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    Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has been around for decades but reached momentum in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd. Many organizations, including those in the international development sector, formulated DEI strategic plans, hired Chief DEI Officers and staff, and set targets. Workplace assessments, workforce diversity initiatives, leadership and staff awareness training, employee resource groups, and improved workplace policies that promote a respectful, inclusive, and safe environment, to name a few, formed part of the menu of DEI initiatives most organizations rolled out.

    Several years in, DEI is now facing a backlash as opponents to equity gain ground. Corporate DEI budgets are being slashed, and DEI initiatives are being attacked at many levels.

    Global development organizations that strive to work in an inclusive, participatory way, understand that meaningfully embedding DEI at an institutional level takes time and commitment. We have a unique challenge in ensuring DEI within our permanent staff and organizations and also in the implementation of our projects worldwide. Representation and diversity among our staff in the US and globally is crucial to effective, sustainable work in a multi-cultural context. Centering local skills and talent improves our outcomes. What should our sector do to stay the DEI course, build on gains, and achieve long-lasting institutional change and improved development results?

    This panel will dive into the current climate, best practices, emerging standards, and how we can collectively push back and sustain our work in this area. We’ll also include specific consideration of DEIA in project offices, such as: building and retaining local talent through multiple project cycles; addressing risk and compliance concerns when assigning authorities to project offices/staff; the specific experience of elevating local experts to the COP position.

    Roslyn Brock, Chief Global Equity Officer, Abt Global
    Kenya Dugger, Global Director of DEI,
    Rosanna Duncan, Chief Diversity Officer, Palladium
    Ryan Ubuntu Olson, Global Manager – Diversity, Equity, Engagement, and Inclusion. DAI
    Courtney Keene, Senior Manager, Deloitte

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