Last updated: 10 April 2017
Determine whether solar cooking is appropriate in your area
- Predicting the usefulness of solar cooking in a given locality
- The 25 countries with the greatest solar cooking potential
- Cultural variables to consider
- Solar radiation maps
- The Special Challenges of Solar Cooking
Learn from the work of others and make contacts
- Find existing promoters in your country of interest
- Find participants and read papers from past conferences
- Most significant solar cooking projects
- Project evaluations of past solar cooking projects
- Hard-won lessons
- Cooking for large groups
- Institutional solar cooking
- Solar cooking programs in refugee camps
Data collection for successful solar cooking projects
(The following information is the result of a literature review of solar cooker project evaluations and thirty years of SCI sector experience..)
Data Collection Part I: A necessity, not an option
- Include data sharing as part of the project partner selection process. Clearly communicate that data collection and sharing is expected, not optional.
- Include a detailed plan for data analysis. Who will collect the data? Where? When? How often?
- Have the costs of data collection and project evaluation been included in the project budget and grant applications?
- Data quality control: who will follow up if some of the respondents’ answers don’t seem clear?
- Solar Cookers International recommends using the SCI Adoption & Impact Survey developed by the global network. It harmonizes with surveys used by cookstove and international organizations.
- SCI recommends conducting the baseline survey before starting the intervention. We recommend conducting the post-intervention survey one year after the group began solar cooking.
- Add data to CI’s solar cooker distribution map.
- NEW: April 2017: Share your best practices with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data Collection Part II: Successful Solar Cooking Projects
- With the Solar Cooking Adoption and Impact Survey, we recommend doing the baseline survey (before people start solar cooking) and the post distribution questions 1 year after they started solar cooking.
- Make sure the data gets added to SCI’s map of solar cooker distribution.
- Include evaluation costs in initial project budget and grant applications.
- Include agreement to data sharing as part of the initial project participation selection. (participants should understand this is an expectation for being a part of the project)
- Include regular meeting times in the project design for the project participants to problem solve, develop community, and share data.
- Make sure the surveyor understands the questions and expected answers.
- Gather individual personal success stories AND facts and figures. Include requests for photographs and/or video and/or quotes as part of the grant agreement (and budget) with the implementing organization with a specific # and deadline.
- Make sure there is a plan for data analysis (who is doing it? Where? When? Is it included in the budget) and data quality control (a way to follow up if some of the respondents answers don’t seem clear or might have been communicated incorrectly).
- Make sure there is a way to understand local units of measure of fuel (like bags of crop waste) in universal terms (like kgs).
- Consider the format that the survey answers are recorded in. Excel sheets would be much easier for data analysis, but so far I’ve only been able to receive answers in Microsoft word format. Account for time to transfer data from Word to Excel formats if that is the case. If possible, use the Google Form version of the survey (but that requires internet at some point in time).
Access handbooks and training materials
Solar Cooker Project: Best Practices Manual
Jewish World Watch created this manual that details what has been learned that will assure a successful solar cooking project in refugee camps.
Trainers Manual: Teaching Solar Cooking - Solar Cookers International Field Guide: Spreading Solar Cooking - Solar Cookers International Solar Cookers: How to Make, Use, and Enjoy - Solar Cookers International
This is a handbook published by Solar Cookers International that includes detailed plans for building a CooKit solar panel cooker. (There are also detailed versions in Arabic (Standard, Variation), French, Spanish, and English for Kenya, and Galician.)
Integrated Sustainable Solar Cooking - Visual instruction guide - Solar Cookers Netherlands Construction of Solar Cookers and Driers - Christelle Souriau & David Amelin
This is an excellent overview of solar cooking basics and simple solar cooker and dryer construction methods.
Peace Corps Improved Cookstoves Manual (2013)
Determine which model(s) to work with
Determine the suitability and availability of materials and components
Information on solar cooking individual foods
Additional technologies to introduce
Fund your project
- January 2017: Diaspora Financing, Developing a Strong Solar Cooking Industry in the Region - Ignacio R. Smith and Sherry McMillan
- January 2017:Experience of Financing a Solar Cookers Project for Fifteen Years in the Andean Region of South America - Rocio Maldonado
Audio and video
- January 2017:
- July 2014:
- July 2014:
- July 2014:
- July 2014:
- Promoting solar cooking in developing countries
- What you can do to promote solar cooking
- Solar cooking slide decks - Presentation slide decks that can be used to introduce solar cooking to groups
- Classroom resources
- Organizing solar cooking events
- August 2015: Sustainability: Clean cooking empowers women - nature, Laura S. Brown and William F. Lankford
- August 2005: A Solar Cooking Case Study: Investigating Appropriate Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development in Nigeria - Carole St. Laurent (An investigation of using local language videos to introduce solar cooking in Nigeria.)
- August 2006: Digitally Assisted Diffusion of Innovations - Carole St. Laurent (A case is made to encourage the use of instructional videos made in local languages, over printed materials when introducing solar cooking.)