Radha’s Message for October 2014
There is a never a dull moment at the Alliance or in our sector and October proved that point well!
We saw Guatemala, one of our new focus countries, move the dial forward considerably in its engagement on clean cookstoves in the true spirit of a public-private partnership. President Otto Pérez Molina further reiterated his Administration’s commitment and resolved to better understand and act on the challenges facing producers and distributors of cleaner and more efficient stoves and fuels as they scale in Guatemala. We had discussions with Environment Minister Michelle Martínez on how to include more efficient cookstoves into their Zero Footprint carbon reduction initiative with the IDB and USAID. We also met with newly appointed Minister of Health Luis Enrique Monterrosso regarding integrating clean cooking demonstrations into the mandate of their health extension workers, and affirmed Energy Minister Erick Archila's commitment to address the cross-cutting issue of cleaner and more efficient cooking. To top this off, we had a productive conversation with Mejoremos Guate – two dozen leaders of the Guatemalan private sector to discuss concrete ways to collectively and individually engage in the clean cooking sector. I left these meetings with a clear sense that all these Ministers and their agencies wanted to accomplish results, and soon!
In addition to our efforts to support market development in Guatemala, COGUANOR, the Guatemalan standards organization, also hosted a meeting of standards bodies and sector experts to advance the discussions on ISO standards for our sector. This is not an easy process, but it was good to see diverse points of view aired with clear consensus on key issues that will move our sector forward!
This month we also engaged in continued efforts to support our national partners beyond our existing focus countries. Colombia has been a strong partner of the Alliance and we were pleased to participate in the country’s first workshop on improved cookstoves and clean fuels hosted by Patrimonio Natural, Fundación Natura and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development to convene local partners, hear from regional experts, and begin the exciting process of scaling clean cooking markets in the country.
This month also saw the kick-off of our awareness and behavior change efforts in Kenya – the first of our focus countries to engage in demand generation efforts. Our events in Kenya have drawn large crowds at market days in various villages, and we look forward to reporting on the impact when this pilot campaign concludes in a couple of months.
Exciting things are also happening in our work to support our partner’s efforts to scale. The Alliance will launch its third call for proposals for the Spark Fund on November 15th. Details on the RFP will be posted to our Funding Opportunities page shortly.
Finally, we are pleased to share the Alliance’s new Phase 1 report that details our collective efforts over the first four years of our ten-year strategic plan, and marks the end of our foundation-setting phase. We invite you to view the report on our website and share it with others in the sector. We should all be proud of the progress that has been achieved and the important work that is still ahead of us.
Speaking of the next phase, we are in the final stages of preparing for the Cookstoves Future Summit. We will share our Roadmap for Phase 2 and showcase what looks to be a strong and diverse set of commitments from the public and private sector that will allow us to scale our efforts over the next three years. To learn more about the Summit, I invite you to join me for a special partner briefing next Thursday, November 6th at 9:00 am ET. We encourage everyone to get digitally involved in the proceedings, watch it via the video live stream, and engage in the conversation via social media.
There is so much going on and that is exactly how we like it! Thanks for your partnership and collaboration.