HPC Training Video - The Improved Stove (English Subtitles)





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Published on Apr 10, 2014

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This training video presents the benefits of an improved stove design, by comparing it to the 'traditional stove': a metal tripod or mud structure with an open fire underneath, which many people in the world use to warm their homes and cook their meals.

It also demonstrates exactly how to build it and which materials and tools are needed. The improved stove can be made entirely out of natural materials, such as earth, straw and stones, which are freely available in most rural areas.

The video was made by four farmers and four staff members from the Himalayan Permaculture Centre (HPC) during a participatory video workshop in Baraguan, Surkhet, Nepal.


In February 2014, this video was screened in two remote rural villages in Surkhet: Pakhapani and Salkharka-Balim. A comparison of the villagers responses during interviews before and after these video screenings demonstrated that watching the video increased: a) peoples' INTEREST in getting an improved stove in their home; b) their KNOWLEDGE of why and how to build and maintain it; and c) their CONFIDENCE in their ability to take on (part of) the construction process themselves.

The research however also showed that - whilst most villagers felt confident to carry out the easier parts of the construction process, such as the brick making - many of them requested support from a trained person to complete the more technically complex parts of the process, such as determining a suitable location for their stove and the size and shape of the fire chambers.

In response to the high interest of the villagers but their lack of confidence to carry out the building process entirely by themselves, the Himalayan Permaculture Centre, paid stipends to three trained village members who helped all their neighbours to build improved stoves in their homes. As a result, all households (except two*) in both villages had an improved stove in their home three months after the screening of this video. (* These households had to first finish other work on their home or kitchen)

The extensive research ultimately led to the conclusion that training videos can be very useful to raise people’s interest in trying new techniques or practices and to transfer knowledge and skills that are not too complex or close to what people already know; but that a video screening, as a stand-alone method, is not sufficient to stimulate the uptake of practices or techniques that require more complex implementation processes (that depend on knowledge or skills that are yet unfamiliar to the audience). To disseminate more technically complex innovations, video screenings will need to be complemented by training one or several villagers who can them support and advice their neighbours.


This video was made by:
Bhuvan Khadga, Chetendra Gurung, Chetman Ghale, Hom Maya Gurung, Kul Bahadur Budha, Paumal Aaudi, Shanti Ale and Sumitra Gurung

during a participatory video process facilitated by Marleen Bovenmars and Renu Shakya, in partnership with the Himalayan Permaculture Centre. The project was made possible by equipment donations from InsightShare.

The Himalayan Permaculture Centre promotes locally tested permaculture techniques in these communities because they belief that "small inputs of appropriate technology and appropriate education" can make a real difference. To find out more about the work of the Himalayan Permaculture Centre visit: www.himalayanpermaculture.com

Participatory video is a set of techniques to involve a group or community in shaping and creating their own film. The idea behind this is that making a video is easy and accessible, and is a great way of bringing people together to explore issues, voice concerns or share knowledge and skills. To find out more about participatory video and the work of InsightShare visit: www.insightshare.org

The participatory video workshop was part of an action research project that aimed to explore whether videos featuring local farmers and HPC staff could effectively support their mission of spreading permaculture techniques.

The permaculture approach provides simple principles aimed to inform the design of human systems, such as agricultural and social systems. The approach draws inspiration from the way systems work in nature, and thus promotes for example techniques and systems which are zero waste and serve multiple purposes. To find out more about permaculture visit:
www.permacultureprinciples.com or www.permaculture.co.uk

If you'd like acopy of this video or would like to find out more about this project and/or the research, contact Marleen Bovenmars: mbovenmars[at]insightshare.org


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