Impact Assessment:
Start Up Technology Sales in East Java - Phase One

Jul 2011 to Aug 2011

By Dedy Haning
Project Officer

The project:
Start up technology sales in East Java, Indonesia Phase One
Technologies used:
Nazava Bening 1 Water Filter, Prime Square Fuelwood Biomass Cookstove
Local partner:

We invited a team from the Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) at the Thunderbird School of Global Management to explore the potential of Nazava water filters and UB.03-1 biomass stoves to further the economic empowerment of women in Bojonegoro, East Java. We are distributing these technologies in Bojonegoro in partnership with a local organisation, Farabi.

The research team consisted of Nick Davis, Emily Eckert, Craig Elkin, Michael Milbank, and Asraa Rehman. They interviewed a sample of 40 women chosen by Farabi, including 20 cookstove users and 23 water filter users. There was an overlap, with a few women using both technologies.

The Nazava Bening One water filter had very broad appeal and was used to:

  • produce safe drinking water for households,
  • provide clean water for people to wash their hands, and
  • make ice, iced drinks, popsicles, noodles, coffee and other water-based products for people’s businesses.

The UB.03-1 biomass stove was less well-received and was used mainly by business owners to:

  • provide food on mobile carts, and
  • provide extra products, such as small snacks in kiosks that traditionally sell household sundries and toiletries.

The Nazava water filters have:

  • increased the quality of drinking water, as traditional methods such as boiling did not remove chalk and bacteria like the water filter does;
  • saved users time, as the water filter can be left unsupervised for the filtering process while boiling water needs to be watched;
  • reduced fuel consumption, as users no longer need wood to boil water for purification; 
  • saved users money on buying fuel and supplementary water refills; and
  • increased safety, as children are not at risk from accidents related to boiling water.

The impact of the UB.03-1 biomass stoves was limited as most users did not recognise its benefits and felt that:

  • they weren’t given instructions on how to use it and therefore many people have never used it,
  • it was too small to cook the large quantities of food required by big families, and
  • the wood needed to be cut in to small pieces, which was a time-consuming burden.

The distribution model involved groups of local women who nominate a coordinator and a treasurer. Any member of the group can sell the technologies and receive a commission payment. These cooperatives create an opportunity for women to earn income and improve their entrepreneurship skills. In reality however, limited understanding of the incentive scheme meant that the coordinator of the group was the only one who made sales, and the benefits were not shared among all members of the group.