COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #9

28th May 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. 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

    2. Strategic

    Biodiversity and Climate Change

      Cities and Urbanisation

      • Building Better Cities After COVID-19 (Podcast) (Exponential View)
        How do we build better cities after the coronavirus crisis? The World Bank’s Sameh Wahba joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how the World Bank partners with technologists to help cities on the frontline of the pandemic, and how the dynamism of urban density can be harnessed to build the livable and inclusive cities of the future.
      • Coronavirus will reshape our cities – we just don’t know how yet (The Guardian)
        The development of cities has been by affected by the disease for centuries, so what legacy will COVID-19 leave on urban life?

      Civic Space and Human Rights

      • Coronavirus response in West Africa and the Sahel: Human rights must not be forgotten (The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes)
        This article analyses the positive response of West African countries, countries in the Sahel, and the global community to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes responsible multilateralism and prioritising inclusion and equality.
      • Fit for the future: Can we emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis? (Alliance Magazine)
        Civil society was not ready for COVID-19. Benjamin Bellegy (WINGS), Chris Worman (TechSoup) and Lysa John (CIVICUS) discuss the investments needed in civil society and its philanthropic and technical infrastructure, and the actions we must take to emerge wiser and stronger from the current crisis and to be prepared for crises to come.

      Conflict and Humanitarian

      • How the coronavirus increases terrorism threats in the developing world (The Conversation)
        As the disease wreaks its havoc in areas poorly equipped to handle its spread, terrorism likely will increase there as well. Recent research identifies a potential link between the pandemic and an uptick in violence, as food insecurity makes citizens angry at their governments.

      Data and Digital

        Futures

        Gender Equality

            Governance

            Multilateralism and international cooperation

            • African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) Report comment: towards a new post-COVID-19 world order? (Institute for Security Studies)
              International relations experts agree the pandemic will be a major catalyst for new dynamics in the international system. The resulting shifts have the potential to redefine inter-state relations and global governance in ways that require Africa and the global South, in general, to reposition themselves. We are likely to see increased competition between the US and China, rising nationalism and weak global leadership.

            Narratives

            Pandemic Specific Consequences and Responses (economic, health & social impacts)

            Populism and Authoritarianism

            • Culling the Herd: A Modest Proposal (London Review of Books)
              A provocative commentary by Eli Zaretsky stating that the poor masses were wilfully deprived of health care in the same way it was made to believe that it had no right entitled to jobs, housing and good schools.

                  3. Policy

                 4. Operational

              ,

              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.


              COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #8

              20th May 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. 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

                  2. Strategic

                Biodiversity and Climate Change

                  Civic Space and Human Rights

                  • How Africa can reduce COVID-19’s impact on displaced persons (Institute for Security Studies)
                    Africa’s 25.2 million refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons are some of the most vulnerable groups to COVID-19. This article explores the ways in which African states can protect these vulnerable groups.
                  • Imagining our Post-Pandemic Futures (Open Global Rights)
                    COVID-19 is challenging the human rights movement to adapt, transform, and look ahead—so as to meet urgent demands now while laying the groundwork for a better future. This Up Close series explores the glimpses this pandemic has provided of what a better future could look like and asks just what kind of human rights practice is needed now to get us there.

                  Data and Digital

                  Food security

                  Futures

                  • Four Pathways to Better Decisions (Global Dashboard)
                    How do you make good decisions when you’re playing (COVID-19) whack-a-mole? Here are four recommendations to improve decision-making: (i) form an independent red-team, (ii) empower a ‘mole-spotting’ unit, (iii) embrace foresight to manage risks and (iv) build in real feedback loops. This is how experimentation feeds learning and defers to frontline expertise.
                  • Why coronavirus may make the world more accessible (BBC Future)
                    For many people with disabilities, options like remote working have been needed for years. Workplaces around the world have now made this shift. Are there other ways the world could become more accessible, too?

                  Gender Equality

                      Pandemic Specific Consequences and Responses (economic, health & social impacts)

