Disrupt & Innovate

COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #3

15th April 2020 by Thomas Howie

This page is part of a series of COVID-19 resource pages that we are creating to help civil society actors.

Click here to view all available pages.

Click here for our latest events news.

On this page, you will find links to readings, podcasts and videos related to the latest COVID-19 news and analysis. If you have a recommendation or a suggestion, let us know.

The sections are:

Staying up-to-date: Links to sites that will keep you abreast of important developments related to our sector and the latest news.

Strategic analysis: We look at the impact and responses to COVID-19 in a general and intersectional way (i.e. impacts on human rights, climate change, etc).

Policy positions: Civil society’s policies that respond to challenges posed by COVID-19.

Operational and leadership: A list of what your organisation can do now to navigate these unprecedented times.

    1. Staying up-to-Date

    2. Strategic Analysis

    Coronavirus Pandemic-Specific – Response Scenarios and Economic Impacts

    Future Scenarios

    Intersectional Analysis

    • Open Letter: The time to act is now (Mail & Guardian).
      More than 100 African intellectuals appeal to the leaders of the continent stating that urgency should not be a mode of governance. Rather, this crisis is an opportunity to review public policies, to ensure that they work in favour of all African populations and not just the African middle class.
    Biodiversity and Climate Change
    Data and Digital
    • Coronavirus Is Changing How We Live, Work, and Use Tech—Permanently (Singularity Hub).
      During this pandemic, we’ve hit “fast forward” on many existing tech trends. From remote work and virtual events to virus-monitoring big data, technologies familiar more to a fringe tech community are centre stage and most likely here to stay.
    • COVID-19 brings a wave of cyberattacks against NGOs (Devex News).
      Is cybersecurity becoming, at last, an issue? Aid groups say they are coming under an increased number of cyberattacks as they try to work through the disruption of COVID-19.
    • COVID-19: Why is contact tracing useful? (Netzpolitik.org).
      Is virus tracking on mobile phone apps an appropriate technical solution to mitigate the crisis and to lift the lock-down or another important step to mass surveillance?
    • Data protection in times of coronavirus: not a question of if, but of how (NOYB – European Centre for Digital Rights).
      GDPR allows data to be used in the event of epidemics – a legal review of various coronavirus measures and projects that are intended to contain the spread of the virus by using data.
    • Do it now. Right away (Le Monde Diplomatique).
      View from France: The editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, Serge Halimi, asks whether the world will be saved, but only for the rich few, as in 2008? He is not optimistic: This crisis may turn out to be a dress rehearsal for sweeping aside the last resistance to digital capitalism, and the coming of a society without human contact.
    • States use of digital surveillance technologies to fight pandemic must respect human rights (Amnesty International).
      More than 100 civil society groups signed a joint statement setting out conditions to be met if surveillance technology is to be used to fight the pandemic.
    • Tracking coronavirus: big data and the challenge to privacy (Financial Times).
      Following a tour d’horizon on the various approaches on how to use GSM data in order to track the epidemics and exit the lock-down the author discusses the contradictions of the common good and the right to privacy.
    • Why voluntary mobile phone tracking does not work (Netzpolitik.org).
      For the authors, the idea that an app can help to tackle the crisis shows first of all our faith in technology. Then, the idea is dismissed that those apps can be introduced based on the principle of voluntariness.
    Gender Equality
    • Why COVID-19 is different for men and women (BBC).
      COVID-19 has profoundly different outcomes for men and women – and not just in terms of their health. For a virus that infects people indiscriminately, why does gender have such an effect?
    Multilateralism and international cooperation
    Vulnerable Populations

        3. Policy Positions

        4. Operational and Leadership Advice



              Thomas Howie

              Communications Manager

              International Civil Society Centre

              Thomas joined the Centre in June 2017 as the Communications Coordinator. He is responsible for developing and implementing the Centre’s global communication strategy, as well as the Disrupt & Innovate platform – a place for civil society professionals and activists to discuss current innovations and future trends in the civil society sector. Prior to the Centre, Thomas worked for 5 years in the European Parliament firstly as the Digital and Social Media Coordinator for the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, and then, after the 2014 European elections, for Jude Kirton-Darling and Paul Brannen as Head of Communications, where he worked on issues such as the EU-US trade deal, issues around Brexit and as a specialist on the Petitions Committee. Thomas graduated from Bristol University with BSci in Geographical Sciences and holds an MA in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford, where he completed research into the role of civil society in the post war peace settlement in northern Uganda.