Closed: Feb 11,2020
Type: alliance


The Clean Cooking Alliance

The Clean Cooking Alliance (the “Alliance”) works with a global network of partners to build an inclusive industry that makes clean cooking accessible to families around the world. Established in 2010, the Alliance supports the development, sale, distribution, and consistent use of clean cooking solutions that transform lives by improving health, protecting the climate and environment, and helping families save time and money. In alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), the Alliance is working to achieve universal access to clean cooking by 2030.

The Clean Cooking Alliance is an initiative hosted by the United Nations Foundation.

Background Overview

Globally, three billion people depend on polluting open fires or inefficient stoves that burn fuels like wood, charcoal, animal dung, and kerosene. Cooking this way harms health, the climate, and the environment. As a major cause of air pollution, cooking leads to the preventable deaths of up to four million people each year and sickens millions more. Women and girls, who often spend hours cooking and collecting fuel, are disproportionately affected.

Moreover, the rate of population growth in areas where access to clean cooking solutions is needed most is outpacing advancements in the sector. Despite its far-reaching benefits, clean cooking is too often seen as a second-tier priority. The level of funding and investment in the sector has not matched the global magnitude of the challenge. Debt, equity, and grant financing for clean cooking businesses tracked by the Clean Cooking Alliance (Alliance) totaled US$40 million in 2017—significantly less than the overall spending of US$4 billion1 required annually to achieve universal access by 2030.2 Similarly, clean cooking does not garner the same level of international attention as many other development challenges, despite the fact that traditional cooking methods contribute to more deaths than malaria and tuberculosis combined. Without increased engagement and urgency among key audiences and stakeholders to support wide-spread innovation, the rate of improved access to clean cooking will continue to hinder progress on multiple sustainable development and climate goals, leaving billions of people behind.

Filling this wide investment and engagement gap—and making clean cooking a top-tier global priority to achieve universal access—will require a sustained, well-coordinated effort that harnesses strengths and resources from a broad range of actors and channels significant funding to the sector. Businesses, investors, governments, research and development (R&D) institutions, international development actors, donors, representatives from adjacent industries, and other key stakeholders must be instilled with a greater sense of urgency and mobilized with clear guidance on how to address an issue that contributes to 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To reach the billions who currently lack access to clean cooking requires a multi-pronged approach. Building competitive markets and developing a dynamic and financially sustainable industry that supplies consumers with a range of affordable, appropriate, high-quality clean cooking products is one component. The investment required to build this industry is immense. Businesses in the clean cooking sector must be able to attract capital from impact investors, and later from more traditional sources, such as commercial banks and possibly public equity markets. To be sustained, the clean cooking industry must have businesses that leverage both technology and business model innovation to deliver high-quality, differentiated products or services to demonstrate healthy growth and ultimately profitability. Consumers must also be made aware of the benefits of these products—such as money and time saved—and be motivated to purchase and use them. If this can be achieved, clean cooking would not only address health and environmental issues but also serve as a driver for high-quality and sustainable employment and income generation. Concurrently, there are market segments that will not be reached by private sector-led interventions or industry mechanisms in the near and medium term. To ensure that these segments are not left behind, a range of contextually relevant, public sector-led interventions are needed.


The Alliance is seeking a firm or consortium of partners (“Firm”) to support the development of a ten-year strategy (Sector Strategy) for the clean cooking sector writ large. This Sector Strategy would guide what needs to occur to achieve universal access to clean cooking solutions and fast-track the viability and use of renewable energy solutions for cooking. In establishing a model for the broader sector, the Clean Cooking Sector Strategy would:

  • Identify the unique contributions of various stakeholders to better leverage the resources and expertise currently flowing into the sector;
  • Provide an actionable roadmap to effectively unlock the additional resources, capital, partnerships, policies, programs, and innovations needed to achieve SDG 7 through the development of a clean cooking industry and robust sector; and
  • Guide monitoring, evaluation, and learning across partners, sector stakeholders, and projects to more effectively track progress towards universal access to clean cooking by 2030.

Strategy planning and formulation would last several months and involve close collaboration with the Alliance, implementing partners (including EnDev, the World Bank through Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, Modern Energy Cooking Services, the World Health Organization, Sustainable Energy for All, the Health and Energy Platform of Action, and others), and a broad range of external sector stakeholders (including consumers, businesses, policy makers, investors, researchers, and ecosystem actors) to bridge international development objectives with national concerns and realities regarding market readiness. The Sector Strategy would inform how the Alliance, leading implementing partners, and critical stakeholders can better align action globally, communicate their respective roles, and leverage unique partner contributions to enhance collaboration, coordination, and collective action throughout the sector.

