Who we are
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, we work with partners on five continents. We build bridges between policy and practice, rich and poor communities, the government and private sector, and across diverse interest groups. We 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.
What we do
IIED carries out research, advice and advocacy work. We 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 we publish in journals and maintain high research standards. We advise government, business and development agencies, and we argue for changes in public policy. We 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 we 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, we 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 our 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. We also play an active role in international networks, such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).