United Nations Foundation

Manager, Research and Learning, Clean Cooking Alliance

Employment Opportunity - Washington, DC - Full Time

Position Overview

The Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) works with a global network of partners to build an inclusive industry that makes clean cooking accessible to the three billion people who live each day without it. Established in 2010, CCA is driving consumer demand, mobilizing investment to build a pipeline of scalable businesses, and fostering an enabling environment that allows the sector to thrive. Clean cooking transforms lives by improving health, protecting the climate and environment, empowering women, and helping consumers save time and money. In alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, CCA is working to achieve universal access to clean cooking by 2030. At CCA, we commit to cultivating an environment that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable in our work and in the communities, we will serve through the “Market Strengthening Program.” We affirm and reinforce our belief in equality and inclusion at all levels by hiring from diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and voices. And we recognize that by committing to gender diversity, we will be better equipped to build an inclusive industry that makes clean cooking accessible to the three billion people who live each day without it.

The Market Strengthening Program aims to accelerate markets for clean cooking through a systems approach that incorporates activities focused on supply, demand, and the enabling environment. The Venture Catalyst component aims to develop a stronger pipeline of investible clean cooking companies, the Demand Catalyst aims to develop more robust demand for clean cooking solutions, and the Market Catalyst aims to build the market ecosystem that enables clean cooking companies to be profitable and achieve impact at scale. The program seeks to engage, support, and influence the ecosystem of ventures, policymakers and funders at the level of individual clean cooking companies, country ecosystems, and the global market ecosystem through the use of grant funding, access to technical assistance, development of research and market intelligence, and advocating for the development of improved policies for clean cooking and increased capital flows into the industry.
Accelerating the market for clean cooking requires interventions that are highly integrated, constantly evolving, and which are responsive to a complex and dynamic market environment. The clean cooking market is continuously changing based on technology and business model innovations, public policy changes at country and global market levels, emerging insights on users and their preferences, and levels and sources of financing with varying preferences for social and financial performance.


The Market Strengthening Team seeks a Manager of Research and Learning (Manager) who will design and undertake a program of learning activities that improve the delivery and impact of the Market Strengthening Program through real-time feedback and assessment of individual activities and continuous adaptation of these activities based on insights that emerge. It is envisioned that this learning program will be highly collaborative and will engage the Market Strengthening Team, CCA, Venture Catalyst companies, third-party technical assistance providers, policy makers, funders, users of clean cooking solutions and other key stakeholder groups to inform learning products as well as activity pivots. The Manager is an integral member of the CCA Market Strengthening Team, responsible for designing and implementing research and learning activities across the Market Strengthening program.

The Market Strengthening program has three integrated components that each have their own learning objectives:


1. Venture Catalyst – a portfolio of ~30 companies that are supported through grants and technical assistance activities delivered by CCA and third-party providers with the aim of building the pipeline of investable businesses in the clean cooking industry.
2. Market Catalyst – a program of activities focused on developing public goods in the form of market intelligence, publications and research, data platforms and information and convening stakeholders across the clean cooking industry.
3. Demand Catalyst – a program of activities focused on developing robust demand for clean cooking products and services.

As a member of the Market Strengthening Team, s/he will be responsible for the design and implementation of the Market Strengthening program’s learning activities at both activity and portfolio levels and acting as liaison with CCA’s Evidence and Impact team to ensure alignment with CCA’s overall learning activities and the organizational Learning Agenda.
The Manager will lead knowledge management within the program including documentation and sharing of insights and learnings for a range of purposes including adaptive internal program management and design, donor reporting, and external communications through case studies, publications, events, webinars, website content, etc.
We seek applicants with the interest and ability to design agile and adaptive learning strategies and proactively identify improvements in existing approaches, and to identify opportunities for new learning. We are particularly interested in applicants with experience in strategic learning as part of developing inclusive market systems, private sector engagement, building ecosystems, supporting the development of small and growing businesses, and system thinking, especially related to clean cooking, energy access, climate change, health and gender. We are interested in candidates who can cultivate effective working relationships with people, internally and externally, from a wide variety of organizations, cultural backgrounds, and areas of expertise.

This role is US or UK based with a preference for Washington, DC and London.

Essential Functions

  • Lead the design and implementation of program level learning agenda and learning activities with the support of the Market Strengthening team and CCA's Evidence and Impact team and working closely with an external learning partner (to be selected)
  • Lead the design and implementation of research studies and learning activities
  • Lead data collection via surveys, interviews, focus group discussions and other data collection methods with clean cooking companies, third party technical assistance providers, partners and CCA staff where necessary to support program learning
  • Lead quantitative and qualitative analysis of data to generate insights targeting the clean cooking sector as well as the Market Strengthening Team for process improvement and adaptive management of the program’s design and activities
    • Advise the Market Strengthening Leadership Team on how to adapt and enhance the Market Strengthening Program to more effectively and efficiently achieve its goals of accelerating the development of the clean cooking industry
  • Manage relationships with data collection and external research partners where necessary
  • Lead the development of the research and learning components of the program’s annual workplan
  • Identify opportunities for development of new research, insights, and communications products based on program needs and emergent opportunities
  • Support the development of the Market Strengthening Program’s flagship market intelligence products including the Industry Snapshot report – a regular series that aims to provide investors and donors with a view of investment and operational trends in the clean cooking industry through an industry wide company survey
  • Lead the Market Strengthening Program’s internal knowledge generation and management, donor reporting and external communications via:
    • Case studies
    • Articles
    • Lessons learned documents
    • Webinars and presentations
  • Other duties as assigned.

Selection Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree in relevant field (business administration, international studies, development studies, economics, public policy) preferred
  • Minimum 5 years of applicable work experience in development contexts, preferably related to working with market systems and in the clean cooking, energy access, climate change, health, or gender impact areas
  • Experience in designing and implementing adaptive learning systems and developing frontier knowledge focused on private sector engagement, ecosystem building, market development, small and growing business development and systems thinking
  • Experience in designing and implementing research and learning activities with a wide range of collaborators from different sectors and backgrounds
  • Demonstrated track record with data management and analysis including relevant data collection, qualitative and quantitative analysis tools
  • Strong writing and analytical skills
  • Solutions-oriented and able to manage and advance multiple tasks and responsibilities in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Problem-solver with a proactive, no-task-is-too-small nature, who takes initiative and displays a ‘growth mindset’
  • Team-oriented, supportive work style, and able to work independently
  • Excellent communicator, able to synthesize and convey complex information clearly
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • High ethical standards and ability to maintain confidentiality and discretion with sensitive information
  • Ability to learn new systems and collaboration platforms efficiently
  • Proficiency in Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint), with particular emphasis on ability to create compelling and professional PowerPoint materials
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress
  • Ability to meet regular attendance/tardiness policy

Benefits & Compensation 

For full-time, benefit eligible employees, UNF offers an excellent range of benefits, including:

  • a choice between two health plans through UnitedHealthcare (PPO or HDHP with HSA)
  • dental insurance
  • vision insurance
  • flexible spending accounts
  • 403b retirement savings plan with a generous matching contribution
  • group term and supplemental life insurance
  • short-term disability
  • long-term disability
  • health club discounts
  • commuter subsidy
  • back-up care
  • employee assistance program

Additionally, all benefit eligible employees have 12 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, 3 personal days, and 8 weeks of family leave care.

The United Nations Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative-action employer. The United Nations Foundation provides equal employment opportunity to all employees and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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