The development of a Sector Strategy will provide a degree of specificity for more systematic cooperation and collective action as implementing partners look to work together more closely on programs to accelerate market and sector growth in specific geographies and to avoid duplication of efforts. In addition to informing future decision making and efforts, this initiative would be designed to strengthen and/or complement ongoing and planned efforts, providing a formal mechanism to connect sometimes disparate or opaque activities across a broader set of sector stakeholders and timelines. Achieving this is central to the Alliance’s plan for reaching scale. It will also help partners earmark and fundraise for dedicated resources toward key priorities, including electric cooking, increasing the competitiveness of technologies that use renewable energy, commercializing viable business models, creating stronger linkages to the broader energy sector and relevant adjacent industries, and building ecosystems and markets that will foster continued innovation and accelerate progress.

The Sector Strategy is distinct from the Alliance’s strategy as an organization working towards universal access to clean cooking. However, the Alliance intends to use the Sector Strategy to update, refine, and inform its organizational strategy during the project and upon completion.

The Firm would work closely with a subset of Alliance staff to ensure that the Alliance is positioned both to serve as the custodian of the development of the Sector Strategy as well as participate in this process as one of the contributing stakeholders in the clean cooking sector. The Firm, in collaboration with the Alliance, would be responsible for:

  • Research;
  • Data collection and analysis;
  • Synthesizing existing and new information;
  • Prioritization of sector needs;
  • Managing the development of components of the Sector Strategy based on inputs from a broad range of sector stakeholders;
  • Developing tools and frameworks that could accelerate decision making;
  • Developing a process to keep stakeholders from across the sector engaged transparently; and
  • Creating a document (or multiple smaller documents) that serves as action-oriented, guidance from which future projects and programs can be designed as part of the Sector Strategy implementation.3



The Alliance is seeking proposals to support the formulation of the Sector Strategy. The Firm would serve as an extension of the Alliance and a partner within the project team. The Alliance, key implementing partners, and other sector stakeholders will actively contribute to the development of the Sector Strategy at predefined milestones and with varying intensity. The Alliance anticipates that a selection of Alliance staff will play a key role in contributing inputs to, participating in, or leading co-creation sessions at convenings and meetings, managing and working with the Firm and other external resources, developing materials, and facilitating further inputs and contributions from Alliance teams and key stakeholders (including but not limited to key implementing partners, businesses, governments, donors, investors, consumers, and researchers).

Together with the Alliance, the Firm would be asked to propose a highly collaborative and agile project approach, with associated systems and/or processes. This approach would also need to utilize a number of the key principles of design thinking, to ensure that:

  • Problem exploration is undertaken such that the complexity and diversity of perspectives and needs are understood and represented in the formulation of the strategy;
  • A human-centered approach is followed regarding problem and solution exploration;
  • Ideas and opportunities are co-created with stakeholders; and
  • The deliverables of the project have been tested sufficiently with key stakeholders throughout development to ensure that they are relevant, utilized, and/or acted upon.

This will improve the probability that the Sector Strategy and associated outputs resonate in the sector, provide enough specificity to be acted upon, and add value to a range of individual organizations as they make plans for upcoming years. This approach may include the creation of a steering committee (with representation from various sector segments), peer review systems, working groups, focus groups, and/or other tools, governance structures, or platforms. Based on the selected approach, the Alliance and the Firm would then divide the responsibilities of leading it.

As a central part of the team supporting this initiative, the Firm will be expected to help plan and participate in working sessions with the Alliance throughout the project period. These sessions may be virtual or in person. The first of these sessions would be a multi-day kick-off meeting in Washington, DC shortly after contracting in late Q1/early Q2 2020.

The Alliance anticipates that the Firm will lead six primary categories of activities:

  1. Develop a comprehensive project approach using design thinking principles;
  2. Complete an understanding, stock-taking, and scoping exercise of the sector and of sector resources;
  3. Design and facilitate highly tailored stakeholder convenings/consultations aligned with other relevant events or initiatives;
  4. Determine measurable milestones to track progress against strategy implementation and ensure a learning agenda is integrated into the strategy formulation and implementation;
  5. Develop frameworks, models, and tools to support implementation of the Sector Strategy; and
  6. Generate a final report (or multiple smaller reports/chapters) to serve as the Sector Strategy final document(s).

