In this Issue

  • Radha's Message
  • Report from Rio: Clean Cookstoves are Part of the Future We Want
  • The New
  • Videos to Tell the Cookstoves Story
  • ISO Releases Final International Workshop Agreement document, Alliance Issues Request for Proposals for Testing Centers
  • Alliance Prioritizing Women throughout its Work, Issues First Gender-Focused RFP
  • Partner Spotlight: UNHCR: Domestic Energy – A Mission for Improved Refugee Protection in Ethiopia
  • The Alliance in the News
  • Upcoming Events
  • New Partners

Radha's Message

Dear friends,

Greetings from Kuala Lumpur, where I’m based for the next several weeks as I attend meetings, conferences and site visits throughout Asia, as well as catch up on some personal time with my family and friends.

To follow up on China’s recent commitment to join the Alliance, announced a few months ago at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue by Secretary Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, several members of the Alliance Secretariat and I visited Beijing last week to further strengthen relationships with Chinese cookstoves and fuels stakeholders and government ministries. We were pleased by the Chinese government’s commitment to collaborate across ministries, with the Alliance, and with other international partners.

Chinese and international researchers then came together for a workshop hosted under the Alliance’s research coordination platform, to identify areas for future research and to facilitate further collaboration. This trip was also an opportunity for Secretariat staff to visit testing labs in and around Beijing. The Alliance looks forward to future collaboration with China in its role as one of the leaders in the international cookstoves community, especially in the areas of stove design, standards and testing, and awareness-raising.

I then headed to Hanoi, Vietnam, for a stakeholder meeting with our partners in the country as well as meetings with government ministries. During our stakeholder meeting, we presented and received useful feedback regarding our strategic business plan, shared upcoming plans for the Alliance, and most importantly learned about ongoing efforts and opportunities surrounding clean cooking solutions in Vietnam. These included discussions with our partners on the ground regarding how the Alliance can best support their efforts to scale up adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels, as well as how the Alliance can continue to constructively work with the Government of Vietnam.
July’s newsletter is full of exciting news. We’ve recently updated, expanded, and completely redesigned our website and brought you many new features which we believe will enhance the user experience. From Alliance and partner funding opportunities, to a new interactive community section, to multi-country data and statistics and more we hope you find it a helpful addition to your efforts in the sector.

In addition, we are pleased to share a new global advocacy video featuring Alliance Global Ambassador Julia Roberts, as well as videos that showcase the stories of women in India, Kenya, and Peru whose lives have been drastically changed as they upgraded to improved and clean cookstoves and fuels. Watch them and share them with your family, friends and colleagues at

In July’s partner spotlight, read about UNHCR’s work on clean cookstoves in Ethiopia. You can also find out about two new Alliance requests for proposals: one on gender research in Bangladesh, and one to enhance the capacity and number of regional testing and knowledge centers.

And as usual, you will see the Alliance in the news, upcoming Alliance and partner events, and the diverse group of our newest partners. I’m particularly excited to announce Malawi’s partnership with the Alliance.

On a bittersweet note, I’d like to bid farewell and best wishes to Simon Bishop, the Alliance’s Director of Market Development, who next month begins his role as a Strategy Advisor to Prince Charles and The Prince’s Charities. From his time at the Shell Foundation to his role with the Alliance, Simon has laid a strong foundation for the Alliance and its partners in the field and his expertise and passion for the issue will be sorely missed. Join me and the rest of the Secretariat in congratulating Simon on this exciting move, and if you know of strong candidates for the position, point them to the job description.

I hope everyone will find time to get some rest and relaxation with family and friends this summer!

With best regards,

Radha Muthiah, Executive Director

Report from Rio: Clean Cookstoves are Part of the Future We Want

Clean cookstoves and fuels were a central component of the dialogue at Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

The conference has been held decennially since the 1992 Earth Summit, when almost 200 world leaders came together to commit to environmental stewardship. The UN and its member states, along with thousands of private sector companies, civil society organizations, researchers, and journalists returned to the ‘Marvelous City’ twenty years later to discuss ‘the future we want’.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, UN Industrial Development Organization Director General Kandeh Yumkella, former Irish president Mary Robinson, former Chilean president and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet and many others – all found ways to include the promise of clean cookstoves and fuels during their remarks in Rio.

