Sarah McIvor

Senior researcher, Climate Change

Sarah is a climate change specialist with more than 10 years of experience in climate adaptation, climate justice, policy and sustainable development. She has worked with community-based organisations, civil society, governments and UN agencies, from local to national to international level.

Sarah works on climate justice, working with the Least Developed Countries Group and marginalised communities to ensure their voices and priorities are included in international, national and local climate action and decision making.

Within IIED, Sarah has been leading on thinking on what ‘business unusual’ looks like for IIED, approaches to decolonise climate action within the Climate Change research group, and is part of the strengthening partnerships team, working on the creation of more ethical and equitable partnerships.


Climate adaptation, climate justice, policy, and resilience, sustainability and disaster risk reduction.

Before IIED

  • Resilience adviser, Irish Aid, government of Ireland (2016-18)
  • Programme analyst (climate change); United Nations Development Programme Malawi (2014-16)
  • Disaster risk reduction officer; Build Change Indonesia (INGO) (2012-13)


  • MSc. sustainability (climate change), University of Leeds, UK
  • BSc. Earth system science, University of Leeds, UK

Current work

Sarah works with the least developed countries (LDCs) on their LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR). She provides technical advice; facilitates creation of equal platforms; and analyses new ways of working moving from business-as-usual to 'business-unusual' approaches.

She also works with local communities to develop participatory approaches that ensure the voices of the most marginalised are included in climate decision making.

Sarah is a member of IIED’s race and racism working group, supporting and taking forward IIED’s efforts in becoming an anti-racist organisation.