Financial summary 2023


IIED’s performance in 2022/23 was satisfactory. The institute showed a surplus of GBP£42,000 (compared to a loss of £407,000 in 2021/22) – the first reported for four years – and included £46,000 of planned investment in establishing a new entity, IIED Europe.

Income increased slightly by £0.5m to £21.1m (2022: £20.6m) and, unlike during 2021/22 where there were still significant COVID-19 restrictions in place, there was less requirement to request project extensions resulting in more projects completed within the financial year.

In an increasingly competitive funding environment, IIED is conscious of the need to be as efficient as possible. The institute continued to invest in streamlining our internal processes during 2022/23 to reduce our overheads and reviewing staffing structures to reduce the reliance on higher cost temporary contract staff.

The average number of employees decreased to 140 (2022:146), with eight employees now part of IIED’s dispersed workforce policy, which allows staff the opportunity to work remotely in another country under an employee of record agreement.

IIED reduced its support costs from £3.9 million in 2021/22 to £3.5 million in 2022/23 due to a combination of increased efficiencies and a positive foreign exchange revaluation of £153,000 on year end bank balances.

The organisation reported good visibility of income coverage for 2023/24 from existing projects and a strong pipeline of projects for 2023/24 and beyond. This provides 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 2023/24, at the mid-year point, gives coverage to 95% of the organisation’s budgeted cost base.

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 considers both a risk-based and going concern approach. Based on the aggregate of the two approaches, it has a mid-point of £2.3m: trustees have therefore set the target range of free reserves (being total funds less restricted and designated funds) at between £1.9m and £2.5m.

Total funds on 31 March 2023 were £2.14m (2022: £2.1 million). Designated funds are £0.19m and the total free reserves have increased to £1.95 million (2022: £1.85 million).

This falls within the lower end of the target range endorsed by the board but the budget for 2023/24 aims to replenish reserves by £0.4m to bring the free reserves to £2.35m, which would be at the top end of the policy.

Investment policy

IIED invested its cash in fixed-term deposits during 2022/23. This policy produces an acceptable rate of return while giving flexibility to access funds. IIED is reviewing this policy in 2023/24.

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

Over half a century IIED has successfully elevated the vision of sustainable development to the heart of international cooperation. But while IIED’s agenda has evolved, the threats of climate change, nature loss and inequality loom larger than ever.

The receptiveness of stakeholders to IIED’s agenda is especially strong, with new audiences emerging as IIED engages in campaigns such as tackling the hidden handbrakes and as investors seek to better understand the impact potential of their money.

However, aid budgets are under considerable threat again, right-leaning governments are now in power in many European countries (Sweden and Italy being notable new entrants), energy and food prices have driven inflation and high interest rates with impacts globally, and the basis for genuine international collaboration to create global public goods is being eroded by war and suspicion.

There are points of light though. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework offers a more ambitious agenda for protecting and restoring nature, something IIED had been striving for. Similarly, a loss and damage agreement was struck at COP27, which promises added help for those suffering the negative impacts of climate change. Many funders are now recognising the need to get money for climate action to communities who need it most, an agenda being shaped by IIED’s locally led adaptation initiative.

IIED published an external review that highlighted a set of observations, evidence and recommendations to guide the institute in setting a refreshed direction, and IIED’s management accepted these and published its response in August 2022.

Among action already taken was the appointment of a new executive director, Dr. Tom Mitchell, and the creation of a core funding group to retain and increase IIED’s unrestricted funding sources; the approval of a far-reaching strategy and change process to run through 2023; and the devising of a new strategy.

The strategy, to be launched in early 2024, is being designed to be regularly adaptable to needs, opportunities, and threats; as a framework for accelerated learning, both from research and from the impacts of IIED’s advocacy and influence; as an opportunity to agree and communicate IIED’s values and non-negotiables; as a means to prioritise and decide what IIED does less of as well as more; as a platform for upgrading the organisation’s transformation capabilities; and as an invitation and space for radical collaborations and co-creation at each step where intent is forged with others, including existing and new partners.

