Shaping Sustainable Markets is a research initiative that explores how the formal and informal rules used to govern markets – called market governance mechanisms (MGMs) – are designed, and how they impact on people, the planet and the economy.
The current system of intellectual property rights is designed to promote commercial and scientific innovation. It offers little scope for protecting the knowledge rights of indigenous peoples, traditional farmers and healers, whose survival requires collective — not exclusive — access to new knowledge and innovations.
We are working with partners in China, India, Kenya and Peru to revitalise the traditional knowledge-based — or ‘biocultural’ — innovation systems of smallholder farmers to strengthen food security in the face of climate change.
Small-scale producers and low-income consumers often struggle to participate in formal markets. IIED works to identify how organisations and networks can help overcome this by looking at successful innovations in the systems that link small-scale with large-scale markets and enterprises.
Policies for low carbon resilient development aim to support climate resilient development in the poorest countries while also addressing climate change through reducing carbon emissions. This research programme seeks to bring together the two aspects of the climate change debate: mitigation and adaptation.
Members of parliament can help break the international stalemate on climate change action by ‘domesticating’ global decisions, using national legislation. But to do that they often need long-term capacity-building programmes to catalyse the process: programmes that have support within the Government and across parliaments.
IIED works to strengthening the position of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in international climate negotiations. We are working to build the capacity, knowledge and expertise of LDC negotiators to ensure more equitable outcomes for the countries they represent.
In 2010 IIED worked on a programme to build parliamentary capacity to adapt to and mitigate climate change in southern African countries. We commissioned ‘in country’ researchers to work with parliamentarians and their staff as they described and assessed the parliamentary institutions, their roles and relationships within government, and their effectiveness at addressing climate change issues. The programme included a study of Scotland to offer a comparison with a more developed nation.
We aim to create a more level playing field for all government delegations taking part in climate negotiations at the international level through our work. That’s why IIED manages the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi) training and support programme, which focuses on building the capacity of UNFCCC negotiators from vulnerable developing countries.
IIED is examining the ideas, resources and ‘power dynamics’ that shape how the Climate Investment Funds achieve development impacts. Together, these factors make up the ‘political economy’, and examining them will help governments and development organisations understand how climate investment funds can best bring about the transformational change the funds aim for.
Countries need new tools to check whether climate change adaptation is keeping development on-track, and whether costs and benefits are fairly distributed. IIED and partners are developing a framework that does this by assessing risk management and resilience at many levels.
Public sector planning plays a key role in making regions and countries resilient to climate change. But tackling climate change’s huge potential impacts will stretch limited public sector resources to the limit. With partners we are exploring how to use sequence and synchrony to make climate change planning, and public sector interventions, most effective — to help them deliver ‘more than the sum of their parts’.
Action Research on Community Adaptation in Bangladesh (ARCAB) is a long-term action-research project that is learning from and supporting vulnerable communities in Bangladesh as they adapt to human-induced climate change. ARCAB shares this learning with other developing countries. The project plans to follow how communities adapt to floods, droughts, cyclones and sea level rises at 20 climate-vulnerable sites in the country during the next 50 years or more.
IIED works to help support southern countries as they adapt to climate change and the extreme weather events it brings. We do this by supporting partner organisations and experts that offer climate change adaptation training, advocacy and capacity building.
Many communities that are vulnerable to climate change impacts have been dealing with climate variability for decades and have a wealth of knowledge about how to adapt. Community-based adaptation to climate change focuses on empowering communities to use their own knowledge and decision-making processes to take action.
The drylands are home to 2.3 billion people. IIED’s Drylands Programme started in 1987, when ruinous droughts in the African Sahel led people to write off drylands as overexploited wastelands. Through action research, targeted training and wide-ranging publications, IIED and its partners have gathered evidence and shaped policy. Concepts and tools from the programme have been widely adopted by national and regional institutions. This archive page links to past projects managed by IIED in the African drylands, or with pastoralists.
IIED temporarily hosted the design phase of the Education for Nomads programme between October 2009 and September 2010. This was while the institutional arrangements for its management were transferred from SOS Sahel UK to the Ministry of State for the Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands (MDNKOAL) in Kenya.
Pastoralists are one of the most researched, yet least understood, groups in the world. Policy consistently ignores both scientific evidence for sustainable pastoralism and local peoples’ strategies and institutions. IIED and partners’ training helps policymakers understand drylands, and pastoralists get their voices heard.