United Nations Foundation


The United Nations Foundation has been an advocate for the United Nations and a platform for connecting people, ideas and resources to help the UN solve global problems since its creation in 1998. It was born out of philanthropist Ted Turner’s belief that an independent, entrepreneurial, collaborative organization could help the UN build public-private partnerships with non-governmental organizations, corporations and individual donors. In just ten years, the UN Foundation and its partners have facilitated the delivery of nearly $2 billion to UN causes through more than 300 programmatic partnerships, and worked with more than 40 UN agencies and 100 governments to help the UN decrease child mortality, improve disaster relief, create a clean energy future, empower women and girls, and preserve precious World Heritage sites. We have also served as a fiduciary for numerous large high-profile international campaigns such as the Global Fund and Product RED.

In addition, one of the Foundation’s greatest advantages is our high-level access to the Secretary-General and other senior UN officials, policy makers from member states, UN Permanent Representatives, global civil society, and a range of private-sector leaders – enabling us to pursue multilateral action to solve global problems and work outside of, yet in parallel with, the UN to advance its goals. The Foundation’s close collaboration with the UN also allows us to focus, achieve results, and help our partners navigate the UN system and work with agencies such as the UN Development and Environment Programs and their sophisticated delivery mechanisms, including more than 160 local and regional field offices and thousands of trusted in-country technical experts.

Organization Type Non-Governmental Organization

Contact Information

Primary Contact
Ms. Leslie Cordes
Secondary Contact
Ms. Corinne Hart
Address 1800 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC
United States
Website www.unfoundation.org
Phone 202-887-9040
Calling/Fax Instructions

Our Focus

Primary Initiatives, Target Populations, and Scope of Work:

The UN Foundation is seeking partners for the initial phase of a clean cookstoves campaign designed to provide 50 million clean cookstoves in ten key developing countries by 2015. Drawing on our extensive experience mounting and executing similarly high-profile international campaigns in the areas of health, population, and environment, the UN Foundation will coordinate a broad-based advocacy, deployment, and fundraising initiative in collaboration with the United Nations, and the support of major philanthropic, corporate, and government donors. This campaign will be designed to scale-up existing efforts to develop and disseminate clean cookstoves, with the goal of reducing deaths and disease caused by cookstove smoke; mitigating emissions of black carbon, a major contributor to global climate change; building a sustainable clean cookstove industry; and advancing efforts to meet Millennium Development Goals in poverty, health, gender, and the environment.

While myriad international and country-specific programs exist to promote the use of cleaner cookstoves, none have reached the commercial scale needed to meaningfully address the nature of this global problem and many projects fail to achieve measurable improvements in health and safety, combustion efficiency, or reduced emissions of black carbon and other pollutants. The UN Foundation believes that the scope and severity of cookstoves’ impacts on the health and environment of nearly half of the world’s population necessitate an immediate response from policy makers and the donor community.

Fuels/Technologies: N/A Technology Neutral
Sectors of Experience: Agriculture
Renewable Energy
Countries of Operation: Uganda

Our Experience And Interest In The Four PCIA Central Focus Areas

Social/Cultural barriers to using traditional fuels and stoves:

The UN Foundation recognizes the importance of overcoming social/cultural barriers when addressing the issue of clean cookstoves. Please see the "how we will participate" section for a detailed description of how the UN Foundation plans to proceed with this initiative.

Market development for improved cooking technologies:

Strategic Opportunities: The UN Foundation will identify strategic funding, research, testing, education, marketing, training, policy, and manufacturing opportunities and determine what steps will need to be taken to realize these opportunities and more rapidly commercialize and deploy clean cookstoves and related clean fuels.

Programmatic Synergies: The Alliance will explore innovative financing mechanisms (such as creative loan guarantees), training on microenterprise development, leveraged distribution opportunities (such as linkages with ongoing health interventions or bed net distribution programs in refugee camps), and carbon finance for their potential to complement and advance the UN Foundation clean cookstove initiative’s goals.

Technology standardization for cooking, heating and ventilation:

Standards and Testing Roadmap: The UN Foundation will coordinate a strategy for the development of globally recognized and accepted standards and testing protocols across a variety of stove-fuel combinations, drawing on the expertise of standards developing organizations such as ANSI, test labs and international assessment bodies, cookstove manufacturers, governmental policy makers, development practitioners, UN agencies, and other experts. Such protocols would identify existing standardization efforts and policies as well as potential standardized methodologies and approaches that could be accepted by international stakeholders, and outline possible next steps toward the development of performance-based criteria that could be used to define and measure clean cookstoves.

Indoor air pollution exposure and health monitoring:

The UN Foundation recognizes the importance of monitoring and verification when addressing the issue of clean cookstoves. Please see the "how we will participate" section for a detailed description of how the UN Foundation plans to proceed with this initiative.

Relevant Publications or Studies

None noted

Our Contribution to the Partnership

With one foot in the philanthropic world and another squarely in policy advocacy on global development issues, the UN Foundation is uniquely positioned to play a catalytic role on clean cookstoves and dramatically scale-up their prevalence in the developing world. Acting as a bridge between the two communities, the initiative would have two primary components:
1) Work with foundations, corporations, non-profits, and government/multilateral donors to launch, execute, and fund a coordinated clean cookstoves strategic planning, advocacy, awareness building, certification, research and deployment effort; and
2) Partner with NGOs, governments, financial institutions, manufacturers, and UN agencies to enable them to act in a focused, complementary, and ultimately successful manner toward the achievement of a bold and aggressive goal - the development and dissemination of 50 million clean cookstoves by 2015.

• Mapping and Deployment of Resources - The UN Foundation will map current UN, government, NGO and philanthropic efforts in the clean cookstoves arena, and develop and implement a strategic plan to scale-up clean cookstoves research, development, testing, certification, and deployment efforts and funding.

• Design and Development of a Broad Based Communications and Outreach Plan – Based on findings and recommendations from the mapping effort, and with inputs from previous planning exercises and select experts, the UN Foundation will design and develop a communications and outreach program that harnesses the UN Foundation’s organizational capabilities in advocacy, partnership building, media, and public outreach.

• Laying the Foundation for Sustained and Robust Public and Donor Support - To attract broad public and donor support for cleaner cookstoves in the developing world, the UN Foundation will design and execute a signature campaign to foster public engagement and financial support for the development, dissemination, commercialization, and deployment of such stoves. This campaign could be modeled on the UN Foundation’s successful and widely recognized Nothing but Nets campaign, which has raised over $28 million dollars for bed net acquisition and the delivery of over 2.8 million bed nets.