In this landscape, IIED’s work on responding to the 2022 race audit, developing an inequality and intersectionality approach and on diversity, equity and inclusion will take centre stage. Aspects to be woven into the core of the strategy and implementation approach will ensure that each team and each impact model pursued will champion gender and racial justice, for example.

Financially, FY2023/24 is expected to see significant income growth, but mainly passing through to grantees as IIED’s role as a trusted intermediary gains more traction. IIED will see a modest increase in costs to cope with the cost-of-living crisis and commensurate pay awards to staff, but this will be matched with increased income.

Previous reports

See the financial summaries from previous years: 2022; 202120202019201820172016201520142013

2022/23 financial summary



Government and government agencies

Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (DFID/FCDO) 
Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs (Ireland)
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) 
Department For Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) 
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) 
Federal Foreign Office Germany 
Ministry Of Environment, Sweden 
Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Gmbh 
Netherlands Enterprise Agency 
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation 
Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation 
The Secretary of State for Health (UK) 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland (Finnish) 
Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Netherlands)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands) 
Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WF)

International and multilateral agencies

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) 
European Commission 
The World Bank, US 
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk 
UNEP Nairobi 
United Nations Office for Project Services (Unops) 
UNDP Thailand 
United Nations Habitat Secretariat 
Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources 
United Nations Development Programme (US) 
Asian Development Bank 
United Nations Environment Programme (Switzerland) 
United Nations Environment Programme (Asia & Pacific) 
The Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative
UNDP Thailand 
UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Centre (Thailand)
UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Centre (US)

Foundations and NGOs

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation US 
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) 
Economic And Social Research Council (ESRC) 
MAVA Foundation 
United Nations University - EHS 
Open Society Foundations 
Oxford Policy Management 
Foundation Hans Wilsdorf 
Childrens Investment Fund Foundation 
New Venture Fund 
University of Southampton 
SouthSouthNorth (Africa) NPC 
Wellspring Philanthropic Fund 
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 
Arcus Foundation (US Office) 
Institute of Development Studies (IDS) 
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research 
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 
University Of Manchester 
Schmidt Family Foundation 
Arts & Humanities Research Council 
Foundation to Promote Open Societies 
IED France 
Katholische Zentralstelle fur Entwicklun 
FSD Africa 
University College London 
International Rice Research Institute 
CITES Secretariat 
Arcus Foundation 
Habitat for Humanity International
Anti-Slavery International 
University of Copenhagen 
University of Edinburgh 
The Scottish Government 
Environment for Development Initiative 
Loughborough University 
International Development Research Center 
Global Center on Adaptation 
LTS International Ltd 
New York University (NYU) 
Conservation International 
Global Green Growth Institute South Korea 
World Vision Ireland 
TRAFFIC International 
Alliance for Responsible Mining 
Tufts University 
IIED Europe 
IKEA Foundation Netherlands 
The British Academy 
Oak Philanthropy (UK) Limited 
International Livestock Research Institute 
Anglia Ruskin University higher education 
European Climate Foundation 
E3G United Kingdom 
United Nations Environmental Programme 
Biovision Foundation for Ecological Deve 
Bernard Van Leer Foundation 
University of Evora 
Responsible Business Alliance Incorporation 
United Cities and Local Governments 
Mercy Corps USA 
Water Witness International 
Save the Children Australia 
International Budget Partnership 
Global Resilience Partnership 


PricewaterhouseCoopers London 
DAI Europe LTD 
DAI Global LLC, USA 
DAI Global Belgium SRL 
ABF Investments PLC 
Simusolar Tanzania 
Le Groupe-conseil Baastel ltée 
Tiller Global
SAGE Publications Ltd 
E-SUD Development France 
Rainforest Alliance Inc 
Adelphi research gemeinnützige GmbH