Strategy and learning

Our strategy: 2014-2019

Our long-term strategic engagement with processes and people aims to redress power imbalances, tackle inequalities and create fairer access to resources and services. This is how we aim to contribute to positive outcomes.

We have an international reputation for working with partners on action research around sustainable development. We aim to make sure that our research findings contribute to change for the public good.

Our research goals

Increased investment in locally controlled land and natural resource use

We will 'tackle the resource squeeze' with evidence we've generated, and help build capacity to improve institutions, policies and legal frameworks.

Cities that work for people and planet

We will work with local researchers, activists and practitioners to demonstrate how urbanisation can be socially inclusive and environmentally beneficial, enhance urban resilience to climate change, and understand the links between urban and rural, age, gender and exclusion.

Sustainable markets that work for the many, rather than the few

We'll focus on three areas — environmental economics, informal markets, and energy and extractive industries — to ensure markets contribute to positive social, environmental, and economic outcomes.

Fair and equitable solutions to climate change

We will work with policy and research partners to identify, generate, share and employ new knowledge that can be used to shape development polices, practices and programmes to address climate change and secure climate resilience. 

IIED works in cutting edge research areas that are important for policy and practice
- Response to stakeholder survey 2013

Our strategic priorities

The signing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 and the ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2016 mark a fundamental shift in the global development agenda. 

Development is now recognised as a universal enterprise involving all countries, rich and poor. And sustainability has been placed at the heart of this agenda. 
IIED, once a lone voice on sustainable development, has now become part of a global movement. We can make a substantial contribution to translating these ambitious commitments into reality.

In light of these major changes we will take stock at the mid-point of our current five-year strategy, and update our plans to take into account the new context. We will have a fresh strategy in place for our next financial year, starting in April 2017. 

In the interim our work will continue to be guided by our strong commitment to partnership and innovation. We will focus on three priorities, which will be further developed in our longer-term plans: 

  1. Making the Paris Agreement and the SDGs work 

    We will support the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement by working with the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, and our networks in the LDCs, to promote climate diplomacy, climate action planning and capacity and resilience building.

    We will also work across our programmes to support effective implementation of the SDGs, with a particular focus on the intersection between environmental sustainability and social inclusion. 
  2. Building resilience and strong local organisations through partnerships 

    We will use our experience of working at multiple scales to build resilience at the local level. This will include drawing together our experience with effective approaches for delivering local finance, which we will deploy to drive change in global funding mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund. 
  3. Bringing local realities and innovation to national and global policy change 

    We will work to bring the voices and realities of marginalised people into global policy processes, as we did at Habitat III in October 2016; and we will look to interpret and communicate evolving global policy narratives (such as the 'leave no one behind' mantra of the SDGs) in ways that bring voice and benefits to poor people.