In June, the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) kicked off a sector-wide strategy development process to accelerate progress toward universal access to clean cooking by 2030. The Clean Cooking Sector Strategy initiative will continue through early 2021 and will aim to answer three questions: 

  1. What is the state and structure of the clean cooking sector today? 
  2. How does the sector need to transform to be more effective? 
  3. How can a sector-wide strategy best serve to guide and support this transformation? 

Before identifying ways in which the sector might change, the sector strategy team wanted to first understand the current state of the sector - the actors involved, how they relate, and the systemic challenges that hinder growth. To delve into this understanding, the initial phase of work focused on addressing the first question, “what is the state and structure of the clean cooking sector today?” To do so, the sector strategy team conducted in-depth interviews with over 70 stakeholders both inside and external to the clean cooking sector. Interviews were designed to be inclusive and engage a broad range of stakeholders, including enterprises, donors, national governments, research institutions, NGOs, and market enablers. The sector strategy team also spoke to actors from adjacent sectors, as well as systems thinkers, adding further vantage points through which to better understand the sector.

The interviews sought to understand the context in which each organization operates, uncover the main challenges they face, and map to their most important relationships and resources for unlocking significant growth.

While interview responses were diverse and, in some cases, conflicting, the analysis focused on elevating and clustering different stakeholder perspectives (via regular Affinity Mapping synthesis sessions), rather than testing particular ongoing hypotheses. The affinity mapping process allowed the team to find connections and similarities across stakeholder views. The process was intentionally designed to allow for space for differing perspectives around similar issues or themes. A summary of the more than 25 insights that emerged from this foundational research can be viewed in a PDF here.

An initial ecosystem map of the sector was also created to begin exploring its structure – capturing its key sub-systems, actors, and their interrelationships. The ecosystem map shows the sector from a macro point-of-view, which will be helpful as stakeholders evaluate and prioritize different ideas for where and how the sector should transform. A copy of the clean cooking ecosystem map describing the main actors and sub-systems can be viewed in a PDF here.

As a final step of this first phase and in an effort to more deeply explore systemic challenges in the sector, seven challenges and opportunities were selected to explore further. These certainly do not represent the full set of challenges and opportunities facing the sector today, but instead include those most often identified by stakeholders as critical or central to the outcomes of the sector. For each of these challenges and opportunities, the team sought to articulate the root causes at play. An overview of the views and perspectives shared by sector stakeholders can be viewed in a PDF here.

The sector strategy team welcomes further feedback on the content in the three documents linked above via this survey, which will be open until October 30, 2020. The sector strategy team hopes readers will engage with the content shared here and will use the feedback provided as inputs to the continued sector strategy process. Readers can choose to provide feedback on some or all of the materials shared.  

As the initial phase of the Clean Cooking Sector Strategy process wraps up, the focus will shift from the current state of the sector to the future state, exploring the question, “how does the sector need to transform to be more effective?” During this next phase of work, the sector strategy team hopes to identify transformation pathways for the clean cooking sector. There will be continued opportunities for stakeholders across the sector to contribute to the process, including via another feedback survey.