1. Develop a comprehensive project approach using design thinking principles
This initiative aims to develop useful guidance to a range of stakeholders and respond to the needs of the wider sector. It should not target only one perspective, the narrative of a single organization, or only a subset of actors.

With support from the Alliance, the Firm will be asked to develop a comprehensive approach to formulating the Sector Strategy that will encourage transparency, allow for diverse perspectives, and secure buy-in from multiple stakeholders and individuals. Incorporating design thinking principles into the project approach will ensure collaboration regarding problem exploration and understanding as well as solution exploration. Furthermore, it will naturally embed the practice of creativity, co-creation, and iteration ensuring that solutions are needs-based and desirable. A comprehensive approach should also include proactive governance mechanisms that engage organizations and individuals outside of the Alliance. The final governance structure of the project will be co-created with the Alliance during an in-person kick-off meeting in Washington, DC at the start of the project.

The Firm will be expected to follow an iterative and highly collaborative approach as part of the design and formulation process. This would include oversight by a Design Coach from the Alliance to ensure that the project adopts a design thinking approach throughout the Sector Strategy formulation process and during the transition to Sector Strategy implementation. The objective of including a Design Coach in this work is to utilize and learn from the use of instrument design methodologies. The iterative design methodologies would borrow from industry best practices, designing processes, and services, while maximizing value and minimizing the risks and costs of failure. With guidance from the Design Coach, the Firm will support a process that prioritizes:

  • Identifying and testing central assumptions underlying the approach of various implementing partners to achieving universal access to clean cooking (as illustrated in various organizations’ Theories of Change);
  • Developing templates, tools, and trainings to embed innovation and rapid prototyping into Sector Strategy formulation and program design during early Sector Strategy implementation;
  • Developing frameworks and processes to embed feedback loops, a learning mindset, and assumption testing in program design (as noted in the Determine Measurable Milestones section detailed below);
  • Developing project structures and processes that encourage collaboration among several stakeholders through inclusive project governance structures (for example, through developing a Steering Committee, peer review systems, co-creation sessions, substantial opportunities for feedback, and/or working groups with representatives from across the Sector); and
  • Strengthening a culture of innovation across various partners. Strengthening these skills and culture will equip participating stakeholders to better identify innovative partnerships and foster innovation throughout these collaborations.

2. Complete an understanding, stock-taking and scoping phase
The Sector Strategy planning would begin with an understanding and stock-taking exercise to gain insights from the past successes and failures of various geographies and actors. In other words, the project team will defer identifying solutions, and focus on understanding the problem and what has already been done. This would include reviewing the key learnings, data, and evidence base of the Alliance, leading governments, and other actors working in service of the sector through desk research and interviews by phone and in person. Key resources would include, but not be limited to, the State of the Sector report commissioned by the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) program, the Alliance’s 2019 Clean Cooking Industry Snapshot, Energizing Finance, the International Energy Agency Energy Outlook 2019, and State of the Sector report (2015), SEforAll’s Strategic Framework for Results and Energizing Finance series, ESMAP’s Multi-Tier Framework on country reports, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Household Energy Initiative, Accenture’s report Financing Growth in the Clean Cookstoves and Fuels Market, and the Integrated Air Pollution and Climate Change Assessment in Africa.

The Firm would be expected to deliver a consolidation of the findings and insights to more clearly make recommendations for the scope of the Sector Strategy as well as the leading prospective components (i.e. the frameworks, models, tools, market/technology/fuel analyses that will be developed). The stock-taking should also map large commitments, projects, programs, players, and policies within this and adjacent sectors (including considerations that fall under the broader access to energy agenda). Finally, the stock-taking should not replicate what other similar and relevant efforts have done, such as the various reports and country assessments of the MECS and World Bank programs. While the initial stock-taking need not be exhaustive, it should be comprehensive enough to help prioritize next steps and refine the scope of a Sector Strategy outline. Based on the findings and recommendations from this phase of work, the project plan would be refined and updated. Please note that this phase of work provides essential understanding of the problem and exploration but will stop short of developing any solutions.

