External review 2017

Every five years we commission an external review of our work. The findings help us remain fully focused on delivering our mission in the most effective way possible. We hope that sharing the reports, responses and our learning will be helpful to others.

Diagram of IIED's external review

A graphic produced as part of IIED's external review in 2017 (Image: Stuart Samuels/www.thevalueweb.org)

Every five years, IIED's main institutional funders commission an independent review of our work. This is a major undertaking, which requires work spread over a full year and the engagement of a broad cross-section of IIED supporters, partners and users of our work.

The final report provides a hugely valuable assessment of the strengths and challenges facing the organisation, as well as shifts in the broader context in which we operate.


The most recent review was completed in March 2017. The review team of Jeremy Holland, Adinda van Hemelrijck and Dan Newman conducted a rigorous and thoughtful process, which involved high levels of participation from IIED staff and a wider range of actors. They presented an excellent analysis of the means by which IIED contributes to broader change, as well as a set of recommendations for future attention.

IIED's staff produced a management response to the review, which accepts the analysis and the proposed actions, and set out a proposal to act on the main findings.


In the spirit of transparency and full disclosure, we have made these documents available on our website. We welcome any feedback on them, and are happy to share further details on the methodology and process followed.

IIED's board welcomes the external review of IIED which we believe provides an accurate overview of the organisation's operating context – as well as its strengths, key opportunities and areas of challenge. We are grateful to the review team for a constructive approach engaging both staff and board in critical reflection. We believe that IIED's mission to promote social and environmental justice through evidence, action and dialogue is more important than ever at this moment. We look forward to working with the management team and staff to make full use of the valuable insights generated by the external review.

Rebeca Grynspan, chair of IIED's board of trustees
Head of shoulders photo of Andrew Norton

"How the organisation works is at least as important as what it does."

-Andrew Norton, director, IIED

Related pages

  • IIED's annual report focuses on how IIED's ways of working help us to deliver lasting impact in a shifting global landscape
  • Our five-year strategy sets out how we aim to Make Change Happen. It identifies the key global challenges that we will address, and how we will fight for a fairer future for all
  • An outline of the key findings from the previous external review in 2011


Stefano D'Errico (stefano.derrico@iied.org), monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning manager; Tom Bigg (tom.bigg@iied.org), director of IIED's Strategy and Learning Group

 Andrew Norton joined as director of IIED in mid-2015. In this blog he reflects on the review and IIED's particular skills and ways of working. He picks out key areas where IIED has a strong ethos, and outlines some of the current issues we face as well as the future opportunities each contains.