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
- COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker (ICNL/ECNL)
This tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws.
- Cultural factors are behind disinformation pandemic: why this matters (The Conversation)
In Africa, people who report higher levels of exposure to disinformation also report lower levels of media trust. The most common reasons for people to share misinformation was to raise awareness out of a (misplaced) sense of civic duty, and make others aware of misinformation. Media users in sub-Saharan countries also said they shared misinformation “for fun”.
- Effective Activism in a Time of Coronavirus: what are we learning six months in? (From Poverty to Power + Save the Children)
Activism is unlikely to be what speeds our exit from the crisis, but it is the single biggest determinant of whether that exit is equitable. This moment demands our best ever work and we won’t do it without plans to deal with the biggest strategic challenges in front of us – Save the Children’s Kirsty McNeil lists four to start with.
- EU launches another tool on pandemic’s threat to human rights (Devex)
The EC is launching a new platform to monitor the consequences for democracy and human rights, prepared by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance — or International IDEA. It is intended as a one-stop shop to allow policymakers, journalists, civil society groups, and the public to track the impact of the pandemic.
- How have Africa’s regions fared in tackling COVID-19? (Institute of Security Studies)
Regional responses to the pandemic are essential, and although regions acted quickly, results have been mixed.
- Locally Rooted: The place of community organising in times of crisis (Community Organisers UK)
It is widely acknowledged that neighbours have played an essential role in supporting their local communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Often this support has bubbled up spontaneously from below. UK-focused blog and report.
- The COVID Inequality Ratchet: how the pandemic has hit the lives of young, women, minority and poor workers the hardest (From Poverty to Power)
Oxfam blog on what we know about the unequal impact of COVID-19 on workers and pre-existing inequalities in labour markets, looking at data for high and lower/middle-income countries.
- The Wicked Conversation (Good Governance Africa)
A blog series of current pan-African perspectives on the pandemic as a ‘wicked problem’, to explore ‘wicked solutions’ on: leadership, rule of law, work and jobs, public health measures, social support measures, and planning the future.
Biodiversity and Climate Change
- Preventing the next pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission (United Nations Environment Programme)
This scientific assessment with key messages for policy-makers examines the human-mediated factors which drive the risks of zoonotic disease outbreaks and ways in which these can be mitigated.
Civic Space and Human Rights
- Locally rooted: The place of community organising in times of crisis (Community Organisers)
A report intended to show how people can organise together and build supportive, effectively serviced and more equitable communities.
- Pride is a timely reminder that LGBTI people must not be left out of COVID-19 response (Amnesty International )
Last month’s Pride celebrations were a chance to celebrate and promote the rights of LGBTI people at a time when their rights are under increased threat. Amnesty International warned that existing inequalities have been entrenched by months of lockdown measures, exposing LGBTI people to terrifying levels of discrimination, stigma, hostility and violence.
- How to operationalise human rights for COVID-19 measures (BMJ Global Health)
The human rights framework is complex and not readily accessible to anyone not specialised in human rights law. However, it is paramount that human rights are respected in the current situation. This article provides a basic how-to guide for the assessment and operationalisation of human rights for COVID-19 measures.
- Lockdowns vs. religious freedom: COVID-19 is a trust-building exercise (Open Global Rights)
Governments must partner with faith leaders to battle COVID-19, creating an opportunity to build necessary trust and cooperation with wider parts of the population.
- Power in the Pandemic Breaking Borders, Refugees Imagining a Post-COVID World (Oxfam)
This podcast cuts across borders and hands the mic to two refugee activists who discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on the communities they work with.
Data and Digital
- A Digital Lifeline in a Public Health Crisis (Stanford Social Innovation Review)
Five lessons from BRAC in Bangladesh using a digital cash transfer programme to help poor families struggling with COVID-19.
- ‘Imagining a Post-COVID World – Strategic Futures’ (Six scenarios as 30-second videos) (Auxano Strategies, Nordic Foresight and the Global Arena Research Institute)
Explore COVID-19 pandemic’s implications on the trans-Atlantic community, US-China relations, IPCC emission reduction targets, the gig economy and more. Six video-illustrated scenarios: (1) The Panic Normalised, (2) Taming Our Worst Impulses, (3) Too Little, Too Late, (4) No Return to Normal, (5) An Atomised World, (6) A Disaster Forgotten.