3. Design and facilitate stakeholder convenings/consultations
The Alliance and its partners have identified a need for a strategy that serves as a guiding document for collective action. This will require the facilitation of inputs, feedback, and co-creation from stakeholders representing the entire breadth of the sector. The Alliance anticipates that, while much of this can happen virtually, a set of in-person meetings, convenings, or consultations will also be needed. These virtual and in-person convenings and consultations are described below:4

  • Co-creation: Over the course of the project, collaborative working sessions across geographies and stakeholders will be planned to co-create the Sector Strategy components. The Sector Strategy will focus on achieving universal access to clean cooking solutions, which includes innovation through business models and technologies, ecosystem building, infrastructure development and maintenance, regulatory drivers, public goods, developing the building blocks of a clean cooking industry, a balance of sequencing interventions with timely inclusion of multiple market segments, and finance. The following non-exhaustive questions should be answered through these convenings and additional consultations:
    • What are the various pathways to universal access, based on country category or archetypes?
    • Are there priority countries/regions/sub-sectors for which models of collaboration could be prototyped or tested through this process?
    • What future trends and developments need to be anticipated to overcome barriers that might not yet exist?
    • How can sufficient political support be unlocked to accelerate commitments for action and resources from governments, donors, and international organizations?
    • What mix of innovations, technologies, and fuels are needed to serve a more sustainable and vibrant cooking industry across geographies in response to relevant market advancements and household preferences?
    • How does the ecosystem need to evolve to support universal access to the cleanest and most efficient clean cooking solutions served by commercially viable businesses? This involves defining how the roles of key global actors (like the Alliance) and local actors should change over time and what segments of the market will not be served through market-led solutions.
    • Where market-led approaches are not appropriate in the near term, what is the mix of innovations, technologies and fuels, and programs that are needed for segments of the population which cannot be served by industry?
    • What funding and investment gaps currently exist, and how should financing be earmarked and structured over the next decade to address these gaps, particularly accounting for large scale efforts including the planned World Bank Clean Cooking Fund?
    • How can policies incentivize or prohibit these pathways, including for renewable energy for cooking?
    • How should organizations, including the Alliance, adapt to support a more mature sector post–2030?
    • What measurable milestones need to be planned to assess progress and ensure learning and course correction are possible?
    • What evidence needs to be generated to test key hypotheses and assumptions that are built into the strategy?
    • What are the implications for funding given current donor priorities and/or constraints?
  • Convenings/consultations to collect data to test specific hypotheses: The Alliance also acknowledges that early hypotheses regarding priority actions to reach universal access to clean cooking exist. Through the Sector Strategy development, it may be possible to use the convening process to test some of these hypotheses and gather data to confirm or refute them. For example, the Alliance has hypothesized that clean cooking needs to attract more diverse and new talent. Convenings could be designed with the objective of attracting targe groups of talent for businesses or the broader ecosystem. These convenings would be shaped by the priorities set under the Sector Strategy scope and based on the availability of resources.
  • Dissemination and knowledge sharing with key audiences and stakeholders: These convenings may be small and targeted but may also include sessions or side meetings at strategic global and regional conferences or events. The purpose of these convenings would be to test and/or share the progress and key recommendations and conclusions of the Sector Strategy at various times and to mobilize partners or segments of stakeholders to engage in implementing the Sector Strategy.

While each of these types of convenings or consultations serve a set purpose, an underlying objective is to build and ensure that participation, endorsement, and use of the Sector Strategy that is developed. The Sector Strategy will only be valuable if it is implemented by a full suite of actors across the public, private, and civil society sectors. Through the co-creation approach, the Firm will be responsible to ensure that the development process incorporates effective and efficient opportunities for these contributions. This will include planning in-person meetings early and in coordination with other relevant sector gatherings or meetings, including, as appropriate, Alliance-hosted events, the Sustainable Energy for All Forum, the Clean Cooking Forum/Investment Forum, United Nations General Assembly/Climate Week, World Bank Annual Meetings, Conference of the Parties 26, and other events. The Firm should propose the number, purpose, and nature of the convenings and consultations as part of the proposal.

4. Determine measurable milestones
An essential component of the Sector Strategy work will be a focus on ensuring measurement of progress as well as ensuring there is sector learning and an opportunity for course correction through 2030. Three main activities will be included in the Firm’s work:

