From poverty to malnutrition, climate change to biodiversity loss, pollution to humanitarian crises—the many problems we face today are deeply interconnected. And they can’t be solved alone. We bring a sense of urgency to address these challenges together with the evidence and tools for rapid action. With our impact-driven case studies and evidence synthesis initiatives, we are generating road-tested tools for maximizing cross-sector impact, building the evidence base for this work and bringing it to bear on the biggest challenges facing people and the world we share.

Case Studies

Around the world, our Bridge Collaborative network is building the case for cross-sector action and refining our tools through a series of impact-oriented case studies.


In the Gulf of Mexico, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused extensive damage to coastal communities and natural resources. The large and complex restoration effort that followed has grappled with many challenges. The US Congress is expecting recovery funds to restore the Gulf economy, local communities and the environment. That’s a lot to ask for with limited funds. How do we measure success on all these fronts? How should funds be spent? Together, Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, the Harte Research Institute and The Nature Conservancy will use our Practitioner’s Guide to align evidence and metrics across environmental, economic, health and employment data sets. Working with five Gulf states, this project is bringing together researchers, communities, practitioners and other stakeholders to develop state-specific and regional results chains for different restoration strategies, along with practical metrics to assess impacts.


There are 65.6 million forcibly displaced people in the world today, an increase of 23.1 million since 2011. Fleeing violence, conflict, persecution and human rights abuses, the forcibly displaced are in the headlines—but sustainable solutions remain elusive. Refugee Action for People and the Planet (RAPP) Labs will support humanitarian organizations to understand and use environmental assets and interventions in ways that help meet their immediate goals for refugees and host communities. We are developing a ‘rapid lab’ model to curate place-specific evidence and facilitate in-country dialogues that can help humanitarian organizations realistically build environmental considerations into planned or ongoing humanitarian proposals and actions. The Center for Global Development and The Nature Conservancy are exploring several RAPP Lab opportunities with humanitarian organizations working in Africa.


Conservation Leadership in the Caribbean (CLiC) is a fellowship training program that offers emerging leaders from the Caribbean region the opportunity to work in multi-country teams and gain skills and knowledge toward conservation and development problem solving. The current cohort (2017-2018) is testing our Practitioner’s Guide and using its insights to think differently about the places they work. Fellows are working on projects related to: macaws in Trinidad, coral reefs in Colombia, mangroves in Guyana, sea turtles in Tobago and Grenada and water sanitation in Grenada—all with an expanded view of the systems they care about.
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Evidence Syntheses

Through our evidence synthesis initiatives, the Bridge Collaborative and our partners are gathering evidence about what works (and what doesn’t) across sectors and applying our evidence evaluation rubric against real-world data.


Water and sanitation are critical to the survival of people and the planet. Yet today, billions of people around the world still lack access to adequate sanitation, posing a serious risk to public health and the environment. Ensuring safe sanitation is a moral imperative. To understand how to fix this problem for both sanitation and nature, a Science for Nature and People Partnership team is synthesizing evidence to develop guidance on best practices for improved sanitation using nature-based solutions. Using the Bridge Collaborative Practitioner’s Guide, this interdisciplinary working group is bridging evidence and ideas across sanitation and human well-being, development and biodiversity.


Clean, efficient household cooking has the potential to improve health, promote nutrition, protect the environment and enhance livelihoods—particularly for women and children. Yet, the implementation and impact of clean cooking strategies differs significantly across contexts. To understand this complexity, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and PATH are leading a cross-sector working group on the topic of clean cooking, health, nutrition and forests. Together, experts will work with the Practitioner’s Guide to develop case studies, build results chains, synthesize evidence across sectors and better understand what works—and where.


Access to affordable, reliable energy is critical for the rural poor. With implications for food production, water use and economic development, rural energy access plays a central role in raising people out of poverty. But, the ways in which people access energy can have major repercussions for the environment. Exactly how these connections work isn’t always clear. To better understand the nature of these relationships, a multidisciplinary team at Duke University is collecting and summarizing evidence on the linkages between food, energy, water and the environment. The Bridge Collaborative is supporting a postdoctoral fellow working with this team to incorporate elements of the Practitioner’s Guide and integrate cross-sector considerations throughout the project.