- After the Pandemic: Which Future? (Great Transition Initiative)
How will today’s crisis alter the shape of tomorrow’s world? Which scenario—Conventional Worlds, Barbarization, Great Transition—has become more likely? How can we seize the moment to propel transformation?
- Are you reframing your future or is the future reframing you?: Megatrends 2020 and beyond (EY)
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated global megatrends, pushing the world onto a new S-curve of growth. This global reset created an opening for change that seemed unthinkable a few months ago, including the opportunity to shape the post-pandemic world for the better. EY Megatrends provide leaders with a framework for navigating this unprecedented change and charting future growth.
- COVID-19 crisis: possible scenarios for the next 18 months (Futuribles International)
Thanks to its knowledge of rigorous forward-thinking methodologies, Futuribles International Association has set out 11 scenarios to forecast the possible evolutions of the crisis over the next 18 months (the targeted horizon being the end of 2021).
- Women Face Rising Risk of Violence During Covid-19 Leave No Woman Behind in Governments’ Response (Human Rights Watch )
Governments need to do more to monitor and intervene to prevent violence against women during COVID-19 lockdowns, Human Rights Watch said today in a report to the United Nations special rapporteur on violence against women. The problem may be especially acute for women who face both discrimination and marginalisation.
Multilateralism and international cooperation
- African solidarity to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent (African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes )
The African Union (AU), together with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, launched a public-private initiative known as the AU COVID-19 Response Fund. The intention of this initiative is to mobilise at least US$150 million for immediate needs to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, and up to US$400 million to support a sustainable medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently spreading across the continent.
- The Multilateral Order Post-COVID: Expert Voices (The Institute of International and European Affairs)
The multilateral order since the Second World War was already showing strains before the world was afflicted with the pandemic. In this IIEA Expert Voices publication, ten foreign policy experts share short perspectives on the question of how COVID-19 pandemic will impact different aspects of the rules-based multilateral order.
Pandemic Specific Consequences and Responses (economic, health & social impacts)
- Beyond Lockdown—Sustainable COVID Control for Low-Income Countries (Centre for Global Development)
Countries need to be supported to deploy layered context-specific mitigation strategies after lockdown
- Can we avoid a lost decade of development? (Brookings Institution )
Children have not borne the brunt of the immediate health threats posed by the coronavirus pandemic. But as the pandemic mutates into a global economic crisis, millions of children could be left carrying disadvantages that will limit opportunities for the rest of their lives. This article asks whether we can avoid the 2020s from becoming a lost decade for development.
- Economy Must Not Get Stuck Between Lockdown and Recovery (Chatham House )
Despite recent outbreaks in several countries which had appeared to be close to excluding the virus, focusing on suppression and elimination is the best economic as well as a health strategy.
- How have Africa’s regions fared in tackling COVID-19? (Institute for Security Studies)
African countries are increasingly trying to coordinate COVID-19 responses with those of their neighbours. This is done largely through regional economic communities and is a potentially important response to the pandemic. Yet their efforts have had mixed results.
- OECD’s Economic Outlook 2020: Facing The Jobs Crisis (OECD)
COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on jobs has been 10 times bigger than that of the global financial crisis. Countries now need to do everything they can to stop this jobs crisis from turning into a social crisis. Reconstructing a better and more resilient labour market is an essential investment in the future and in future generations.
- Care in the Time of Coronavirus: Why care work needs to be at the centre of a post-COVID-19 feminist future (Oxfam GB)
While COVID-19 and the related containment efforts have caused increases in women’s – and men’s – unpaid care workloads, women are still doing the bulk of this work. Care work is essential to the healthy functioning of our societies and economies and must be better supported through policy and social norms change.
- Reforms key to NGOs weathering Coronavirus financial crisis (Casey Kelso/Medium)
The true internal change will be tested soon as NGOs face potential massive layoffs. Well-managed NGOs are more likely to survive, while those distrusted by staff and donors alike risk going under.