A partnership of research institutions
from around the world supporting
change for a sustainable future


Formed in 2012, the Independent Research Forum (IRF) partnership brought together organisations working on sustainable development around the world. The project is now closed. This website is no longer updated, but allows access to IRF blogs and recent publications until December 2019 when it will also close.

•  Read more about how we helped to shape the 2030 agenda in our final blog
Find information about the project on the IIED website
•  View and download key publications from the IIED publications library


Zeenat Niazi
15 Jan 2016
Photo shows school girls waiting for an exam

The indicators we use to measure progress on the Sustainable Development Goals are crucial as they reflect our priorities and values, argues Zeenat Niazi from IRF partner Development Alternatives

Helen Burley
30 Nov 2015
image shows Climate March in Berlin, ahead of COP21

The UNFCCC climate summit in Paris will be an important test for the international community’s commitment to the global partnership.

Sarah Dickin and Caspar Trimmer
19 Nov 2015
Photo shows an ecosan toilet block at a school in Tamil Nadu, India

If we are to truly fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs) vision of universal sanitation access, then governments, businesses and civil society need to recognize the value of sanitation outside the household – not only in fulfilling rights but also in boosting labour force participation, economic productivity and health and well-being. 

Harshita Bisht
18 Nov 2015
photo shows pylons in Mumbai

Ahead of the UNFCCC climate talks in Paris, India has submitted its plans for emissions reductions. Harshita Bisht from Development Alternatives reflects on what is in the plan.

Adam Fishman
20 Oct 2015
Photo Credit: versello via Compfight cc

At the UN Summit in September, the largest-ever gathering of world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a bold new roadmap to tackle climate change and extreme poverty by 2030. The global community now faces the real work of translating vision into action.

Ina Porres
16 Oct 2015

Smallholder and community carbon projects have shown they can deliver local benefits and promote climate resilience. Now the Plan Vivo Standard and its partners, representing the oldest ethical carbon standard, have pledged their commitment to the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Tom Berliner
08 Oct 2015
African village

ODI has projected how the world is likely to do on all 17 SDGs, based on current trends. While performance across the goals and in each region is likely to vary widely, current global performance is leading us towards failure on all the SDGs come 2030.

Peter Hazlewood and Mathilde Bouyé
20 Sep 2015

Four reasons why the Sustainable Development Goals offer hope and five big questions that are still to be answered.

Simon Høiberg Olsen & Helen Burley
17 Sep 2015
woman collects water from a stream

The Sustainable Development Goals set an ambitious new agenda, but implementation is what counts. A new book from IRF partner, IGES, looks at how the goals could be achieved.

Kriti Nagrath
08 Sep 2015
photo: sustainable production for the building industry, Development Alternatives

The Sustainable Development Goals are ambitious and wide-ranging, but what are they going to cost, and who is going to pay?