IIED launches annual review of 2020

Our review of the year – featuring a series of eight short videos – highlights how IIED and its partners worked to deliver positive change in exceptional circumstances

News, 11 February 2021
Colourful illustrations from the 2020 annual review

IIED's 2020 annual review comprises a series of video interviews about our work tackling global challenges (Illustration: Nick Turner/IIED)

IIED today published its annual review of 2020, documenting how the institute and its partners responded to an extraordinary year of change.

The year was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and its impacts and grassroots responses feature strongly in the annual review. This presents eight short videos – all recorded remotely by our researchers and partners around the world – to tell the story of their continuing work for a better future for all. 

The review shows how IIED is achieving practical results and impacts from local to global scales.

“We have worked incredibly hard to face the many challenges of 2020 head on,” said IIED director Andrew Norton. 

“We have adapted to new ways of working and upped our digital skills but stayed true to our values to take on the five global challenges that we identified in our strategy.”


The short videos, all around four minutes long, address some of the key themes of 2020, from IIED's COVID-19 response, to working with young people and women in Tanzania, to protecting livelihoods and ecosystems in Myanmar, to changing the narrative around international investment treaties and their impacts on local communities around the world.
Norton said: “After a year in which our own offices have been closed due to COVID-19, it seemed fitting to take a digital-first approach to our annual review by producing this series of videos. But it was also critical that we highlighted the contributions our partners are making to tackling these key global challenges we face. 

“We have seen how the pandemic is hurting the poorest hardest, but also the fantastic ways that community organisations in informal settlements in the global South have been the backbone of the response to both COVID-19 and the climate crisis. We have been sharing experiences of how communities cope with multiple sources of uncertainty and shocks.

It seemed fitting to take a digital-first approach to our annual review by producing this series of videos – Andrew Norton

“This year we have also seen that continuing extinctions and deforestation increase the risk of pandemics. This shows the importance of our conservation work where we have shown that to be effective, we must respect the local knowledge and protect the rights of communities and Indigenous Peoples. We want to see a space where nature and society can regenerate together.

“I hope that you will take the time to watch – and share – our annual review videos which give light to all these stories and much more.”

The series of videos also includes a conversation between Norton and the chair of IIED’s board of trustees, Tara Shine, who reflect on what they learned in 2020 and outline their hopes for what they want to see happen over the next 12 months.


Norton and Shine also feature in the latest episode of IIED’s Make Change Happen podcast, which focuses on how early action, youth participation and collaborative policymaking are pivotal to making a better future for us all.