This page is part of a series of COVID-19 resource pages that we are creating frequently to help civil society actors.
On this page, you will find links to readings, podcasts and videos related to the latest Coronavirus news and analysis. This selection is based on what the International Civil Society Centre and its staff find useful. If you have a recommendation or a suggestion, let us know.
There are three sections to this page:
Staying up-to-date: Links to sites that will keep you abreast of important developments related to our sector and the wider context
Strategic Analysis: We look at the impact and responses to Coronavirus in a general and intersectional way (i.e. impacts on human rights, climate change etc).
Operational and Leadership: A list of what your organisation can do now to navigate these unprecedented times
1. Staying up-to-Date
- Devex articles, including how the COVID-19 outbreak is reshaping the global development sector
- Overseas Development Institute blog series assessing the implications of the coronavirus outbreak – from the impact on the global economy to its effects on climate change, and people living in poverty
2. Strategic Analysis
Coronavirus Pandemic-Specific – Response Scenarios and Economic Impacts
- The Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (Center for Global Development).
Analysis of short and medium-term economic impacts and what should be being done right now by IMF to minimise the impact.
- Will Africa’s economies buckle under the coronavirus? (Institue for Security Studies).
Africa has so far been relatively resilient concerning infections, but the opposite is true for economic effects.
- Are pandemics increasing and what do they cost? and COVID-19 Virtual Summit (Singularity University) – Videos.
In the first video Robert Muggah shares insights into the spread and impact of pandemics, why they are becoming more common, and how cities can help minimise threats now and into the future. The second link presents all presentation and discussions from Singulairities virtual summit on COVID-19,
- What Might Africa Teach the World? COVID-19 and Ebola Virus Disease Compared (African Arguments).
A look at the links between community mobilisation and epidemiologists in the case of Ebola and what that can teach us in the case of COVID-19.
- Coronavirus vaccine: when will it be ready? (Guardian).
Human trials will begin imminently – but even if they go well and a cure is found, there are many barriers before global immunisation is feasible.
- ‘We can’t go back to normal’: how will coronavirus change the world? (Guardian).
Recommended. Some believe the pandemic is a once-in-a-generation chance to remake society and build a better future. Others fear it may only make existing injustices worse.
- Neither A Black Swan Nor A Zombie Apocalypse: The Futures Of A World With The COVID-19 Coronavirus (Journal of Futures Studies).
Summary of why this pandemic was predictable and four main emerging scenarios.
- The Coronavirus Pandemic and the New Normal, with Jamie Metzl (Singularity University) – Video, and After coronavirus the World Will Never Be the Same. But Maybe, It Can Be Better (Singularity Hub).
A useful overview of big picture trends and links to wider geopolitical issues, and a ‘new normal’ for 18 months at least until a vaccine is found.
- Planning for the World After the Coronavirus Pandemic (World Politics Review).
Second-order effects and unpredictable interactions of the pandemic with other global issues are still unclear. International cooperation is needed for these, and the urgency of a public health emergency should not crowd out the need for slower-moving but still important priorities.
- How the Pandemic Will End (The Atlantic).
Recommended – US-focused but clear global relevance and endgame scenarios. The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.
- Six ways coronavirus will change our world (Exponential View).
Scientific collaboration, digital quarantines, genomic technologies, remote everything, self-sufficiency, and nativism.
- 16 Ways Coronavirus May Change the Way We Look at the World (Singularity Hub).
A list of 16 positive changes to the collective mindset this era of emergency may bring.
- Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus (Financial Times).
We face two particularly important choices during this crisis which could change our lives for years to come: between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment, and between nationalist isolation and global solidarity.
- After this pandemic we can do better (Amnesty International).
David Griffiths, Director of the Office of the Secretary-General at Amnesty International, on what we can choose to differently as a result of coronavirus’ impacts throwing into sharp relief what our renewed priorities should be.
Biodiversity and Climate Change
- ‘Tip of the iceberg’: is our destruction of nature responsible for COVID-19? (Guardian).
Telling piece on the links between increasing habitat and biodiversity loss globally and the potential for further future mass pandemics.
- COVID-19: a dress rehearsal for the climate emergency? (Forum For the Future).
Summary of what we can learn from the COVID-19 response that might allow us to be better equipped to address critical sustainability challenges.
- COVID-19 – The Low-Carbon Crisis (Michael Liebreich).
Climate-positive shifts in societal behaviour, policy, technology and business processes during the crisis may sustain for lower carbon emissions in the longer term.
