Abstract for: Sustainable Diffusion of Improved Cookstoves in Rural India: Exploring Key Determinants through System Dynamics Modeling

Around 3 billion people still cook and heat their homes using solid fuels (biomass: wood, leaves, etc. or fossils: coal) in the traditional stoves which are the most significant contributors of indoor air pollution. In the case of India, the traditional cookstoves contribute to an estimated 570,000 annual premature deaths from biomass smoke exposure. The National Program on Improved Cookstoves launched in India to diffuse the improved energy efficient cookstoves is emblematic of the kind of government led stove interventions that can go wrong with specific strictures on misunderstanding the community needs and poor distribution networks although having robust funds at disposal. Though the improved cookstoves meet with early adoption, there has not been a sustained usage of these improved energy efficient cookstoves. The system dynamics model described here highlights that in addition to the exogenous thrust of pumping the improved cookstoves into the communities, it is critically important to garner and emphasize on the supporting structures such as local expertise, influence of community leaders, and overall attractiveness of the improved cookstoves. These support systems are significant in creating a successful dissemination strategy of the improved cookstoves in the rural Indian communities.