Connecting for common goals
In IIED’s 50th year, this paper considers the organisation’s role across ten key sustainable development movements. Rather than offer an ‘official history’, this reflection seeks to map and illustrate the organisation’s contributions and its contemporary context over half a century.
This exercise exemplifies IIED’s commitment to monitoring, evaluation and learning: it will aid staff and partners in assessing a long history of debate and action on environment and development, as well as look forward to what lies ahead. Primarily shaped by interviews with past and present IIED staff, trustees and partners, the paper also draws on IIED annual reports and evaluation material, and wider sustainable development literature.
'Connecting for common goals' proposes that IIED has found a niche within a number of movements that have shifted debate, expectations, and action on sustainable development over 50 years. The author identifies eight key roles played by IIED, principally as a connector of environment to development, local to global, and people to science to policy. These connections are judged to be essential in delivering progress for people and planet, while always acknowledging the leading role our partners and wider debates play in any success.