Northern Lao PDR


In Northern Lao PDR nearly 100% of the rural population and 90% of the urban population rely on wood fuel for cooking. In this mountainous area, accessibility is limited leading to fewer services and higher rates of poverty. Access to LPG, kerosene and electricity is still very limited and unaffordable for most of the communities. While improved cookstoves first arrived in Lao PDR in the early 2000's, the sector has been in decline due to poor quality control enforcement.


This project aims to develop the improved cookstove market in Northern Lao PDR. Working with the public and private sector, a new technology will be introduced and national cookstove standards will be developed in collaboration with local authorities.

A Goal achieved in Lao PDR: the government adopted the Improved Cookstove Standard proposed by the project in early 2015!

A sustainable business plan

is developed for the product, ensuring long-term income for the producers and distributors and acceptance by the final users.

500 units of the pilot stove

are produced and disseminated by trained traditional cookstove producers. The distribution channel is tested.

A standard & product labelling scheme

is validated by the local authorities and presented to the office of the Prime Minister for implementation.

A monitoring and evaluation process

will be presented to ensure product quality is respected and maintained in the long-term.

Cookstove production unit
This project is a big challenge for us, but also a great opportunity. Working both at the community and top ministerial levels is complex. However, it is in line with what we advocate for the success of any cookstove intervention.

Julien Jacquot, Program Manager

Our intervention, services provided

Business Development

Based on the pilot production and dissemination of the first 500 units by distributors, a business plan will be developed, taking into consideration the difficulties linked to the geography and climate in Northern Lao PDR. This includes defining the product’s marketing mix and distribution channel.

Find out more about Business Development

Baseline Assessment

Assessing the situation in the targeted provinces by conducting research in order to gain knowledge on the sector, household habits and different actors in the value-chain.

Find out more about Baseline Assessment

Testing and R&D

Conducting a technical benchmark of all the improved cookstoves available in the region. Based on the results, an improved woodstove will be developed that is locally adapted and financially appropriate.

Find out more about Testing and R&D

Standards & Labelling

In collaboration with a taskforce of public actors, national cookstove standards and labelling system will be developed. Local testing teams will be trained on how to follow these standards and measure stove performance on a regular basis.

Find out more about Standards & Labelling

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

To ensure the acceptability by the stove producers and long-term quality production, training on quality assurance and control measures will be given to traditional stove producers.

Find out more about Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Monitoring & Evaluation

Proposing an adapted monitoring system that fits the context and meets the needs of local stakeholders. This will be implemented at the national level and will help monitor cookstove dissemination in the target zone.

Find out more about Monitoring & Evaluation


StovePlus  – The leader of the project, defining the implementation framework and bringing technical expertise.

LIRE – The local implementing partner overseeing data collection and community facilitation.

G-BEL – The biomass testing laboratory from GERES carrying out the performance testing and R&D on the stove technology.

Lao People’s Democratic Republic – The local government authority supporting the project and integrating national cookstove standards. 

World Bank – Financial partner

AusAid  – Financial partner.

Lao PDR is ethnically diversified, sources citing up to 240 ethnic groups, with their own culinary preferences and habits. Offering a cookstove that answers the needs of most groups is one of the main challenges of the project.


The situation in Northern Lao PDR is complex. Over a third of the population in the target area still relies on 3 stone fires and does not purchase cookstove or wood fuels on the market. Users are largely unaware of the environmental and health impacts associated with traditional biomass cooking. 

The supply of improved cookstoves is also limited due to insufficient labor capacities, a lack of standardized tools, low mechanization and difficulty in supplying raw materials.  Additionally, distribution is confined to larger urban and peri-urban areas, limiting rural users’ access to stove technologies. However, there is a willingness to use improved wood stoves in northern Lao PDR. Preliminary results from our baseline assessment show that over 90% of those surveyed were interested in purchasing a cleaner and more durable fuel saving stove.


Publications & Reports

Lao PDR Market Assessment: Sector Mapping


Useful links