The Alliance’s headline event in Rio was an at-capacity breakfast on Wednesday, June 20th. Alliance partners and other guests came together as Radha and a distinguished panel of high-level international and UN representatives delivered remarks, engaged in a dialogue on clean cookstoves and fuels, announced new commitments to the Alliance, and took questions.

These individuals included UN Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth; Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson; UNHCR High Commissioner and former Portuguese prime minister António Guterres; Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent; U.S. State Department Special Representative for Global Partnerships Kris Balderston; Chinese Department of Climate Change (NDRC) Deputy Director General Sun Zhen; and Ghanaian Energy Board member Dr. Rudith King.

The energy in the room was palpable, and guests lingered for almost an hour after the formal agenda concluded to meet one another, review a few models of clean cooking technologies, and share their personal and professional interests in promoting the use of clean cookstoves and fuels.

The Alliance’s presence in Rio was also marked by an important milestone in the progress of the cookstoves sector – ten years after the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air was launched at Rio+10 in Johannesburg, the integration of PCIA into the Alliance is complete. The Alliance will assume PCIA’s partnership and Biennial Forum activities and will be transitioning new partners to its online community of practice.

Thousands of people around the world were also able to participate in the Rio+20 process at Rio+Social, the live in-person and social media conversation, where Radha joined Ms. Bachelet and Minister Carlsson to discuss the intricate link between women and sustainable development. Cookstoves became a prominent part of that discussion.

Throughout the larger Rio+20 conference, the Alliance was well represented at panel discussions and other events on energy access, women’s empowerment, and the environment.

Leaving Rio, it was clear that the advocacy and work of the Alliance, its partners, and champions put cookstoves squarely at the forefront of the global development conversation.

The New

The Alliance is thrilled to announce the launch of our new website! This website was created to provide quick and easy access to information, expanded resources, and a community of innovators, implementers, manufacturers, researchers and others in the clean cookstoves and fuels sector.

Visit today and discover:

The Clean Cookstoves Story — Learn about the issue, and the transformational strategies and solutions the Alliance is using to create a global market for clean cookstoves and fuels.

A New Resource Knowledge Hub — Find an extensive library of reports and a comprehensive online research database of country data and statistics —including information on everything from population to cookstove market opportunities.

The “What’s Cooking” Blog — Read and subscribe to the Alliance’s new blog to read featured stories from the field, partner spotlights, media highlights, and much more.

Our Partner and Donor Community — Join our growing list of innovative partners and generous donors, or get involved in the clean cooking movement today!

Photos and Videos – Watch our new videos that tell the stories of women from India, Kenya and Peru, as well as our global advocacy video narrated by Global Ambassador Julia Roberts. Additionally, peruse photos from the Alliance and its partners.

This new website makes it easier than ever to stay up-to-date on what’s new in the clean cookstoves and fuels sector. Do your part to get involved and help the Alliance achieve its goal of 100 million households adopting clean cooking technologies by 2020!

Videos to Tell the Cookstoves Story

Readers know that the cookstoves story is a complicated one, and that often times when someone hears about this issue for the first time, they are horrified to learn the extent of the death and disease associated with indoor air pollution.

The Alliance is fortunate to have four brand new compelling, personalized videos to help tell that story, a story not just focused on the negative but also on the positive, myriad benefits that can come from the availability and use of clean cookstoves and fuels.

Listen to Monica in Peru, Sarah in Kenya, and Vandana in India each talk about their lives before and after purchasing their clean cookstoves – what it means for the health, safety and well-being of themselves and their families.

Alliance Global Ambassador Julia Roberts then ties their stories together into a compelling narrative and call to action.

Please share these with your family, friends and colleagues!

ISO Releases Final International Workshop Agreement document, Alliance Issues Request for Proposals for Testing Centers

The Alliance is pleased to share an update on the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) International Workshop Agreement (IWA) that was initially reported in the Alliance’s March 2012 newsletter. The final IWA document, IWA 11:2012, Guidelines for evaluating cookstove performance, has been released by ISO, as announced in their recent press release.

