Financial summary 2022

Despite an increase in income, IIED made a £407,000 loss in 2021/22, of which almost half resulted from planned significant investment into a new entity, IIED Europe.


IIED’s performance in 2021/22 was satisfactory. While a deficit of GBP£407,000 was made, £202,000 of this was planned investment in establishing a new entity, IIED Europe, and there is a pipeline of projects for 2022/23 that gives reassurance about the short- to medium-term future. 

IIED is funded through income from charitable activities in relation to commissioned research, both practical and academic, and contracted income for 2022/23 is, at the mid-year point, similar to the levels achieved in previous years.

Throughout 2021/22 and into 2022/23, IIED has been closely monitoring the delivery of its projects, including the ability of partners to carry out research. Work continued in a challenging operating environment. And although restrictions on travel and staff absence, predominantly due to COVID-19, alongside short-term recruitment difficulties, did impact the delivery of some projects, these delays have not been significant.

In an increasingly competitive funding environment, the organisation is conscious of the need to be as efficient as possible, and has continued to invest in streamlining internal processes to reduce overheads (and support costs were reduced from £4.6 million in 2020/21 to £3.9 million in 2021/22).

Income was higher than the previous year, £20.6 million against £18.2 million recorded in 2020/21. Payments to collaborating entities increased from £4.6 million in 2020/21 to £6.1 million in 2021/22, showing a large proportion of the increased income was passed on to in-country partners.

IIED has no fundraising activity and is not a grant making organisation; instead it works in collaboration with its partners, resulting in no fundraising activity and grant making disclosures being given.

Reserves policy

IIED’s reserves policy is aligned with its five-year strategy launched in April 2019. To protect the organisation and its charitable programme against the risks of funding loss through income shortfalls and other unexpected financial losses, the policy sets a target for total unrestricted reserves of around three to four months of operating costs and staff salaries, less circa 30% given corrective action would be taken in the event of a going concern issue. 

This is around £2.3 million: trustees have therefore set the target range of free reserves (being total funds less restricted and designated funds) at between £1.9 million and £2.5 million.

The total funds at 31 March 2022 were £2.1 million (2020: £2.5 million). The total free reserves have decreased to £1.85 million (2021: £2.2 million). This falls short of the target range endorsed by the board and IIED’s budget for 2022/23 aims to replenish reserves by £0.25 million to bring the free reserves back above £2 million.

The trustees recognise that, at this mid-point of IIED’s strategy and with the appointment of a new executive director, it is timely for IIED to review its plans for the next couple of years. This review will include a review of the level of reserves that may be needed to achieve any growth plans over the next 2-5 years and further assessment of the financial risks and the full range of mitigation measures.

Investment policy

IIED invested its cash in fixed-term deposits during 2021/22. This policy produces an acceptable rate of return while giving the institute flexibility to access funds.

Related parties

Some IIED trustees are also trustees of other charities, or directors or senior officers in other organisations IIED works with as a normal part of its research activities. Where such work involves payment, they enter into arm’s length contracts and any payments related to these contracts are detailed in the notes to these accounts. The board operates a conflicts of interest policy.

Looking ahead

IIED is taking forward a number of exciting projects with great potential for impact, including the following:

  • LIFE-AR, where IIED is supporting the least developed countries to transform climate finance, so it effectively reaches the grassroots level, where the impacts of the climate crisis are most acute.
  • A research-to-action programme, ‘Reversing environmental degradation in Africa and Asia (REDAA)’ that includes a grant facility and will be set up by March 2023.
  • Pushing for locally led action in land and marine areas to be central to delivering the global biodiversity framework and transforming our relationship with nature. We will continue to assess how far investments in nature can support development goals, without compromising biodiversity and keep these communities of practice talking right up to COP15.
  • Driving forward with the establishment of IIED Europe. Given pressures on the budgets of European bilateral development agencies, and the increasingly fractious dynamics between the UK and the European Union(EU), IIED Europe feels more necessary than ever for both influence and business development.

    During the first quarter of 2022/23 IIED Europe contributed to a major Climate-KIC-led consortium bid for European Commission Mission Adaptation funding. If successful, this will enable the new organisation to recruit one or two staff members to work on local-level adaptation across 150 localities in the EU.

    The institute is exploring potential for a new four-year grant to the Green Economy Coalition from the European Commission to be routed in part to IIED Europe. In the long run, philanthropic core funding for IIED Europe will likely be necessary to give it a firm basis for action and coordination with IIED research groups.

Value for money statement

Demonstrating value for money is ever more important for organisations using public funds. With aid budgets under pressure, development organisations need to show that they are efficient, that poor people's lives are actually improving, and that the environment is protected. Read our value for money statement on our Publications Library.

Previous reports

See the financial summaries from previous years: 202120202019201820172016201520142013

2021/22 financial summary



Government and government agencies

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
Irish Aid
Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
The Secretary of State for Health
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature, Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Jamaica
Ministry of Environment, Sweden
German Institute for Development (DIE)
GIZ Germany

International and multilateral agencies

European Commission
Asian Development Bank
World Bank
World Bank, USA
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
United Nations Environment Programme (Switzerland)
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk
The Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative
United Nations Environment Programme (Asia & Pacific)
Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources
United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
UNDP, United States
UNDP, Bangladesh
UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Centre
UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Centre
UNEP, Nairobi
UN Human Settlements Programme, Kenya
World Food Programme
Organisation For Economic Co-Op & Development
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Foundations and NGOs

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
MAVA Foundation
Oxford Policy Management
IKEA Foundation
United Nations University - EHS
SouthSouthNorth (Africa) NPC
Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
University of Manchester
The British Academy
Oak Philanthropy (UK) Limited
Institute of Development Studies
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
World Resources Institute (WRI)
Hivos Netherlands
Arcus Foundation
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Open Society Foundations
University of Southampton
Schmidt Family Foundation
IUCN, Switzerland
Stockholm Resilience Centre
International Livestock Research Institute
Arts & Humanities Research Council
Arcus Foundation
Sustainable Environment Management Action
FSD Africa
LTS International Ltd
Jamma International
WWF Netherlands
New Venture Fund
Angela Ruskin University
World Conservation Monitoring Centre
European Climate Foundation
United Nations Environment Programme
University College London
Katholische Zentralstelle fur Entwicklun
Global Wildlife Conservation
International Development Research Centre
International Union for Conservation of Nature
CITES Secretariat
Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research
Bernard Van Leer Foundation
Ground Truth Solutions
International Budget Partnership
IHA Sustainability Ltd.
Overseas Development Institute
University of Evora
Responsible Business Alliance Incorporation
United Cities and Local Governments
Mercy Corps USA
Meridian Institute
Sustainable Market Foundation
Water Witness International
Save the Children Australia
Loughborough University Enterprises Limited
Practical Action UK
Environment for Development Initiative
International Budget Partnership
Global Resilience Partnership
Anti-Slavery International


PricewaterhouseCoopers London
PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited, Kenya
SAGE Publications Ltd
Le Groupe-conseil baastel ltée
Rainforest Alliance Inc
The Palladium Group
Adelphi research gemeinnützige GmbH
Mott MacDonald Ltd
Altair Asesores S.L.
DAI Global Belgium SRL