The work of the Least Developed Countries Independent Expert Group

Since its creation in 2013, the Least Developed Countries Independent Expert Group (IEG) has provided an independent voice for the sustainable development of LDCs, contributing ideas, expertise and challenges to international debates.

Article, 07 August 2015
The Independent Expert Group has produced a series of publications (Image: IIED)

The Independent Expert Group has produced a series of publications (Image: IIED)

The Independent Expert Group has supported the efforts of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) by creating spaces in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) process for LDC perspectives to be showcased.

The events that the IEG has contributed its ideas and expertise to include:

Post-2015 agenda: What is IIED's vision for the sustainable development goals and what are we doing to shape them?

Independent Research Forum (IRF): partnership between 10 leading sustainable development research institutes and think tanks from around the world, supporting change for a sustainable future

A compilation of audio interviews is available from the Wilton Park conference, featuring Essam Yassin Mohammed and Youba Sokona among others, while a series of video interviews were carried out at the UN negotiators retreat in New York. These can be viewed on IIED's YouTube channel or in the playlist below. 


The IEG has also identified and carried out research on issues of particular relevance to implementing the SDGs in LDCs. The following list shows some of the outputs of this work.

IEG publications

A whole-landscape approach to green development in Africa, Mariteuw Chimère Diaw (2015), IIED Briefing. Drawing on the experience of the African Model Forest Network, this briefing suggests that to be effective, development policy must work at multiple levels, be cross-cutting, and engage the people affected. 

Impact of climate change on least developed countries: are the SDGs possible?, Helena Wright, Saleemul Huq, Jonathan Reeves (2015), IIED Briefing. This is based on research commissioned by the IEG on the likely effects of climate change in LDCs and their implications for achieving sustainable development.

Transforming global development: an LDC perspective on the post-2015 agenda, LDC IEG (2014), IIED report. In this issue paper, the IEG identifies the key challenges and opportunities that LDCs face in achieving sustainable development and discusses the role that the international community can play in supporting their efforts.

Fisheries and the post-2015 development agenda, Essam Yassin Mohammed (2015), IIED Briefing. As countries debate and define goals and targets for development post-2015, this broefing outlines how fisheries must be central to the agenda.

Taking the lead on the post-2015 agenda: priorities for least developed countries, LDC IEG (2013), IIED Briefing. This lays out the IEG's vision for a new agenda on international cooperation.

An examination of the Least Developed Countries in the IPCC AR5 WGII, Clare Stott (2014), IIED Report. This issue paper prepared on behalf of the IEG examines the LDCs within the IPCC report to highlight how climatic impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation are portrayed for these countries. It illuminates a need for a greater focus on the LDCs by the IPCC and for further research concentrated on the LDCs in general, in order to enhance the state knowledge on LDCs and appropriately guide-related policy.


Tom Bigg (, director, Strategy and Learning Group