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 This website is no longer updated, but allows access to IRF blogs and recent publications until December 2019 when it will also close.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


Betsy Otto and Kitty van der Heijden
30 Mar 2015
Image shows a girl collecting water, India, image by WRI

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could bring unprecedented action to mitigate the world’s water demand and supply crises, argue WRI's Betsy Otto and Kitty van der Heijden.

Jenny Springer
20 Mar 2015
image show Xingu people in Brazil, photo from RRI


Explicit inclusion of secure land rights for local communities and Indigenous Peoples is key to “leaving no one behind” in global sustainable development goals, argues Jenny Springer in a guest blog from the Rights and Resources Initiative.

Julio A. Berdegué
17 Mar 2015
Image shows Presa Ralco dam in Chile, image from RIMISP

The SDGs promise transformational change – but how is this delivered? A new study from IRF2015 partner, RIMISP looks at how major change came about in Chile’s energy sector.

Karlee Johnson
05 Mar 2015
Residents survey the impacts of Hurrican Sandy, image by UN ISDR, creative commons licence, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) efforts are at a crossroads. The post-2015 framework presents a unique opportunity for making transformational changes.

Åsa Persson
18 Feb 2015
image shows sihouette of high rise blocks in setting sun

Most of the attention in the Sustainable Development Goals process to date has been on deciding what they will be. But if we can’t figure out how each country will go about achieving the goals, we might as well not bother.

Jonathan Reeves
16 Feb 2015
Picture of Rio de Janeiro, where the Rio+20 summit established the framework for the sustainable development goals.

Negotiations underway this week will focus on the declaration text for the Sustainable Development Goals. Jonathan Reeves from IIED suggests this is an ideal opportunity to raise global ambition – but says the signs are not good.

Paul Steele and Aaron Atteridge
10 Feb 2015
Photo shows a man in a boat in Bangladesh, photo:Tony Stonehouse, IIED

As poor families face the greatest development challenges, and are also most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, Paul Steele (IIED) and Aaron Atteridge (SEI) argue that their perspectives must be taken into account in providing finance.

Tom Bigg and Helen Burley
30 Jan 2015
Collage of images showing a market stall in Uganda, a supermarket in Costa Rica, an Indian street scene and a woman harvesting rice in Mozambique

Implementing the post-2015 development agenda means facing up to some awkward realities.

Dr Ashok Khosla
28 Jan 2015
picture of woman working in the street, Mumbai

If we are to achieve transformation, we must tackle social inequity and stop wasting resources, argues Dr Ashok Khosla, chair of Development Alternatives.

Andrew Scott
20 Jan 2015
Photo of the President of the General Assemby opening the informal plenar stocktaking session

Andrew Scott from the Overseas Development Institute shares five key points on integrating the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the post-2015 agenda, as presented to the United Nations General Assembly plenary stocktaking.