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 This website is no longer updated, but allows access to IRF blogs and recent publications until December 2019 when it will also close.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


Harshita Bisht
19 Jan 2015
Picture of people working in a field

Harshita Bisht from IRF2015 partner Development Alternatives examines the proposed sustainable development goal (SDG) on food security.

Zeenat Niazi
14 Jan 2015
Image of wind turbines with sunset behind

Zeenat Niazi from Development Alternatives looks forward to what is needed for a more sustainable India in 2015.

Helen Burley
23 Dec 2014
photo collage

As the post-2015 agenda rolls into its final stages of development, IRF2015 looks back at the best of 2014 – and the 10 most read blogs on website.

Jonathan Reeves
12 Dec 2014
Image from COP20 in Lima showing arrows pointing in opposite directions

As climate negotiations draw to a close in Lima, Jonathan Reeves reflects on the UN Secretary General's synthesis report on the post-2015 agenda and asks whether the "road to dignity" will take us to the right destination.

Kitty van der Heijden, Peter Hazlewood and Sonya Suter
11 Dec 2014
image shows man with bicycle

The UN Secretary-General's synthesis report provides a compelling narrative and vision, IRF partner, WRI argues, but the lack of specificity in the proposals pose a challenge to member states as they enter into negotiations.   

Thabileng Mothabi and Nina Weitz
10 Dec 2014
Image shows a woman with maize, Zambia, photo: Alex Berger

While Zambia’s is undergoing rapid development, it still faces food security challenges, but a joint research project is looking at how these can be tackled, looking forward to how countries in southern Africa can achieve sustainable forms of development, as envisaged by the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Harshita Bisht
02 Dec 2014
Burning fossil fuels is contributing to climate change

As climate talks get underway in Lima, Peru, IRF partner, Development Alternatives asks whether countries will rise to the twin challenges of reducing emissions and supporting a shift to sustainable development.

Kim Andersson and Caspar Trimmer
18 Nov 2014
A woman using treated urine for fertilizer to grow vegetables

Wednesday 19 November 2014 is World Toilet Day but the target to halve the number of people without access to basic sanitation has not been met. Can the SDGs improve the situation?

17 Nov 2014

With more and more people living in cities, urbanisation has become a key sustainability challenge. D.Varsha from IRF2015 partner Development Alternatives explores how the Sustainable Development Goals provide an opportunity to address some of the problems faced by India's growing cities.

Chris West
23 Sep 2014
Women collecting fresh water in a pond in Nildumur village, Bangladesh (photo: Espen Rasmussen/PANOS)

Water is receiving increased attention as an important component of green economic development. How can we make water sustainability measures more relevant and consistent?