Systems Strategy Framework

Together with partners, the Clean Cooking Alliance has developed an emerging Systems Strategy for transforming the clean cooking ecosystem.

The components of the Systems Strategy include three Principles, four Pathways, three Enablers, and nineteen specific Initiatives. Together these components represent a bold vision for achieving universal access. Working with partners across the ecosystem, the Clean Cooking Alliance is embarking on a new phase of action to co-create and launch a number of these Initiatives and invites all interested collaborators to join in bringing this Systems Strategy to life.

Components of the Systems Strategy


Three guiding principles inform all of the complex choices and strategic trade-offs called for in the Systems Strategy

  • Self-Determination

  • Equitable and
    Just Outcomes

  • Systemic

  • Self-determination recognizes the central authority that both national governments and individuals have in making decisions over their own future. This principle is central to how the Systems Strategy considers the role of both national governments and households in the ecosystem. A strategy grounded in leadership and ownership by national governments defining their own bold future will be more sustained and actionable. Furthermore, the principle of self-determination is reflected in the placement of users at the center of the Systems Strategy. This acknowledges that all decision making should be shaped by the needs and experiences of users, and we should seek to elevate the user experience and user voices in all processes.

  • Equity and justice recognizes the fundamental right for all to cook with healthy, safe and affordable solutions. The Systems Strategy must be explicit and intentional to ensure all populations - especially the most vulnerable and poorest - can achieve access, and that governments and markets will need to design and deliver solutions that meet the specific needs of each population. For many, this will require a transition to improved solutions, and ultimately to clean and climate compatible solutions. These transitions must be centred on equity and justice for all households, ensuring that clean solutions are ultimately accessible to all. Furthermore, we recognize that where there are competing priorities across important dimensions of human health, economic development, and climate stability, we must not choose pathways that put the greatest burden on the poorest or most vulnerable.

  • The Strategy takes a systems approach to advance big solutions that are at the scale and reach of the challenges they are designed to address. This requires doing more with our collective resources, and finding ways to better coordinate and collaborate around shared priorities. A systems approach requires understanding how the system operates as a whole and connects with other systems, and understanding root causes of challenges so that solutions begin to shift underlying power dynamics, incentives, and mindsets. All of this is needed to transform the systems that deliver clean cooking solutions to households and institutions. The Systems Strategy aims to dismantle the negative reinforcing cycles of zero-sum competition and underlying scarcity mindsets, and replace them with more positive cycles that expand resources and attention towards clean cooking. This is done in part by elevating clean cooking as fundamental to achieving the climate, health and gender goals of national governments and the broader international community.

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Four interconnected pathways define the key areas where transformation is required to achieve universal access to clean cooking

  • National governments leading clean cooking transitions

  • Households demanding clean solutions that meet their needs

  • Sustainable markets delivering clean and affordable solutions

  • No households are left out of the clean cooking transition

Pathways to achieving SDG7 by 2030

Transforming the energy ecosystem to better serve the cooking needs of households and institutions requires making significant and sustained progress across four critical and interconnected pathways. Success will require bold leadership by champions within government to drive implementation of comprehensive national cooking transitions that are centered on user needs and aspirations, as well as policies and investments that promote both market-based and non-market-based solutions.

  • Empower and support national governments to lead clean cooking transitions: National champions are elevated and given mandates and resources to deliver. Local and global partners support implementation of national plans, accelerating tangible results for people, businesses, and political champions. Success paves the way for greater ambition over time.

  • Elevate household aspirations and demand through programs and solutions that better meet user needs: Households increasingly recognize the value of clean cooking solutions for themselves and their communities. Enterprises and investors become more attuned to and address the needs and cooking behaviours of users.

  • Develop sustainable markets that deliver clean and affordable solutions: Good policies and redoubled investment drive new breakthroughs in affordability that expand market access for clean solutions. The quality and performance of existing affordable solutions, namely improved stoves and fuels, continue to improve, enabling a cleaner cooking experience for all consumers.