  • Sector-wide Theory of Change: As part of the scoping and stocktaking, the Firm will conduct research, interviews, and other activities to better understand all sector actors' theories of change and, with the Alliance, track trends, similarities, synergies, and gaps in stakeholders' strategic outlooks toward achieving universal access to clean cooking by 2030. Through collection and analysis of these theories of change, the Firm will aim to create a single Theory of Change for the entire sector which will encompass the other stakeholders' theories of change. This sector-wide Theory of Change will represent the ten-year Sector Strategy. The Alliance M&E lead and other Alliance staff will work closely with the Firm throughout this process and should have additional support from the Firm’s framework designers, including an M&E specialist. The creation of the sector-wide Theory of Change will last throughout the Sector Strategy formulation process.
  • Sector-wide M&E Framework: Next, the Alliance and the Firm will develop a sector-wide M&E Framework to apply a system of measurement across the sector Theory of Change. In concert with the World Health Organization (WHO) process for tracking progress toward universal access via SDG 7.1.2. (proportion of population with primary reliance on clean fuels and technology) and other partner efforts (EnDev, MECS, MTF, etc.), the Firm, with support from the Alliance and other sector actors, will plan for what additional data are needed to measure milestones in strategy implementation. This will also include tracking output-level work as an accountability mechanism to ensure that the Sector Strategy is being implemented as designed and enable routine course correction. As needed, the Framework may also include recommendations on where evaluation evidence is needed to test hypotheses embedded in the Theory of Change.
  • Insights and Learning: Finally, the Alliance and the Firm will plan reflection points within the Sector Strategy, which will allow the sector to make use of evidence and data gathered. By building in time during the 10-year Sector Strategy implementation for reflection points approximately every two years, it will be possible to use evidence to refine the Sector Strategy’s approach. Evidence will come from data gathered from milestone indicator measurement as well as evaluations of key assumptions. The Alliance Theory of Change will be revisited, revised, or potentially redesigned based on evidence that affirms or disproves the hypotheses embedded in the sector Theory of Change. While the Firm’s work in the project period will not include managing these reflection points (as they are to happen through 2030), they should be planned for in the Sector Strategy development.

5. Develop frameworks, models, and tools
A significant output of the final Sector Strategy would be to determine and, where possible, to develop tools, models, and frameworks to guide the sector and support implementation globally and in priority countries. This should be completed in close collaboration with the Alliance and other stakeholders so that they can take this work forward during implementation of the Sector Strategy. Tool development will be iterative and guided by value to the sector, usability, and available resources. While the specific tools and frameworks will be identified, refined, and shaped by the needs and findings identified through the stock-taking and co-design sessions, representative examples could include but need not be limited to:

  • Framework/Model development:
    • Country blueprints that define pathways to universal access, based on country categories or archetypes: The Alliance and many of its partners are supporting market-based solutions to clean cooking. However, not every solution or combination of solutions is appropriate for every market. These frameworks may include components of country-level action plans, market diagnostics/assessments, or may take an entirely new format.
    • Models to provide guidance and inform implementation of the above-mentioned blueprints: These models would support how partnership convenings are designed and how best to facilitate global and in-country partnerships and collaborations. They would also take into account existing or planned large-scale interventions.
    • Another priority framework would focus on technology and fuel mix analysis, including decision-making criteria, levers, and recommendations on the paths to clean and efficient alternatives. This framework could include explanations of market conditions, sequencing, timeframes, and applying recommendations into specific country or market blueprints or diagnostics.
    • Clear sector mapping and stakeholder role matrix to inform how collaborative opportunities can or should be designed and/or where gaps exist.
  • Tools may include:
    • Interactive, online scenario-planning tools to be prioritized and sequenced based on the targeted stakeholder needs and demonstrated demand during the development process;
    • Packages of data with analysis from the stocktaking research and Sector Strategy development exercises into visual or user-friendly formats to inform decision making, including complementing quantitative data sets with qualitative data; and
    • Cost/benefit analyses for key components of market or technology development to inform policy makers and governments, including those related to the use of renewable energy.

Frameworks, models, and tools developed under the Sector Strategy should work in close collaboration and in service of leading clean cooking initiatives including but not limited to large-scale country programs and partnerships, existing Alliance program work, the World Bank’s planned Clean Cooking Fund, MECS programming, and relevant projects in adjacent sectors (for example large energy-related infrastructure plans, electrification projects, data collection efforts, etc., which may have important implications for changes to modern household energy services).

6. Generate a final report
The main output of the Firm’s contract will be a formal document or set of documents which serves as the Sector Strategy and becomes a primary guiding resource for funding, decisions, action, and interventions to move the sector forward leading up to 2030. Success would be defined by the Alliance’s and others’ reference and use of this Strategy, and as such the frameworks, models, and tools developed would become important components to make the document more actionable for a variety of stakeholders.


Revised project approach and work plan

  • Updated work plan reflecting the co-created project approach following the kick-off working session.

