This page is part of a series of COVID-19 resource pages that we are creating to help civil society actors.
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
- Arundhati Roy: ‘The pandemic is a portal’ (Financial Times).
Much-quoted and moving piece from the novelist on how coronavirus threatens India — and what the country, and the world, should do next.
- Coronavirus: global scenarios, research and impact (Inside Geneva podcast).
What the coronavirus mean for us, our society, our economy and our future? Interviews with Dr Margaret Harris of the World Health Organisation and Professor Vinh-Kim Nguyen of the Centre on Global Health at Geneva’s Graduate Institute.
- Coronavirus Portal & News Updates (United Nations).
News Portal of the UN on COVID-19.
- How are International Development Agencies Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis? (Center for Global Development).
This blog summarises the current challenges and responses for/of official development agencies, and offers some considerations as they continue to respond to the crisis.
- We Mapped How the Coronavirus Is Driving New Surveillance Programs Around the World (OneZero).
Overview of digital tools in 28 countries around the world, as of 9 April. To be updated weekly.
- Volunteer COVID-19 Tech Support (COVID Tech Support).
A community of volunteer technologists who’s mission is to find technology solutions to problems that will arise due to the COVID-19 crisis.
2. Strategic Analysis
Coronavirus Pandemic-Specific – Response Scenarios and Economic Impacts
- How Will the Coronavirus Reshape Democracy and Governance Globally? (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace).
An excellent summary of how the virus may reshape democracy and global governance. Four areas of concern: centralisation of power, abridgement of fundamental rights, expanded state surveillance, banishing protests.
- Virus could push half a billion people into poverty (BBC).
The economic fallout from the coronavirus could increase global poverty by as much a half a billion. It will be the first time that poverty has increased globally in 30 years, according to a new report.
- Working Paper – Estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on global poverty (United Nations University).
COVID-19 poses a real challenge to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty by 2030. In some regions the adverse impacts could result in poverty levels similar to those recorded 30 years ago.
- Coronavirus spells the end of the neoliberal era. What’s next? (Open Democracy).
Will the world after COVID-19 be “Fortress Earth” or societies transformed?
- Power, equality, nationalism: how the pandemic will reshape the world (Guardian).
COVID-19 has intensified the rivalry between the US and China – but it has also strengthened international cooperation. Will nations be more united or divided, more – or less – free?
- There will be no ‘back to normal’ (Nesta).
As we adjust to an emerging new world, Nesta has brought together various – often opposing – views about how things might change, looking at political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental consequences of the pandemic.
- The world remade by COVID-19: Planning scenarios for resilient leaders (Deloitte).
Deloitte and Salesforce hosted a dialogue with the world’s best-known scenario thinkers to consider what might life be like after the crisis passes, and what will it take to thrive in a world remade, in four possible scenarios.
- The Worry of Governance: Coronavirus and Emergency Politics (From Poverty to Power).
What could happen to state-society relations and the functioning of states once the pandemic has been brought under control? Which of the unprecedented actions that governments are now taking will have impacts – positive or negative – on these relationships and how?
- What are the “new normals” that COVID-19 might be pointing to? (UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Innovation Team).
An initial scan (from late March) of what is already emerging right now as trends that could stay with us once COVID-19 passes, with a particular focus on the Asian context.
- 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
- How COVID-19 might help us win the fight against climate change (World Economic Forum).
As the world recovers from COVID-19, short-term fixes mustn’t prevent us from addressing longer-term risks like climate change: five actions to address the global climate change crisis.
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.
- 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
- UN launches major humanitarian appeal to keep COVID-19 from ‘circling back around the globe’ (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).
Funding Appeal by UN Agencies (WHO and others) providing a narrative that if properly funded, many lives may be saved.
- On the virus and poor people in the world (Martin Ravallion).
Reliable public data and communication are crucial at this time. Sharper trade-offs and harder constraints can emerge in poor places. Routine recommendations for social protection in developing countries may need to be rethought in this pandemic. A rapid, bold, forward-looking response is needed, and there is an important role for the private sector.
- What About Migrants And Refugees? The Stark Reality Faced By The World’s Displaced During COVID-19 (Green Queen).
An Asian perspective on the impact of the pandemic on refugees and migrant labour in the region.
3. Policy Positions
- Dignity Not Destitution: An ‘Economic Rescue Plan For All’ to tackle the Coronavirus crisis and rebuild a more equal world (Oxfam).
The economic impact of COVID-19 is where the big dominoes are falling. Jobs have evaporated, remittances dried up, access to affordable food is compromised. Oxfam’s proposal suggests six pathways for navigating the immediate effects on women and men coping with poverty.
- Employment Situation Amidst the Epidemic (Oxfam Hong Kong).
Oxfam Hong Kong’s COVID-19 response includes understanding the economic impacts and business closure implications for low-income households, and advocacy messages for the HK Government to relieve these difficulties. Useful reference for other responses.
- Joint Leader’s statement – Violence against children: A hidden crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic (WHO & Others).
A joint statement of WHO, UNICEF and ICSOs under the ‘Joining Forces Coalition’ on the impact of vulnerable children
4. Operational and Leadership Advice
- Adapting to COVID-19 for CSOs’ Long Term Impact and Viability (Change the Game Academy).
This article describes the immediate challenges of COVID-19 for the resource base of many CSOs, particularly those in the Global South. It gives good advice on navigating this crisis.
- Getting ahead of the next stage of the coronavirus crisis (Mckinsey).
Find out two practical steps your organisation can take to help stay ahead.
- Interrupted transmission – zooming in on video conferencing privacy policies (NOYB – European Centre for Digital Rights).
Review of privacy policies of major video conferencing tools, such as Zoom, WebEx, Wire, and others.
- Coronavirus and Fundraising: What to Expect and How to Prepare (Gail Perry’s Blog).
Advice on keeping in touch with donors and not giving up on the communication flow, but using the time for re-strategising and rethinking your work of a fundraiser.
- Love for fundraisers in a time of coronavirus (fundraising.co.uk).
It gives perspective and some tips for fundraising practitioners to stay healthy, motivated and productive during corona crisis.
- Managing your NGO in the times of COVID-19 (Funds 4 NGOs).
Some very helpful suggestions on overall management of an NGO during the corona crisis with relevant links.