Governance and funding

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) was founded in 1966 as an independent research institute based at the University of Sussex. IDS has close links with the University, but is financially and constitutionally independent.

IDS is registered in England as a charitable company (no. 00877338) limited by guarantee, and with registered charity number 306371.

How we are funded

IDS receives no core funding. Funds are secured from a range of organisations and represent a combination of research grants and fees from advisory work, teaching, and publication sales.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is the Institute's largest funder. IDS also receives funds from the European Union, various UN agencies, and a wide range of aid agencies, trusts and foundations. Many of these funds are won competitively and a significant proportion is transferred to partners, including research organisations in developing countries.

Further financial information is available in our Annual Report and IDS Trustees' Report and Financial Statements 2014.

Our largest five donors and the % of IDS income they contributed in 2013/14:

  1. UK Department for International Development (38.9%)
  2. Economic and Social Research Council (9.3%)
  3. International Development Research Centre (4.3%)
  4. Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (4.1%)
  5. Program for Appropriate Technology (3.8%)

Our Board of Trustees

As an independent charity, IDS is governed by a Board of Trustees, who are responsible for agreeing our overall strategy, setting policy, monitoring performance and promoting the interests of the Institute.

Our Board of Trustees consists of people from UK and overseas organisations with expertise in international development, research and policy. It includes two staff trustees and one trustee nominated by IDS alumni. The Board's Nominations Committee consults widely about membership and aims to appoint according to a range of expertise and characteristics that support and reflect the Institute's work.

The Board meets twice a year, in June and December, and IDS' Director of Strategic Operations serves as Company Secretary. See a list of IDS' current Board of Trustees.

Strategic Leadership Group

The Strategic Leadership Group (SLG) is the executive decision-making body of the Institute. Its function is to take strategic decisions, and it's supported by a number of sub-Committees that look at issues in the areas of risk management, research strategy, ICT, resources and space.

It is chaired by IDS Director, Melissa Leach and comprises:

Resources and Audit Committee

The Resources and Audit Committee is a subcommittee of the IDS Board of Trustees to which it reports.

The Committee is charged with overseeing and approving the annual budget, the financial policy and performance of the Institute, including the financial out-turn and statutory accounts, and strategic human resources matters.