Clean cooking sector stock-taking

  • Interim report consolidating findings to define the scope of the Sector Strategy. The result of the stock-taking activity would be to inform how components of the Sector Strategy are defined and prioritized.
    • A list of reviewed desk research and appropriate citation of these resources in the above-mentioned report;
    • A preliminary stakeholder map with a general understanding of the interrelationships that exist with categories of actors, defined and prioritized both in terms of the Sector Strategy formulation and implementation;
    • Stakeholder interviews from which a number of assumed stakeholder needs will be identified (with context and insights); and
    • A shortlist of plausible Sector Strategy component ideas (that address the needs identified through the interviews and desk research) that will be further tested and developed in the next phase of work.
    • Presentation and discussion of the interim report in a co-creation convening with leading implementing partners and sector stakeholders, including the Alliance and key international and local organizations. The purpose of the convening will be to draw insights from different observations and hypotheses, and to discuss and agree upon the next steps for the Sector Strategy development. It may also focus on one or more of the leading questions prioritized based on stock-taking findings. These questions need not be limited to those defined in this RfP.
    • An updated project approach to encourage transparency and participation of the full breath of clean cooking sector stakeholders if needed based on findings.

Design and facilitate convenings

  • An updated Sector Strategy outline based on the conclusions and decisions made from the stock-taking work.
  • An updated calendar of planned virtual and in-person convenings.
  • Summaries of each convening including a list of participants and an analysis of which stakeholder viewpoints may be missing, over-represented, or merit further exploration.
  • Four short (5-10 page) “knowledge capture” deliverables, suited for an external audience, as agreed in the kick-off session, that capture learnings both from the process of formulating a sector-wide strategy within international development and the content of the project.
  • Workshop/learning session to share the lessons learned, involving key global and in-country stakeholders, to be selected based on priorities defined under the Sector Strategy. This would commence immediate collective implementation of specific components of the Sector Strategy recommendations and guidance.

Develop frameworks, models, and tools

The final deliverables will be agreed during the kick-off session and amended if needed during the project. Below is a list of anticipated deliverables:

  • An updated ecosystem map with recommendations of priority institutions or bodies to engage or develop with recommendations for the roles of implementing partners engaged in the development process, as well as gaps that may still exist.
  • A recommendation of a set of countries, regions, or sub-sector to pilot deeper collaboration and action, that includes an analysis of market levers, policy drivers, and other success factors and barriers associated with progressing this work.
  • A set of frameworks, models, and tools associated with the implementation of the Sector Strategy that may include but not be limited to:
    • A set of updated country blueprints and categorization of global markets based on developed archetypes or categories;
    • Deep-dive implementation plans for 1-2 priority markets and/or strategy chapters (i.e. technologies, fuels, or sub-sectors);
    • Consolidated data from various development activities to be shared as a public resource in a visual and easy to digest way;
    • Cost/benefit analysis of various paths to universal clean cooking;
    • Scenario planning tools for policy members to assess various alternatives. One such example could relate to public investments in various infrastructure, technology mixes, consumer/user segments, and/or regulations; and
    • Technology and fuel mix analysis

Determine measurable milestones

  • A sector-wide Theory of Change that depicts the contributions of each key stakeholder towards attaining universal access. The Theory of Change would capture the individual strategies of each organization while also reflecting the course set by the strategy development work. It would appear in the final sector strategy report.
  • A sector Monitoring and Evaluation Framework noting the milestones in the strategy implementation that will be measured, as well as what those key performance indicators will be, and listing the evaluation questions that need to be addressed to test untested elements of the strategy theory of change. The Framework should also include how the indicators will be collected, by whom, and if any additional primary data collection needs to be planned.

Final Sector Strategy report

  • End of program Sector Strategy report that captures hypotheses, design, process, data, and recommendations (that take into account sequencing and timelines based on what may be needed in the short, mid, and longer term over the ten years.


Request for Proposals Process & Deadlines
The Request for Proposal (RfP) expressions of interest, proposals, and questions will be submitted by email to with the subject line “Clean Cooking Strategy RfP Question/ EOI/ Proposal – Firm name.” The Alliance will make every effort to respond to questions submitted within the question and clarification period. Responses to all questions will be posted on the Alliance website (


Submission timelines

Delivery Date
RfP Posted January 13, 2020
Questions and clarifications January 15 - 22, 2020 (Q&A now available at the bottom of the page)
Proposals due February 11, 2020
Proposal Evaluations February 12 - March 2, 2020
Meetings and interview process for short-listed firms March 3 - 13, 2020
Firm selected and notified via email  March 16, 2020
Contracting  March 17 - April 7, 2020
Kick-off meeting with selected firm in Washington, DC Planned for the end of April 2020

Respondents are strongly encouraged to prepare their proposals based on the following topics. Additional information may be provided.