“The ISO IWA represents a significant step forward in global efforts to scale up clean cookstoves and fuels as it provides guidance for rating cookstoves on four performance indicators: fuel use, total emissions, indoor emissions, and safety,” said Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “Standards can give stove makers an affirmation of product quality, let users know they are making a worthwhile investment, and drive industry innovation.”

The guidelines document is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly through the ISO Store. The Alliance is also actively exploring options to obtain a license to distribute the final document at no charge to its partners. An earlier version of the IWA agreement and the proceedings of the workshop are available here.

The Alliance is maintaining the momentum from the IWA by continuing discussions to map protocols to the IWA tiers of performance, to refine and develop protocols for additional stove types and fuels, and to enhance testing capacity to evaluate cookstoves and fuels based on the IWA interim standards. To participate in these discussions, please contact Ranyee Chiang, rchiang at, Senior Technical Manager for Standards and Testing.

To enhance testing capacity, the Alliance has released a request for proposals (RFP) entitled Enhancing Capacity of Regional Testing and Knowledge Centers. Through this RFP, the Alliance will support the development of multiple “Regional Testing and Knowledge Centers” (RTKCs) that can provide testing, cookstove development, and capacity building services. This RFP provides for existing testing centers as well as the establishment of additional centres.

Alliance Prioritizing Women throughout its Work, Issues First Gender-Focused RFP

The Alliance has prioritized women and their role in the cookstoves value chain with two specific references in its mission statement: to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean cooking technologies, with the goal of 100 million households adopting clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020.

While anecdotal information exists, the evidence base demonstrating the business case for the inclusive involvement of women in the clean cookstoves and fuels value chain needs to be further developed. First, research must be conducted to provide hard data that demonstrates the impact clean cookstoves and fuels can have on women and their families, as well as the impact women can have on adoption rates.

Second, there is a need to develop and collect specific case studies demonstrating best practices and successful solutions that are being utilized to integrate women into the design of technologies, overcome barriers to becoming cookstove and fuel entrepreneurs, and ensure that the sector is capitalizing on the networks and abilities of women to serve the last mile. Lastly, there is a lack of practical tools, guidance, and methods that practitioners can easily utilize and implement to successfully mainstream gender and increase the number of women in the cookstove value chain.

The Alliance has therefore recently released a request for proposals in collaboration with the UN Foundation’s Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative. We are seeking a qualified research consultant to conduct an exploratory study documenting the benefits of incorporating women in the clean cookstoves value chain through an analysis of case studies and best practices in cookstove projects in Bangladesh. Work plans should be submitted to Rebecca Furst-Nichols at rfurstnichols at no later than July 27. The announcement of the selected candidate will be sent to all applicants no later than August 3.

This piece of research will be a part of the Alliance’s broader strategy on gender and women’s empowerment, which seeks to ensure that gender issues are adequately addressed in clean cookstove and fuel projects and that women are economically empowered through livelihood opportunities created through these new value chains.

Partner Spotlight: UNHCR: Domestic Energy – A Mission for Improved Refugee Protection in Ethiopia

By Amare Gebre-Egziabher

When people flee from home in the midst of conflict, they leave everything behind. As they arrive in refugee camps, they have to start their new lives empty-handed. Humanitarian agencies, including Geneva-based United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, have been providing various relief items but not all the needs can be covered. UNHCR recognizes that the issue of domestic energy is closely linked to the protection of its persons of concern. Women and children spend long hours collecting firewood, exposing them to security risks, and taking time away from their educational, social or income-generating activities.

UNHCR has been promoting fuel-efficient cookstoves and alternative energy while providing cooking fuel in emergency situations. Locally produced and imported fuel-efficient cookstoves have been encouraged in several operations mainly in Asia and Africa, and alternative fuel projects such as solar, ethanol, bio-gas and biomass briquettes have been implemented. Cooking fuels such as firewood and kerosene have also been provided on some occasions, especially during the emergency phase.

Increased international awareness of the issue of domestic energy, thanks to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, has drawn interest from private donors to support UNHCR on domestic energy interventions. Since the 2011 launch of the Light Years Ahead campaign, UNHCR has raised over 1.4 million USD for solar lighting and fuel-efficient stoves, allowing UNHCR to introduce domestic energy initiatives to seven African countries.

