Radha’s Message for December 2016
As 2016 comes to a close, it’s a perfect time to look back on a year that was full of progress, as well as change.
There is much to be proud of, as the 2016 Progress Report released earlier this month showed. More than 53 million clean and/or efficient cookstoves and fuels have been distributed from 2010-2015, and the proportion of higher-performing cookstoves in the biomass stoves market is increasing every year. The report also highlighted numerous noteworthy accomplishments from across the clean cooking sector, showcasing the continuing momentum as Alliance partners work toward the goal of 100 million households adopting clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020.
This year saw the continued prioritization by leaders from around the world of clean cooking as critical to addressing a broad range of global goals, from improving health, to empowering women and mitigating climate change. In addition, sustained advocacy efforts from the Alliance and numerous partners helped governments across Africa and Asia set new policies that are enabling a stronger and more vibrant cookstoves market. In collaboration with national alliances, the Alliance also implemented behavior change communication campaigns in Bangladesh, Ghana, Guatemala, and Uganda that delivered high-impact, evidence based communications designed to influence consumer purchasing decisions and encourage the consistent use of cleaner cooking options.
We have also seen the emergence of many new and diverse actors in the sector. It’s hard to believe that the Alliance has grown from under 100 partners in year one to more than 1600 partners, and that we are increasingly a more cohesive “sector”. As the cookstoves and fuels landscape continues to evolve, the broader political and development landscape has also changed considerably, with elections in many donor and focus countries this year, and a new Secretary-General starting at the United Nations in January.
While some of these changes may present challenges in new environments, there are also numerous opportunities ahead. This is a difficult and complex issue, with many different actors with varying interests. But one thing is sure – our collective efforts are making a difference and helping to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.
Let me take this opportunity to thank all the supporters and partners of the Global Alliance for their continued collaboration. I wish you all a prosperous 2017!