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. Many thanks to our volunteer researcher Ineke Stemmet.
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: 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: Civil society’s policies that respond to challenges posed by COVID-19.
Operational: A list of what your organisation can do now to navigate these unprecedented times.
1. Staying up-to-Date
- Advisor resigns from ID2020 objecting to blockchain immunity passports for COVID-19 (Ledger Insights)
The article narrates a conflict around the COVID Credentials Initiative and the allegation that tech developers have jumped on COVID-19 as a use case for their as-yet unadopted digital identity and blockchain technologies.
- How Mauritius’ unique political culture helped it beat COVID-19 (African Arguments)
A success story from a small but densely populated island country.
- Maternal health services take a hit amid global lockdown (Devex)
With lockdown measures beginning to ease, activists across the global south are finally beginning to gauge the impact of restrictions on maternal health, even as they move quickly to prevent any long-term damage.
- Opinion: A reminder during COVID-19 — Africa is not a monolith (Devex)
Africa is not a monolith where challenges in one country apply to the dozens of others on the continent.
- Spain to top up incomes of poorest as coronavirus hits livelihoods (Thomson Reuters Foundation News)
Spain introducing a new basic income scheme to help those families most at risk of poverty during the coronavirus crisis
- The Third sector in West Africa – Maimed by COVID-19 (Westt African Civil Society Institute)
Nana Asantewa Afadzinu explains how funding and equipment shortages are crippling many CSOs during the ongoing pandemic in West Africa. As social distancing rules hamper face-to-face meetings and service delivery, she is calling for fundamental changes.
- Vulnerability Amplified: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on LGBTIQ People (OutRight Action International )
Drawing on almost 60 rapid research interviews conducted with LGBTIQ people in 38 countries from all regions of the world, this report overwhelmingly shows that the challenges faced by LGBTIQ people as a result of the virus and surrounding containment measures are specific and amplified compared to the broader population.
Cities and Urbanisation
- COVID-19 and Shared Mobility: A New Normal (Urban Mobility Daily)
The article lists external effects of COVID-19 on urban mobility as well as specific examples of urban design as opportunities to address the near term public health challenges and ensure a more environmentally sustainable future.
- The Ecological Roots of Pandemics (Council n Foreign Relations)
Even as politicians promote conspiracy theories on COVID-19’s emergence, its most likely origins lie in their longstanding negligence of environmental health especially with regards to rapid urbanisation.
Civic Space and Human Rights
- How do we protect children caught up in war and a pandemic? (World Vision)
The COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone, it does not discriminate. It does, however, point out the impact of the failure of protecting civilians during the war. This article explains the vulnerability of children in these situations and what can be done to mitigate this.
- How have people with disabilities been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? (The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes)
Restrictions on human interactions have become mandatory in certain countries with imposed social distancing requirements. Many public services have become highly limited, if not completely halted; leaving persons with disabilities abandoned in terms of getting access to essential healthcare and social services.
- The Anxiety of the Twenty Twenties: The Quest For Relevance of Civil Society Organisations in a Digital World (International Civil Society Centre)
Global Angst plays into the hands of “Strong State” advocates. Even with limited room for manoeuvre, CSOs have to fight a disempowering gig economy and digital spaces where the individual is reduced to a consumer and/or worker with no attributes of a cyber citizen.
Data and Digital
- Opinion: COVID-19 as the catalyst for NGOs’ digital transformation (Devex)
Rakesh Bharania, Director at Salesforce, advocates for digital transformation, ie. the integration of modern information and communications technology within an organization at every level.
- COVID-19 and food protectionism (Vox)
Although initial conditions in global food markets in the face of COVID-19 pandemic are good, disruptions across countries most affected could reduce global supplies of key staples. Escalating export restrictions would multiply the initial shock by a factor of three, with world food prices rising by up to 18% on average. Import food dependent countries would be most affected. Uncooperative trade policies could risk turning a health crisis into a food crisis.