Cities and Urbanisation
- Coronavirus threat looms large for low-income cities (International Institute for Environment and Development).
Weak infrastructure and lack of basic services mean urban settlements in low-income countries are highly vulnerable, and handwashing and isolation responses to the virus are not possible.
Civic Space and Human Rights
- States should put human rights at the centre of all responses to COVID-19 (CIVICUS).
CIVICUS outlines the risks of governments using the crisis as a pretext to undermine the rule of law, attack human rights defenders and silencing political critics.
- Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 Response (Human Rights Watch).
A comprehensive summary of human rights concerns posed by the coronavirus outbreak, drawing on examples of government responses to date, and recommends ways governments and other actors can respect human rights in their response.
- Coronavirus and Civic Space Preserving Human Rights During a Pandemic (International Center for Not-For-Profit Law).
The article discusses how international law provides a framework to uphold human rights during crisis response.
- Do We Have to Give Up Some Personal Freedoms to Beat Coronavirus? (Singularity Hub).
An open but less competent government is likely to perform poorly in a public health crisis, as is a competent but closed government. We need open societies to combat the virus.
Data and Digital
- The rise of the bio-surveillance state (New Statesman America).
States can only achieve two out of three in the ‘coronavirus trilemma’ of limiting deaths, gradually lifting lockdowns, or upholding cherished civil liberties, and bio-surveillance may outlive the immediate crisis, even in liberal states with strong pluralist institutions.
- As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy Plummets (New York Times).
Mass digital surveillance to track entire populations to combat the pandemic now could open the doors to more invasive forms of government snooping later.
- Checking our instincts: We need to remain evidence-based and standards-driven in times of crisis (Data governance).
Five evidence-based and standards-driven rules to guide responsible data governance and data use in times of crisis.
- How Civic Technology Can Help Stop a Pandemic (Foreign Affairs).
Taiwan’s fusion of technology, activism, and civic participation as a solution.
- Unchecked corporate power paved the way for COVID-19, and globally, women are at the frontlines (Cambridge Core Blog).
The pandemic puts a spotlight on the urgency of questioning, challenging and resisting underlying discriminatory systems which disproportionately affect women.
- Coronavirus: Five ways virus upheaval is hitting women in Asia (BBC).
Across Asia, women are being disproportionately affected by the significant social impacts of the virus, here are five ways in which this is happening.
- The Coronavirus Is a Disaster for Feminism (The Atlantic).
This and past pandemics affect men and women differently.
- How Will COVID-19 Impact China’s Belt & Road Initiative? (The China Africa Project) – Podcast.
COVID-19 is the single greatest challenge to China’s Belt and Road Initiative since its launch in 2013, as its interconnectedness once widely regarded as a huge opportunity is might now be seen as the potentially dangerous liability of dependence on China.
- Is China a Safe Haven? (Matthews Asia).
China may become the global economic and financial haven, as consumer demand is healthy (buffered by deep household savings) and it has domestic COVID-19 infections under control.
Multilateralism and international cooperation
- What COVID-19 means for international cooperation (Brookings).
The pandemic could strengthen nationalism and isolationism and accelerate the retreat from globalisation, or spur a new wave of international cooperation like after World War II.
- The Coronavirus Could Reshape Global Order (Foreign Affairs).
China Is manoeuvering for international leadership as the United States falters.
Populism and Authoritarianism
- How the Coronavirus Revealed Authoritarianism’s Fatal Flaw (The Atlantic).
China’s use of surveillance and censorship makes it harder for Xi Jinping to know what’s going on in his own country.
- Coronavirus could be used by authoritarian leaders as excuse to undermine democracy, experts warn (The Independent).
Worries coronavirus could reshape politics by eroding democracy in some countries.
- How European populists are using coronavirus as a political tool (Aljazeera).
Refugees, aid workers placed under quarantine in Italy as far-right leaders across Europe call for tighter borders.
3. Operational and Leadership Advice
- Coronavirus strategy for NGOs (Associates for Change).
A suggested 4-point strategy you may want to consider for the current outbreak.
- Resources for INGOs (BOND).
Useful resources, especially for those based in the UK, but some useful regardless
- Understanding the Videoconferencing Tools Available to Your Nonprofit (TechSoup)
- Nonprofit Resources for Remote Work During the COVID-19 Outbreak (TechSoup)
- Coronavirus Tech Handbook