Design Lead

Clean Cooking Alliance
Job Type
Full-time (US/UK) or contract (rest of world)
Deadline for Applications
How to Apply
Email a CV and cover letter to with the subject line “Application for Design Lead, Market Strengthening Team.” Candidates applying from the United States and the United Kingdom, where UNF has offices, should apply for a staff position here
Where to Apply

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, the 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.
CCA seeks to make high-impact clean cooking solutions desirable, affordable, and accessible for consumers and viable for businesses to provide sustainably at scale. It supports companies that design, manufacture, distribute, and retail biomass, ethanol, biogas, and LPG-based clean cooking solutions in addition to more efficient wood and charcoal cookstoves. It also supports technology innovation with the aim to commercialize new technologies such as highly energy-efficient electric cookers for off-grid/mini-grid communities.

The Market Strengthening team’s mission is to foster the development of a pipeline of sustainable, scalable, and investable clean cooking businesses that are able to attract capital to scale and replicate, accelerating the transition to cleaner cooking technologies that meet consumers’ needs. The three areas of interventions of the Market Strengthening team include the Venture Catalyst, the Market Catalyst, and the Demand Catalyst. The Venture Catalyst focuses on improving the pipeline of investment-ready businesses through business-level interventions; the Market Catalyst focuses on improving the enabling environment that helps such businesses succeed through market-level interventions; and the Demand Catalyst focuses on understanding consumers and driving demand through interventions targeted at consumers. Gender is a core and cross-cutting theme of the three Catalysts.

The Design Lead will join the Market Strengthening team to contribute to the research, design, prototyping, piloting and improvements of technical interventions, analytic tools, knowledge products, services, processes experiences and partnerships that target clean cooking ecosystem actors including businesses, funders, market intermediaries, governments and consumers, to address gaps that hinder the growth of a strong and sustainable clean cooking market. The Design Lead will have three roles:

1. Leading and supporting the design and implementation of innovative and user-centered CCA initiatives, around enterprises, consumers, civil-society groups, and policymakers. Initiatives include, for example, the User Insights Lab, which aims to harvest and disseminate actionable insights on the needs and behaviors of customers of clean cooking solutions through design research, data analytics and collaborative user-centered innovation projects. Another example includes the development of support mechanisms to accelerate the diffusion of clean cooking among street vendors in Haiti.

2. Supporting innovation and user-centered design capabilities and practices as well as collaboration among CCA stakeholders. This includes, for example, supporting businesses in CCA’s Venture Catalyst portfolio. Another example includes working with multiple stakeholders to co-create collaborative country-level clean cooking ecosystem interventions.

3. Leading the development of strategies, processes, and capabilities for managing innovation within CCA, though, for example, the development of frameworks, tools, and methodologies, and by providing guidance and coaching to the team. This includes, for example, the facilitation of design processes to develop new strategies or initiatives within the team.

The Design Lead will also work closely with the Strategy and Development team, the Evidence and Impact team as well as with the Chief of Staff on strategic cross-cutting CCA initiatives relevant to the work of the Market Strengthening team.


This is a global full-time contract position with working hours that are aligned with Washington D.C. or Nairobi. There is a preference for candidates located in Sub-Saharan Africa. Candidates applying from the United States and the United Kingdom, where UNF has offices, should apply for a staff position here:

Essential Functions

• Identification, scoping and design of opportunities for new initiatives for the Market Strengthening team and for cross-cutting CCA areas
• Leadership or support in the piloting and implementation of Market Strengthening team initiatives
• Design and facilitation of workshops with key stakeholders for the purpose of multi-stakeholder coordination, multi-stakeholder problem-solving, and co-creation
• Development of prototypes for new Market Strengthening interventions, services, tools, and processes
• Development of design and innovation processes and capabilities within the Market Strengthening team
• Contributions to the development of Market Strengthening program processes, and the touchpoints and experience of stakeholders around those processes (stakeholders include Venture Catalyst companies, policymakers and others)
• Development and implementation of agile learning approaches around new or existing initiatives.
• Facilitation of design initiatives across CCA and partner teams to embed design principles in projects and initiative development
• Sourcing and building of a network of talented collaborators and partners outside of CCA who can support the development of new Market Strengthening initiatives and the implementation of design-related initiatives.
• Assessment of the capabilities of companies and other clean cooking ecosystem organizations around user insight generation, design and innovation management.
• Technical assistance to companies on market development, product development and commercialization processes
• Design and implementation of networking and resource sharing programs for stakeholders, such as Venture Catalyst companies
• Other duties as assigned.

Selection Criteria

• Graduate degree and at least 10 years of related professional experience required
• Design research, including with applied behavioral science
• Facilitation of multi-stakeholder collaboration and co-creation processes
• Prototyping, experimentation and piloting products, services and processes
• Interest in and ability to lead some activity streams and support others where needed.
• Ability to cultivate effective working relationships with people, internally and externally, from a wide variety of types of organizations, cultural backgrounds, and areas of expertise.
• Management of innovation processes
• Management of project teams and facilitation of design projects, including through remote collaboration tools
• Experience in low and middle income countries, that conveys credibility amongst stakeholders including senior management teams of companies, investors, government officials, and other ecosystem professionals, particularly among those working towards social and environmental impactDemonstrated interest in the social and environmental impact dimensions of the products and business models that CCA supports, and the ability to liaise and collaborate with other colleagues within CCA and those in the sector at large. Energetic and positive attitude
• Solutions-oriented and able to manage and advance multiple task and responsibilities in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
• Strategic thinking
• Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
• Problem-solver with a proactive, no-task-is-too-small nature who takes initiative
• Team-oriented, supportive work style, and able to work independently
• Excellent communicator, able to synthesize and convey complex information clearly in written an oral forms, in particular development of visual assets to present design findings
• Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
• Ability to work under pressure and handle stress
• 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 meet regular attendance/tardiness policy.
• Experience with the commercialization of products or services preferred
• Experience using data to drive design research and design solutions preferred
• Thought leadership on design and innovation management with regards to social issues preferred
• Experience working on consumer financing, payment systems, microbusinesses, public health, policy development, energy access, clean cooking fuels, and cookstoves in low and middle income countries preferred
• Working within an entrepreneurial setting either within an early-stage business or in support of early-stage businesses preferred
• Experience with marketing preferred
• Ability to work in French preferred
• Ability to work under pressure and handle stress.

Additional Information

At CCA, they commit to cultivating an environment that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable in their work and in the communities they will serve through the “Market Strengthening Program.” They affirm and reinforce their belief in equality and inclusion at all levels by hiring from diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and voices. And they recognize that by committing to gender diversity, they 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.