                            3. Policy

                        • A Call to Action on Open Budgets during the COVID-19 Response (From Poverty to Power)
                          Countries now have a choice about where their response to this crisis will lead — either to less transparency and trust or to more openness and accountability. More than 100 organisations have signed the Call to Action urging governments to choose the more open path.
                        • A Perfect Storm: Domestic violence, economic hardship and COVID-19 in Latin America (Care International)
                          We are faced with a historic responsibility to help shape whether COVID-19 is remembered as a moment in which global solidarity is forged and political will is mobilised in support of a more equal, inclusive, sustainable and just world order where women and girls are central to the response – or whether gender equality (in Latin America) is set back by decades.
                        • Corruption risks in Southern Africa’s response to the coronavirus (Transparency International)
                          Six Southern African chapters from Transparency International and the Botswana Center for Public Integrity are urging the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to accelerate governments’ response to the global pandemic and ensure that additional lives are not lost to corruption.
                        • COVID-19 and mixed population movements: emerging dynamics, risks and opportunities (UNHCR / IOM)
                          In this discussion paper, the UN agencies UNHCR (refugees) and IOM (migrants) take stock of what they are already observing and anticipate developing as the COVID-19 crisis evolves in countries of origin, countries hosting large refugee and migrant populations, countries of transit as well as countries of destination.
                        • Rethinking anti-corruption for COVID-19 (From Poverty to Power)
                          In many countries, corruption and governance constraints will limit the rapid scaling up of responses to COVID-19. This will not only undermine treatment responses but result in cycles of unsustainable lockdowns and massive economic deprivation.
                        • The COVID Crisis Is Reinforcing the Hunger Industrial Complex (MIT Press Reader)
                          In the United States, miles-long lines of motorists waiting for a few sacks of groceries have become seared into the public imagination demonstrating that charity has become the governing metaphor of the pandemic response, replacing justice, which itself has been placed on a ventilator.
                        • World leaders unite in call for a people’s vaccine against COVID-19 (Oxfam)
                          More than 140 world leaders and experts have signed an open letter calling on all governments to unite behind a people’s vaccine against COVID-19. The letter, which marks the most ambitious position yet set out by world leaders on a COVID-19 vaccine, demands that all vaccines, treatments and tests be patent-free, mass-produced, distributed fairly and made available to all people, in all countries, free of charge.

                          

                        ,

                        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.


                        COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #7

                        14th May 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. 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

                            2. Strategic

                          Biodiversity and Climate Change

                          • Record global carbon dioxide concentrations despite COVID-19 crisis (UNEP – UN Environment Programme)
                            Despite local air quality improvements during the COVID-19 crisis, atmospheric CO2 concentration levels continue to rise, and fundamental shifts in global energy production are needed to achieve long-term reductions in CO2 concentration levels.

                            Data and Digital

                            • A guide to a healthy scepticism of artificial intelligence and coronavirus (The Brookings Institution)
                              This article looks into the limits of the effective use of artificial intelligence to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.
                            • COVID Tracing Tracker (MIT Technology Review)
                              Worldwide, there’s a deluge of apps that detect COVID-19 exposure, often with little transparency. The MIT Tracing Tracker project will document them.
                            • Et Big Brother prit le pouvoir! (L’Illustré, Switzerland)
                              Geolocation, generalised surveillance, ubiquitous social control via our smartphones: Is the coronavirus sounding the death knell for individual freedoms and giving rise to a totalitarian world, in Europe and Switzerland as everywhere else in the world?
                            • Opinion: We cannot allow COVID-19 to reinforce the digital gender divide (Devex)
                              Girls, women, and marginalised groups are least likely to have access to technology. This was already a dire disadvantage, and now, as the COVID-19 pandemic has moved so many aspects of daily life online, this lack of connectivity has become even more alarming.

                            Civic Space and Human Rights

                            • We Can Beat the Virus Only By Protecting Human Rights (Human Rights Watch )
                              Some governments are arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic leaves no space for human rights. This article argues the opposite – that respect for human rights during the pandemic will help save lives that would otherwise be lost to the virus.

                            Food security

                            • The link between food (in)security, peace and stability and COVID-19 (The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes)
                              COVID-19 may have started as a public health emergency, but at this stage, the measures taken to contain the crisis have developed into an economic crisis, that has more of an impact on people’s livelihoods than the virus itself.

                            Futures

                            Gender Equality

                              Multilateralism and international cooperation

                              Pandemic Specific Consequences and Responses (economic, health & social impacts)

                                    3. Policy

                                • Closing the COVID-19 response transparency gap (ARTICLE 19)
                                  Blog on ARTICLE 19’s new report on ‘Ensuring the Public’s Right to Know in the COVID-19 Pandemic’ (listed here).
                                • Ensuring the Public’s Right to Know in the COVID-19 Pandemic (ARTICLE 19)
                                  ARTICLE 19’s new report warns the COVID-19 pandemic could have a negative impact on global freedom of information. 90% of the world’s population now lives in a country with a Right to Information law or policy, but this analysis highlights several threats to governments’ obligations on access to information and public health under human rights law.
                                • Joining Forces’ open letter and recommendations to world leaders on the COVID-19 crisis and child rights (WHO)
                                  The Joining Forces group of child rights organisations asks governments to put concrete steps in place to protect children during the COVID-19 crisis, to ensure access to nutritious food, appropriate supervision, healthcare, protection from violence, alternative education at home and reliable information on the crisis to help them cope with its psychological impact.
                                • Strengthening Preparedness for COVID-19 in Cities and Urban Settings (WHO)
                                  This document is to support local authorities, leaders and policy-makers in cities and other urban settlements in identifying effective approaches and implementing recommended actions for COVID-19 in urban settings, to ensure a robust response and eventual recovery. It covers factors unique to cities and urban settings, considerations in urban preparedness, key areas of focus and preparing for future emergencies.