Please be sure to submit the documents indicated in the list below and closely follow the guidelines, including length restrictions. Only one proposal per organization or consortium of firms/organizations may be submitted. The Alliance reserves the right to reject late or incomplete proposals or those that do not follow stated guidelines.

1. Organization and experience
Provide a brief (no more than 5 pages) description of your firm or consortium and the role each partner will play in the Sector Strategy project. Highlight core competencies, relevant skills, and international and local networks particularly in leading emerging markets across Africa and Asia.

Please include 3-5 examples of current or past projects for which you demonstrated: i) thought leadership in strategy development; ii) understanding about nascent industry and ecosystem-level challenges for enterprises and innovation in emerging market; iii) the capability to develop technical inputs related to strategy and coaching to a range of cross-sectoral partners from the public, private, and civil society sectors in emerging markets with examples; iv) innovative approaches to capture and disseminate learnings and knowledge products; v) capabilities to develop a theory of change and measure process towards various milestones; and vi) experience with design thinking and human-centered design (this may be taken from any expressions of interest submitted in late 2019 if this information was previously provided). Please include past performance references that the Alliance may contact and the resumes of all relevant team members working on this project. Resumes will not count towards the page limit.

2. Methodology and approach
Provide a description of the overall approach your firm or consortium would use to successfully deliver the outputs and outcomes associated with this project specifically (no more than 12 pages):

  • A methodology and timeline for designing and delivering the services envisaged utilizing a design approach, particularly the development of a Clean Cooking Sector Strategy with action-oriented component parts that will drive collective responses, encourage strong and frequent participation from across the sector, and include a sector-wide Theory of Change;
  • A set of milestones and success metrics to track the design, development, and implementation of the formulation process;
  • An overview of the scope of activities and timeline for completing the objectives that could serve as the first version of a work plan;
  • A brief partnership strategy to ensure participation from leading global and local stakeholders relevant to the project, including key implementing partners within the Alliance networks (this may include processes such as establishing a steering committee, working groups, peer review processes, co-creation sessions, communication channels, etc.);
  • A methodology to capture and disseminate real-time learnings on the process, challenges, and opportunities to identify the unique contributions of various stakeholders; to better leverage the resources and expertise currently flowing into the sector; to develop concrete guidance to unlock additional resources, capital, partnerships, and innovations; to more effectively measure, evaluate, and learn from a range of partners and projects to track progress towards SDG7; recommendations for how to maintain coordination through the implementation stage of the strategy; and key insights on developing a sector-wide strategy within key international development priorities;
  • Leading questions the Sector Strategy aims to answer; and
  • A description of what you envision a successful Sector Strategy would look like at completion and what implications this has for your firm or consortium.

3. Motivation and strategic alignment
Provide a brief (no more than 1 page) explanation of the motivation of your firm or consortium for supporting this project, as well as the strategic alignment of this work with your mission and any other related activities that are ongoing or planned. Please include any other partners outside or within your firm or consortium that may be relevant to this work during and beyond the project period.

4. Budget
Please include an estimated budget for activities during the project period, starting from the preliminary phase through finalization of the Sector Strategy document with relevant frameworks, models, and tools. The budget plan should be based on a recommended timeline of activities, taking into account the expected time needed to gather sufficient input from multiple parties, and taking a co-creative approach to development of outputs (i.e. frameworks, models, and tools). The budget should be consistent with your proposed approach and methodology, showing an understanding of the project plan and an ability to translate proposed activities into a feasible work plan. If a consortium of firms is applying, the budget should include a breakout of each member of the consortium.

The budget should include the following information:

  • Assumptions and costs and the level of effort for staff and any sub-contractors;
    • Professional fees, including the cost and level of effort for each staff member;
  • A separate line item for sub-contractors;
  • An expenses budget broken down by types of expenses (e.g.: travel, research, etc.). Travel estimates should indicate the anticipated destination and duration of each trip.
  • An inclusive price (e.g.: expected fees or charges). If the proposed budget excludes certain fees or charges, the applicant must provide a detailed list of excluded fees with a complete explanation of those fees; and
  • Detailed budget line items clearly mapped to proposed activities.


