B.R.I.D.G.E. Benchmarking Race, Inclusion, & Diversity in Global Engagement


BRIDGE stands for Benchmarking Race, Inclusion, and Diversity in Global Engagement. It is an institutional survey, the first of its kind, to baseline diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across US-based organizations in the international development and humanitarian sector.


The BRIDGE survey is the first sector-wide DEI baseline survey of US-based development and humanitarian organizations. It will provide a diversity snapshot of organizations’ staff, leadership and boards, as well as provide details on the types of strategies and approaches organizations are taking to improve DEI. While the industry’s DEI challenges span the globe, this survey focuses on US-based headquarters staff to both intentionally narrow the scope and acknowledge the complexity of looking at DEI in a global sense. We do expect this survey to serve as the first step to conducting DEI benchmarking throughout the sector. The survey is fully anonymous with no ability (even for the survey administrator) to attribute responses back to responding organizations. The top line data will be shared publicly, but survey participants will receive access to detailed survey results.

The BRIDGE survey will be disseminated to over 400 organizations in March 2021, and the results will serve as a powerful tool for individual and collective action towards creating a more equitable industry. The survey will remain open for approximately one month from the launch date.

There is no cost to participate in the survey.


For many organizations in the United States, attention to DEI increased exponentially after the brutal killing of George Floyd in the summer of 2020 and the massive racial justice mobilization that followed. In response, many organizations in the international development sector searched to find documented efforts at the sectoral level on the extent of the industry’s DEI challenges. What they found, however, was a startling gap in publicly available, sector-wide, data on diversity.

While a variety of actions are needed to meaningfully address the legacy of structural racism in our sector and the organizations within it, establishing baseline evidence is among the first steps needed.

Having this data will enable individual and collective action. Organizations will be able to compare their own data to the industry benchmark and identify areas where they need to focus their efforts. At the sectoral level, the data could point to gaps where joint action is required to achieve meaningful and lasting change. The data will also provide a basis for mutual accountability and ultimately contribute to changing the sector for the better.


The BRIDGE survey was designed by a coalition of organizations dedicated to meaningfully addressing the DEI challenges of the international development and humanitarian assistance sector.

In the early Fall of 2020, a small group of industry leaders set out to leverage the strengths of their own organizations to address the diversity data gap in the sector by launching an initiative to establish a DEI benchmarking survey. On a purely voluntary basis we brought together Social Impact a highly regarded measurement and evaluation company which is contributing its survey expertise, IREX a leading non-profit which brings its long history working to advance prosperous and inclusive communities worldwide, Humentum a global nonprofit providing community, learning and operational solutions to the humanitarian and development sector, and the WILD Network the leading global convener, and knowledge management platform, for best practices to advance women’s leadership, and DEI in the global development sector. This group was supported by InterAction and PSC/CIDC who helped to ensure broad dissemination of the survey. A working group of Humentum members also provided advice, guidance and DEI expertise to the initiative with representatives from Dexis Consulting Group, National Endowment for Democracy, EGPAF, Solidarity Center, Orbis International, Social Impact, InterAction, and IREX.

If you would like to receive the BRIDGE survey, click here.