- South Asia at highest risk of civil unrest as food insecurity bites (Verisk Maplecroft)
Asia experienced one of the world’s first COVID-induced food protests when residents of Manila took to the streets on 1 April. Food insecurity has since played a role in protests across the region, including in India and Bangladesh. We expect that these initial protests are a sign of much bigger problems to come.
- COVID-19 and systems change: some reflections from the field (School of System Change)
Four systemic practices are showing up in how systems change practitioners are deploying analysis and proposals around COVID-19: 1. working across multiple timescales, 2. engaging multiple perspectives, 3. experimenting, struggling, failing and learning, and 4. tuning into power.
- The Post-Corona Revolution (Robert Bosch Foundation)
In his essay, Daniel Hamilton analyses the impact of the pandemic taking into account the new stages of the ongoing global-scale revolutions, namely “the three fundamental kernels of our existence: the atom, the bit, and the gene”.
- World Order after COVID-19 (Center for Strategic & International Studies)
CSIS Risk and Foresight Group Director Sam Brannen asked four of his International Security Program colleagues to take the long view on how COVID-19 could affect geopolitics out to 2025-2030 and beyond.
- Systemic Governing – Applied systems thinking in practice (OECD Guest blog)
Seeing governance in systemic terms makes what might otherwise seem impossibly complicated understandable, able to be acted upon, and open to change. This blog looks at how systemic governing is needed to produce and enact a new model of governance.
Multilateralism and international cooperation
- Europe’s battle lines are drawn at a uniquely perilous moment (Brookings Institution )
This article explains the battle lines that have been drawn in Europe due to the COVID-19 response of different nation-states and argues that solidarity, instead of individualism, is the best way to handle the current crisis.
Pandemic Specific Consequences and Responses (economic, health & social impacts)
- Assessing the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in Africa and Latin-America (The South African Institute of International Affairs)
This Webinar looks at the economic impacts of domestic responses to COVID-19 in the fields of health and social protection across Africa and Latin America. The speakers also reflect on the role that civil society and technology can play in mitigating the impact of the pandemic.
- Five things you need to know this week about global education (Theirworld)
About 12 million children have been affected by school closures across the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. This article explores the positive aspects as well as the dangers of children starting to return to school in African and other countries.
- Record-Breaking Global Mobility Grounded by COVID-19 Pandemic (PR Newswire)
Henley & Partners, a migration broker for wealthy clients, suggests that the new focus on health security and pandemic preparedness may change the face of global mobility forever: People will seek to move from poorly governed and ill-prepared places to those with better medical care and where involuntary quarantine is more convenient.
- Rolling lockdowns could protect both economies and health in low-income countries (The Conversation)
What would happen if we alternated between applying and lifting different types of community-based interventions to control the transmission of the virus? Would this provide a balance between avoiding health systems being overloaded and grinding economies completely to a halt?
- Social distancing in Black and white neighbourhoods in Detroit: A data-driven look at vulnerable communities (Brookings Institution)
This article examines the Detroit area in order to see how black and poor communities in the United States are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and social distancing measures.
- Together, African Countries Have Enough to Fight COVID-19 (Chatham House)
This article argues that Africa can mount a stronger COVID-19 response strategy by using regional trade blocs to coordinate, consolidate, and connect resources across the continent.
Populism and Authoritarianism
- The pandemic creates ideal conditions for the rise of populism (The South African Institute of International Affairs)
In moments of crises, populists make majorities feel like minorities under siege. COVID-19 has afforded populists a biological crisis with which to work and cement themselves onto the political landscape. This has left many asking: Will the coronavirus be populism’s next victim?
- Advocating for Age in an Age of Uncertainty (Stabford Social Innovation Review)
How the COVID-19 crisis is amplifying ageism, and how advocates can push back: 1. appeal to the value of justice, 2. define ageism and show people how to address it, and 3. create a sense of solidarity.
- Donors are ignoring hygiene in the fight against COVID-19 (WaterAid)
Despite being critical in the fight against COVID-19, efforts to improve hygiene are mostly absent in donor commitments to tackle the coronavirus, according to WaterAid. Instead, the focus is on vaccines.