 stoves in use by the end 2010, Berkeley-Darfur Stoves aims to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 28,000 tons annually. We estimate that approximately 300,000 families are in need of a fuel efficient stove and our goal is to distribute a Berkeley-Darfur Stove to each family.
Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing
Conflict in Darfur has claimed the lives of at least 300,000 people and created more than two million displaced persons within the region, many of whom live in large IDP camps throughout Darfur.
Families in IDP camps receive food aid and cooking oil from a variety of humanitarian aid organizations, however, families are still responsible for gathering firewood as fuel for cooking. Due to the size of the IDP camps and the desert-like terrain, wood is a scarce resource. Today, displaced women in the IDP camps must walk up to seven hours to find a single tree. With a lack of reforestation, women are continually walking farther from the relative safety of the camps.
To avoid unsafe conditions, some women purchase wood from middlemen; however, as payment for the firewood, families are often forced to sell food rations.
Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. What might prevent that success?
DSP has focused on four key elements to ensure timely distribution and successful adoption of the Berkeley-Darfur Stove: user-centered design, a cost-efficient manufacturing and supply chain strategy, close partnership with local organizations, and a monitoring and evaluation program.
The Berkeley-Darfur Stove was designed in collaboration with displaced women in Darfur. This collaborative approach has provided these women with a sense of ownership and has helped to ensure that the stove design met key requirements required for use in the region.
Our manufacturing and supply chain strategy utilizes an Ikea “flat-kit” approach. We have chosen to manufacture our flat-kits in India due to the mature infrastructure, political stability, and relative close proximity to Sudan. This approach allows us to delay the stove assembly to a stage that is closest to the user, thus allowing us to ramp up production as the need increases yet maintain low stove inventory levels. The unit cost of producing the flat-kits and shipping them to Port Sudan is approximately $13.60.
To mitigate operational risks due to Sudan’s political environment and history of expelling non-profits and advocacy groups, we have focused on collaborating with international development organizations and local NGOs, namely Oxfam America and Sustainable Action Group, that have experience and established networks in Sudan.
Operations are monitored via DSP’s monitoring and evaluation program. Our program includes periodic independent audits by DSP staff. Our monitoring and evaluation program also assesses stove usage for design quality feedback as well as analysis to understand the overall impact on personal safety and food security.
Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible
The Berkeley-Darfur Stove was designed in collaboration with displaced women in the IDP camps. Prior to distributing the stove in mass however, the DSP team conducted a final field test. Fifty women from IDP camps were selected to receive a free prototype Berkeley-Darfur Stove for use over a period of one month. At the test’s end, women were then offered to keep the stove for a nominal fee of $5. At the end of the trial period, all women enthusiastically chose to purchase the stove. This test allowed the DSP team to conduct a final analysis of the design, but more importantly, DSP was able to confirm that the new stove was valuable to the women and met the key objective that the project set out to achieve: improve women’s safety by significantly reducing the time spent outside the IDP camp in search of firewood.
With our partners, Oxfam America and the Sustainable Action Group (SAG), a Sudanese NGO, in December 2009-January 2010 DSP manufactured and distributed 1000 Berkeley-Darfur Stoves in IDP camps, which allowed us to test and refine the manufacturing, assembly, and distributions processes as well as strengthen our relationship with local community camp leaders, which we feel is a critical component to stove distribution and adoption. Our plan is to manufacture, assemble and distribute an additional 8,000 stoves by the fall of 2010. DSP’s goal for 2011 is to manufacture and distribute 12,000 stoves. We estimate that more than 300,000 families in IDP camps are in need of a stove. Our objective is to create additional assembly and distribution centers, replicating the current model, and distribute stoves to hundreds of thousands of Darfuri families.
Together with our partners and with the support of the camp community leaders, we are developing awareness building and social marketing campaigns. Campaigns are staffed by key community leaders who already use a Berkeley-Darfur Stove. Awareness building will be continued throughout the stove distribution phase.
To understand the impact of the stove on safety and food security, we will continue our monitoring and evaluation during the distribution phase and 1 year after stove distribution has been completed. A continuous monitoring approach allows us to be adaptive to needs and environmental changes.
If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?
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