External review of IIED's portfolio and strategy

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International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Period. 2015-2016

Location. Global

Sectors. Sustainable Development (sustainable cities, sustaimable markets, natural resources and climate change)

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Every five years, IIED's main donors commission an External Review (ER) of IIED's work. The 2015-2016 ER focused on the effectiveness, added value and contribution to Sustainable Development of IIED’s global portfolio and strategy, in the context of the new global shifts and trends centred on the 2030 Agenda. A major participatory undertaking, its inquiries and processes were spread over a full year and engaged a cross-section of staff, managers, partners, research users and donors. The ER used a PIALA-based realist approach, incorporating our Systemic Theory of Change approach and Contribution Tracing method, as well as the Participatory Sense-Making employing the Matter Method for which we partnered with Matter Group.

Both the processes and the outcomes were very well received and continue to be used and felt useful in IIED’s present work and partnerships, as shown by the comments on the published report and IIED’s Annual Report 2017-2018 (which is entirely structured around the four impact pathways identified by the ER).

“IIED's board welcomes the external review of IIED which we believe provides an accurate overview of the organisation's operating context – as well as its strengths, key opportunities and areas of challenge. We are grateful to the review team for a constructive approach engaging both staff and board in critical reflection.”

Rebeca Grynspan, chair of IIED's board of trustees

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