NCEAS Roundtable: Pia Otte

July 21, 2014 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
NCEAS Basement Auditorium

Sunrise or sunset? — A comparative study on the successful adoption of institutional
solar cookers in the developing world

This study investigates the determining factors that lead to the (not) successful adoption of
institutional solar cookers. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 24 institutions in four
different countries (Botswana, Burkina Faso, South Africa and India) that had a particular
type of solar cooker installed.
A Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) approach was employed to answer the question at
hand. The analysis results in four core variables, the presence of which leads to the successful
adoption of solar cookers. These are: (1) ‘High Compatibility with Schedule of Daily
Routine’, (2) ‘High Compatibility with Local Food Characteristics’, (3) ‘High Levels of
Economic Motivation’ and (4) ‘High Levels of Environmental Motivation’.
An interesting result is that institutions that have successfully adopted solar cookers are
religious institutions. In these contexts, ‘High Compatibility with Local Food Characteristics’
and ‘High Levels of Environmental Motivation’ take on a different meaning than that which
is assumed previously in the literature. The religious institutions that successfully adopted
solar cookers show a very strong affinity for protecting nature as part of their spiritual belief.
Furthermore, the condition ‘High Compatibility with Local Food Characteristics’ took on
another spiritual meaning apart from the actual objective taste; it became associated with
purity, one major principle of Hinduism.

This event has a Google Hangouts video call.