Why did the BRIDGE Survey focus on US-based Humanitarian and International Development organizations?
The BRIDGE team is comprised of organizations working in the Humanitarian and International Development sectors in the United States. While we believe this benchmarking effort is needed and would be helpful on a global level, the team decided to start with a survey of US based organizations where the group had the greatest expertise.
Why did the BRIDGE Survey focus on data from US organization’s headquarters and not satellite/country offices?
A guiding principle of the BRIDGE working group was to “start small with big aims.” The group began by acknowledging the global nature of DEI challenges within the Humanitarian and International Development sectors, and the unique manifestation of these challenges that might vary from one office to the next or from one country to another. After much deliberation on the scope of the survey, the BRIDGE team decided to focus on headquarters as a first step while keeping open the option of a follow on survey of satellite/country offices at a later date. The team anticipated that the momentum gained from the first BRIDGE survey could help propel action around expanding the reach in future iterations.
What language(s) did the BRIDGE survey utilize?
The BRIDGE survey was completed by the headquarters of US-based organizations, and tailored by BRIDGE working group members with HR/DEI expertise to be most easily answerable by an organization’s HR team. The survey was provided in English, as it is the most commonly used language for an organization’s HR record-keeping purposes among US based organizations.
How did the BRIDGE team determine a need for this data?
A few efforts have been made recently in the industry to capture data and evidence related to DEI in the international development and humanitarian assistance sector. Efforts we have identified so far, include the following. We welcome the opportunity to learn from any other studies that we may not be aware of.
At the Institutional Level
- Quantum Impact’s 2018 State of Diversity report. Among other things, this report looked at the diversity of leadership teams and boards of organizations in the sector using a content analysis approach that drew on publicly available data.
- GAO’s report on Diversity at USAID (published June 2020), This study looked at diversity in the foreign service and civil service at USAID from 2002-2018.
- Various reports published by Global Health 50-50 which focus primarily on gender equality in the health sector.
- Spot polls conducted by Humentum.
At the Individual Level
- The Racial Equity Index’s Global Mapping Survey of late 2020 (results forthcoming) which surveys individuals working in the international development sector globally. The stated goal of this survey is to produce “an index and advocacy tools that will provide greater accountability for racial equity within and across the global development sector in order to dismantle structural racism and create a more equitable system and culture with justice and dignity at its core”, and spot polls conducted by Humentum.
The BRIDGE survey differs from (but complements) these existing or emerging analyses in a variety of ways.
(a) It captures and aggregates institutional (i.e. organization level) metrics on diversity (including but not limited to gender, race, disability) at the staff, leadership and board levels. It also seeks to identify equity and inclusion strategies that organizations are utilizing to advance their DEI goals.
(b) It captures these data by using an anonymous survey that is filled out by one individual in the organization (typically a leader in the HR/People workstream) who would have knowledge of these metrics for their organization.
(c) It is not an organizational culture or engagement survey. As such it did not survey individuals to seek feedback on their experiences and perceptions.
Will the BRIDGE survey run again or be expanded?
Resource-permitting, the BRIDGE team hopes to implement additional versions of the BRIDGE survey, such as one that explores similar issues in satellites/country offices of Humanitarian and International Development organizations as well as repeating the baseline survey to track progress over time.