  • Ensure no households are left behind: National and international commitments to meeting the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable households are elevated, with appropriate policies and subsidies mobilized to enable sustained access and usage for all.

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Three enablers speak to the mindsets and collective resources needed to accelerate progress towards universal access

  • A culture of data and knowledge sharing, and adaptive learning

  • New and louder voices to champion clean cooking

  • Larger pools of funding and financing

Across the four pathways to achieving SDG 7, a set of three critical enablers underlie the new mindsets and solutions that can accelerate progress. The solutions proposed in the Systems Strategy are grounded in one or more of these enablers.

  • Promote data and knowledge sharing and adaptive learning to better inform policy making, funding priorities and innovation around solutions that better reflect the needs and aspirations of users.

  • Activate new voices to participate as influencers, champions, and funders.

  • Unlock new pools of funding and financing for critical investments in innovation and risk-taking, to enable more equitable access, and to scale up successes.

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Nineteen specific Initiatives that the ecosystem needs to invest in today to drive meaningful action across the four pathways. These Initiatives harness existing efforts underway and also create new solutions to drive sustained results over the coming decade, together unlocking a new trajectory for clean cooking to help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.

These Initiatives are starting points for action. The next phase of the Systems Strategy requires collaboration and active participation from partners within and outside the clean cooking ecosystem to test and co-create these Initiatives and bring the Systems Strategy to life. Through this next phase of Initiative design and implementation we expect that some of these Initiatives may evolve as additional partners contribute to this process, and as new opportunities emerge.

The 19 Initiatives

  • Promote data and knowledge sharing and adaptive learning to better inform policy making, funding priorities and innovation around solutions that better reflect the needs and aspirations of users.

    Design and launch a User Insights Lab to generate and integrate insights on the user experience into business model and technology innovation, and policy making

    Establish an Evidence to Action Hub to generate and consolidate the evidence base on clean cooking and to craft compelling impact narratives

    Develop tools and guides to support decision-making and action on national policies, particularly around stable taxes and tariffs and equitable subsidy design

    Launch technology-specific platforms to advance solutions for clean fuels, with a particular focus on an Ethanol Agenda and an Advanced Biomass Agenda

    Coordinate efforts to develop, purchase, and integrate digital technologies, including smart meters and sensors, to enable greater use of carbon finance and other results-based financing mechanisms (RBF)

    Strengthen regional testing centers and capacity to drive higher quality and performance standards for improved cookstoves and fuels

    Host open innovation challenges, such as a Global Cooking Innovation Challenge, to stimulate creative ideas for innovative programs or technologies that could advance clean cooking in humanitarian contexts

  • Activate new voices to participate as influencers, champions, and funders.

    Harness momentum around international events and agendas, including High Level Dialogue on Energy, Energy Ministerials, COP, G7, and G20

    Launch a Delivery Units Network to build and support coordinated delivery units in countries with ambitious clean cooking plans and to support the development and implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to address climate change

    Elevate clean cooking within agendas of multilateral development banks and other development finance institutions through a Clean Cooking Finance Campaign

    Elevate clean cooking as a core mitigation and adaptation solution enabling an equitable and just climate transition through a Clean Cooking for Climate Campaign

    Support efforts to deepen engagement from local and international industry groups, especially to contribute to national strategies

    Support and activate local advocacy champions and allies, particularly those in local climate, gender, and health communities

    Support global and local advocacy campaigns to reshape the issue of clean cooking access as a human rights issue

  • Unlock new pools of funding and financing for critical investments in innovation and risk-taking, to enable more equitable access, and to scale up successes.

    Establish an RBF Accelerator to streamline and expand the use of RBF and related mechanisms for clean cooking

    Secure concessionary capital to scale up blended finance facilities and funds to support early-stage clean cooking enterprises

    Create a new funding paradigm with funders and enterprises to create larger incentives for risk-taking and breakthrough innovation

    Build a coalition of private companies to fund and finance clean cooking transitions in support of corporate sustainability and/or carbon reduction goals

    Expand efforts to engage with and strengthen the supply chains of artisans and micro/small enterprises with funding and training

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