In Ethiopia, several different approaches have been implemented over the years. Host areas often suffer from limited natural resources and accommodating some 300,000 refugees from neighbouring countries (mostly Somalia) often leads to conflict with host communities as they use the same resources as the refugees.

UNHCR has been distributing locally produced fuel-efficient rocket cookstoves, which can save up to 50% of firewood compared to a three-stone open fire, together with ZOA, an international nongovernmental organization working to improve livelihoods in Ethiopia, and other implementing partners in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia. In Assosa, Ethiopia, which hosts refugees from Sudan, UNHCR has distributed 4,500 sets of imported Save80 cookstoves, which can save up to 80% of firewood. Further, in collaboration with Aprovecho Research Centre, UNHCR has introduced 60 institutional rocket-stoves since 2011, which save 75-90% of firewood use, to schools and health clinics throughout camps in Ethiopia. As an alternative energy option, UNHCR’s operation in the Jijiga region has been promoting ethanol for cooking since 2005 in partnership with Gaia Association. Over 4,000 refugee families have received ethanol cookstoves and fuel, which is produced locally in Ethiopia using molasses from sugarcane. This provides an environmentally-friendly solution and clean fuel for refugees, protecting them from respiratory diseases caused by smoke from firewood.

While UNHCR has been working on this issue for years, addressing it in all agency operations remains a challenge. Work on a holistic domestic energy strategy is underway. This will provide a guideline to improve protection of displaced populations through the introduction of fuel-efficient and clean cookstoves as well as alternative energy for cooking, while promoting energy options for lighting. In the meantime, efforts continue to improve access to sustainable energy for cooking and lighting in emergency situations and to enhance UNHCR’s funding capacity for the initiative.

Learn more about UNHCR: //

The author can be reached at gebreega at

To be featured in an upcoming Alliance partner spotlight, please contact partnerships at

The Alliance in the News

National Geographic ‘Newswatch’ Blog: Clean Cookstoves Must Be Rethought So They Actually Get Used in Developing World

Note: Radha Muthiah and the authors of the J-PAL study in India that was misperceived by some media outlets penned this opinion piece on the need for more research, and the importance of clean cookstoves in helping reduce indoor air pollution.

New York Times Sunday Magazine: Hillary Clinton’s Last Tour as a Rock-Star Diplomat

NPR ‘The Salt’ Blog: Cleaner, 'Greener' Cookstoves Need Better Marketing in Bangladesh

The Financial: ISO guidelines on clean cookstoves could save lives, reduce injuries and pollution

Latin American Herald Tribune: Development Conference Ends with Pledge to Future Generations

Renewable Energy World: U.S. Support for the Sustainable Energy for All Global Action Agenda

CGAP: How to Save Lives and Lower Fuel Consumption: Clean Cookstoves

Upcoming Events

July 2012

Aprovecho Research Center – Stove Camp 2012
July 30 – August 2, 2012
Cottage Grove, OR

Site Visit to Guatemala Sponsored by Global Partnerships Initiative, US Department of State
July 30 – August 1
Antigua, Guatemala
For more information, please contact Sarah Nolan at NolanSE at
August 2012

International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Conference
August 26-30, 2012
Columbia, SC

September 2012

UN General Assembly – 67th Regular Session Opening
September 18, 2012
New York, NY

Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting
September 23-25
New York, NY

New Partners

Below are the Alliance’s newest partners from June 10-July 16. To become a partner, please visit the partners page on our website.

National partners:

Republic of Malawi

Implementing Partners:

Agency for Integrated Development
Burn Manufacturing
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Caritas Philippines Foundation
Global Alliance for Development Foundation
Habitat for Humanity International
Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar
Medical Services International/MSI-USA
Nalepo Conservation Programme
Practical Action, Bangladesh
Resurge International
Soprise! LLP
Sudipti Somaj Unnayan Sangstha
The Tandana Foundation
Champion Partners:
UN Women

About the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a United Nations Foundation-led public-private partnership to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s goal calls for 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. The Alliance is working with almost 400 public, private, and non-profit partners to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves and fuels in the developing world. Learn more at: