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 This website is no longer updated, but allows access to IRF blogs and recent publications until December 2019 when it will also close.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


David Satterthwaite
09 Jul 2014
Street scene, Karachi, Pakistan (Photo: Fareena Chanda)

The latest draft of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets contains a stunning list of commitments, but fails to address how we will achieve them. 

Camilla Toulmin
13 Jun 2014

The OWG's ‘zero draft’ on SDGs is a marked improvement on previous versions, but we still have a long journey ahead.

Alice D. Kanengoni
21 May 2014

GDP as a measure of development is inaccurate and masks inequalities faced by women. As the world frames a post-2015 agenda, we need to explore alternatives that are more inclusive and recognize women and girls’ contributions to national economies.

Dr Essam Yassin Mohammed
15 May 2014
Fishermen collecting the day's catch, Bangladesh (Photo: PANOS)

Fish are an important source of food and income for millions across the globe, but oceans and marine ecosystems are suffering from heavy exploitation and degradation.

Andrew Scott
12 May 2014

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will eventually succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, are being shaped by three Ps – principle, process and procedure.

Dr Ashok Khosla
06 May 2014
Photo: Fareeha Yasmin Iqbal

Perspectives on the 16 Focus Areas of the OWG

Saadia Iqbal
02 May 2014
Photo: © Arne Hoel/World Bank

IRF2015 has developed a tool for designing and selecting sustainable development goals and targets.

David Satterthwaite
22 Apr 2014
Residents of an informal settlement in Pune, India, discuss the results of a survey and how best to upgrade their homes and settlement, guided by Mahila Milan, a grassroots network formed by savings groups of women slum and pavement dwellers (Photo: SPARC)

Around a billion people live in informal urban settlements that lack essential services and security. So, with the international community about to agree on a new set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) for all nations to pursue from 2015, the concerns of these people should be high on the agenda.

Robert Watt
11 Apr 2014
Photo: Women and children carry water © Ray Witlin / World Bank (via Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

A new book highlights ways to better manage our limited water resources to achieve a better future for all.

Saadia Iqbal
01 Apr 2014
Village school by Y a T R a (via Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Quality education should be a cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a recent brief from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.