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 This website is no longer updated, but allows access to IRF blogs and recent publications until December 2019 when it will also close.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


The Independent Research Forum (IRF) is a partnership of the following organisations:


Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) CANARI seeks to create avenues for the equitable participation and effective collaboration of Caribbean communities and institutions in managing the use of natural resources critical to development.
Contact: Nicole Leotaud nicole@canari.org
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) CASS is a Ministerial-level institution mandated to undertake policy and academic oriented research and advice in the area of social sciences and humanities, officially known as the think tank of the Chinese government. The CASS Research Centre for Sustainable Development (RCSD) was established in 1997 in response to China's desire to pursue sustainable development. In 2005, the RCSD was merged with the CASS Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies.
Contact: Jiahua Pan jiahuapan@163.com and Ying Chen cy_cass@163.com
Development Alternatives (DA) DA's vision is a world where every citizen can live a secure, healthy and fulfilling life, in harmony with nature. Its mission is to create sustainable livelihoods in large numbers.
Contact: George Varughese gcvarughese@devalt.org and Zeenat Niazi zniazi@devalt.org
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) Focusing on the environment and development in the Asia-Pacific region, IGES carries out strategic and flexible research on various issues, with a multilateral cross-sectional approach involving issues, dicsipline and stakeholders.
Contact: Eric Zusman zusman@iges.or.jp
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) IIED carries out research, advice and advocacy work. The organisation's action research generates robust evidence and know-how that is informed by a practical perspective acquired through hands-on research with grassroots partners. IIED advises government, business and development agencies, and argues for changes in public policy. The organisation focuses on bottom-up solutions, stay open to flexible, adaptable solutions and are marked by a tradition of challenging conventional wisdom through original thinking.
Contact: Tom Bigg tom.bigg@iied.org
Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) OSISA is a growing African institution committed to deepening democracy, protecting human rights and enhancing good governance in the region. OSISA's vision is to promote and sustain the ideals, values, institutions and practices of open society, with the aim of establishing vibrant and tolerant southern African democracies in which people, free from material and other deprivation, understand their rights and responsibilities and participate actively in all spheres of life.
Conact: Masego Madzwamuse masegom@osisa.org
Overseas Development Institute (ODI) ODI's mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries. This is done by locking together high quality applied research, practical policy advice, and policy-focused dissemination and debate. ODI works with partners in the public and private sectors, in both developing and developed countries.
Contact: Andrew Scott a.scott@odi.org.uk
Latin American Center for Rural Development (RIMISP) RIMISP is a network that links and generates knowledge for the development of Latin American territories. We work to understand the causes of territorial inequalities, contributing to design better public policies and bringing stakeholders together to support equitable territorial development. Because gaps are reduced more effectively from territories, when their capacities are maximised.
We work in non-metropolitan territories, with a focus on rural areas that has widened over time into a territorial approach.a regional non-profit organisation that conducts applied research in support of institutional change, productive transformation and capacity building of actors and social groups in Latin American rural societies. Its mission is to stimulate institutional, economic and social changes that can make Latin America a prosperous, fair and sustainable region.
Contact: Julio Berdegué jberdegue@rimisp.org
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) SEI's goal is to bring about change for sustainable development by bridging science and policy. SEI does this by providing integrated analysis that supports decision makers.
Contact: Måns Nilsson mans.nilsson@sei-international.org
World Resources Institute (WRI) WRI focuses on the intersection of the environment and socio-economic development. The organization goes beyond research to put ideas into action, working globally with governments, business, and civil society to build transformative solutions that protect the earth and improve people’s lives. WRI organizes its work around four key programmatic goals: Climate Protection, Governance, Markets and Enterprises, and People and Ecosystems.
Contact: Adam Fishman afishman@wri.org