In the last ten years, various institutions across Pakistan, including the government, have attempted to introduce solar cookstoves to off-grid communities, but failed. Studying past failures, and after conducting a pilot study specifically to test clean cookstoves in Bedian - an off-grid village 20 kilometers southwest of Lahore - we have gained a deep understanding of the problems associated with promoting clean cookstoves in Pakistan.
Developing the right product is one of several other fundamental pre-requisites to success.
Jaan Pakistan is a social startup that is attempting to change culinary behaviors through product innovation (indigenizing and modifying globally established cookstove technologies to meet local needs), distribution innovation (engaging established women entrepreneurs), marketing innovation (collaborating with schools to teach children about the ill effects of solid fuel fumes) financial innovation (a cross subsidy business model where urban sales translate into discounts for consumers in rural off-grid settings) and communications innovation (advocating policy change at the highest level to discourage the use of open fires, et al).
Women and children under five are the worst affected by solid fuel fumes. In Pakistan alone, the aforementioned innovations can potentially benefit 55% of the population (111 million people living in off-grid communities) from a range of fatal respiratory illnesses.