IIED is one of the world’s most influential international development and environment policy research organisations. Founded in 1971 by economist Barbara Ward, who forged the concept and cause of sustainable development, they work with partners on five continents. They build bridges between policy and practice, rich and poor communities, the government and private sector, and across diverse interest groups. They contribute to many international policy processes and frameworks, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the UN conventions on climate change and biological diversity.
IIED is a policy and action research organisation. They promote sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. They specialise in linking local priorities to global challenges. IIED is based in London and works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world’s most vulnerable people. They work with them to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them — from village councils to international conventions.
They have an international reputation for working with partners on action research around sustainable development. From 2014 to 2019 their core areas of research will redress power imbalances, tackle inequalities and create fairer access to resources and services
What they do
IIED carries out research, advice and advocacy work. They carry out action research — generating robust evidence and know-how that is informed by a practical perspective acquired through hands-on research with grassroots partners — and they publish in journals and maintain high research standards. They advise government, business and development agencies, and they argue for changes in public policy. They focus on bottom-up solutions, stay open to flexible, adaptable solutions and are marked by a tradition of challenging conventional wisdom through original thinking.
Who they work with
Partnerships are key to the way we work at IIED. By forging alliances with individuals and organisations ranging from urban slumdwellers to global institutions, they help strengthen marginalised people’s voices in decision making and ensure that national and international policy better reflects the agendas of poorer communities and countries. Some of their partners are people working in other nongovernment organisations, governments, academia, indigenous people’s groups, global institutes and multilateral agencies such as the UN. Others are alliances that we either steer or work very closely with, often at the grassroots level in developing countries. They also play an active role in international networks, such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Where is International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)