Qualifications and Selection Criteria
The following chart outlines the evaluation criteria that will be used to select the Firm/Consortium:

Technical evaluation of proposals
Percentage of score
1. Demonstrated experience with strategy development.
This includes strategy development with international development actors,  governments, large foundations, multi-national corporations, or large projects. Experience with the management of multi-stakeholder processes that require regular inputs and engagement should be emphasized.
2. Proven understanding and experience with household energy services, including cooking, or similar sectors.
This includes engagement with renewable energy and access to energy technology and business model innovations. Support of nascent industry growth, blended finance, development finance, ecosystem building, systems-level change, and entrepreneurship in emerging market contexts are also important elements of this experience.
3. Demonstrated experience with milestone setting, developing theories of change, and developing verification mechanisms.
Proposed staff should include at least one person who has monitoring and evaluations (M&E) or measurement experience. This experience should include using these skills to support project planning or refinement. Theory of change development experience is also beneficial, particularly across a sector. Overall successful proposals should include mention of the role of M&E/measurement in strategy planning and refinement.
4. Framework, model, and tool development through data consolidation and analysis
Extensive experience using data from multiple sources and performing rigorous analysis of that data to develop frameworks, models, tools, and/or recommendations that led or contributed to a change in outcome is essential. These frameworks, models, and tools could be used for a variety of decision-making purposes.
5. Design Thinking
Proposed staff must include at least one team member with relevant experience and capabilities applying design thinking and human-centered approaches in the understanding and formulation of interventions into complex multi-stakeholder systems


A separate financial evaluation will be conducted based on the submitted budget.

Contracting Information
The Alliance will negotiate contract terms upon selection. Selected recipient/s must comply with Alliance, United Nations Foundation, and funder compliance requirements. The selected recipient/s must also undergo detailed legal, financial, and commercial due diligence. All contracts are subject to review by the UN Foundation’s Business Services, Budget, and Reporting team. The project will start upon the execution of the contract. The contract will outline terms and conditions, scope, budget, and applicable flow-down terms.

Intent and disclaimer
This RFP is made with the intent to identify a Firm to deliver results as described in this RFP. The Alliance will rely on the Firm’s representations to be truthful and as described. The Alliance assumes it can be confident in the Firm’s ability to deliver the product(s) and/or service(s) proposed in response to this RFP.

If the Alliance amends the RFP, copies of any such amendments will be sent to all respondents to the proposal.

The Firm understands that the Alliance has chosen to solicit an RFP for consulting services, and that the Firms response does not guarantee that the Alliance will enter into a new contract with the Firm or continue any current contract(s) with the Firm.
The Firm agrees that the Alliance may, in its sole discretion:

  • Amend or cancel the RFP, in whole or in part, at any time;
  • Extend the deadline for submitting responses;
  • Determine whether a response does or does not substantially comply with the requirements of the RFP;
  • Waive any minor irregularity, informality or nonconformance with the provisions or procedures of the RFP;
  • Negotiate with all Firms that UNF deems acceptable;
  • Issue multiple awards; and
  • Photocopy the responses for evaluation/review.

This RFP is not an offer to contract. Alliance assumes no responsibility for the Firm’s cost to respond to this RFP. All responses become the property of the Alliance.

The Firm, by submitting a response to this RFP, waives all right to protest or seek any legal remedies whatsoever regarding any aspect of this RFP.

The Firm represents that it has responded to the RFP with complete honesty and accuracy. If facts provided in the Firm’s response change, the Firm agrees to supplement its response in writing with any deletions, additions, or changes within ten (10) days of the changes. The Firm will do this, as necessary, throughout the selection process. The Firm understands that any material misrepresentation, including omissions, may disqualify it from consideration for a contract award.

The Firm understands it may receive proprietary and confidential information from the Alliance during the RFP process (“Confidential Information”). The Firm agrees to not use Confidential Information for any purpose other than its participation in the RFP process and to not reveal Confidential Information directly or indirectly to any other person, entity, or organization without the prior written consent of the Alliance. The Firm further agrees to exercise all reasonable precautions to maintain the proprietary and confidential nature of Confidential Information where it can best demonstrate its value and capacity to deliver ecosystem-wide, meaningful value.

1 Sustainable Energy for All. (2018). Energizing finance: Understanding the landscape. Retrieved from
2 International Energy Agency. (n.d.). “Sustainable Development Goal 7: Clean Cooking.” Retrieved from

3 To the extent that valuable initiatives are already underway, the Firm would not duplicate these efforts, but synthesize and add to existing data, information, and guidance.

4 The number and type of convenings should be included in the Firm’s proposal and will be agreed upon with the Alliance during the kick-off session.