                                    4. Operational

                                • 8 critical lessons leaders need to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis (and one that will surprise you) (Fast Company)
                                  We know that empathy and networking, for example, are important, but it’s how you approach these concepts now that will carry you out of crisis mode.
                                • Doing fieldwork in a pandemic (crowd-sourced document) (Deborah Lupton/Crowd-sourced)
                                  Isolation measures to contain COVID-19 means that social researchers need fieldwork ideas for avoiding in-person interactions by using mediated forms that will achieve similar ends. This crowdsourced document shares ideas for moving face-to-face methods into a more ‘hands-off’ mode, and useful material about ‘born digital’ social research.
                                • From lockdown to locked in, here’s what post-pandemic travel could look like (World Economic Forum)
                                  Gone are the days of short international travel, or long trips visiting multiple countries as it is likely that all countries striving to suppress COVID-19 infections will impose some kind of restrictions on international arrivals. Travellers should expect quarantine, self-isolation, and testing rules to persist.
                                • Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations (McKinsey)
                                  COVID-19 has created an imperative for companies to reconfigure their operations, and an opportunity to transform them. The virus has shown that, when they align around a common purpose, operations teams can achieve goals that would have been considered impossible before the crisis. As they plan their transition to the next normal, companies are looking for ways to maintain this sense of purpose and speed.
                                • Guidelines for field-based staff (Islamic Relief Worldwide)
                                  This guidance seeks to assist our staff in operating safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
                                • Guidelines for fundraisers and volunteers (Islamic Relief Worldwide)
                                  This guidance seeks to assist IR’s fundraising staff and volunteers in operating safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
                                • Position statement for Advocacy (SOS Children’s Villages)
                                  This position statement from SOS Children’s Villages presents the key tasks necessary to ensure that the rights and needs of children without or at risk of losing parental care are prioritised by national, regional and international governments as they adopt measures to mitigate the short and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.
                                • Protection of Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Children and Alternative Care – Immediate Response Measures (Better Care Network, the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and UNICEF)
                                  This technical note aims to support child protection practitioners and government officials in their immediate support for children at risk of separation or in alternative care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
                                • Responding to COVID-19: Guidance for humanitarian agencies (ALNAP)
                                  How should humanitarian organisations prepare and respond to COVID-19 in humanitarian settings in low- and middle-income countries? This Rapid Learning Review outlines 14 actions, insights and ideas for humanitarian actors to consider in their COVID-19 responses. It summarises and synthesises the best available knowledge and guidance for developing a health response to COVID-19 in low- and middle-income settings as at April 2020.
                                ,

                                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.


                                COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #6

                                7th May 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. 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

                                    2. Strategic

                                  Biodiversity and Climate Change

                                  • Podcast: Sorry, Nature Isn’t Returning (Foreign Policy )
                                    This podcast explores the way in which nature has been given a break during the pandemic, but concludes that this is only a short term consequence and will not have lasting positive effects on nature.

                                    Data and Digital

                                    Food security

                                    • Building the future of food during the crisis (Forum for the Future)
                                      COVID-19 has exposed the strengths, fragilities and weaknesses in our food system, which was primarily focused on maximising output, driving profit, convenience and choice. How are those operating in the food system starting to respond to this immense challenge? Three different ways of thinking about this future are emerging: managerial, entrepreneurial and visionary.
                                    • Locusts, floods and COVID-19: a potentially deadly combination for malnourished children across the Horn of Africa (Reliefweb)
                                      The return of swarms of desert locusts – with more expected to hatch in May – coupled with the impact of COVID-19 and a return of flood season will devastate the chances of survival for malnourished children in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

                                    Futures

                                    Gender Equality

                                    Global China

                                      Multilateralism and international cooperation

                                      • COVID-19: Multilateralism Matters (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)
                                        This article looks at the challenges that multilateralism faces in the time of COVID-19, but also at the opportunities and efforts already being made to strengthen multilateralism.
                                      • Expertise, Coronavirus, and the New Normal (Council on Foreign Relations)
                                        North-South divide in the time of coronavirus may be a preview of what will emerge on another side of the pandemic. This article argues for a more decolonised approach to global health during COVID-19.
                                      • The Hurdles to Developing a COVID-19 Vaccine: Why International Cooperation Is Needed (Chatham House)
                                        The article explores the challenges of creating a COVID-19 vaccine and how global cooperation and leadership is necessary to save the most vulnerable in the world.

                                      Narratives

                                      • COVID19 Message Testing Analysis (Development Engagement Lab, University College London)
                                        The Development Engagement Lab (Aid Attitudes Tracker phase II) has been thinking about development communications in COVID-19 times, testing messages with the UK public on a range of questions to understand support for international cooperation, using UK aid to invest in developing countries’ health systems, and how poverty interacts with the disease. The results shed some light on how we might best communicate our work in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
                                      • No crystal ball needed – evaluating the COVID-19 response (Humanitarian Exchange and Research Centre)
                                        Judgement without parole: The humanitarian sector has demonstrated it is incapable of reforming itself. Ed Schenkenberg analyses: The issue, not new but underlined again by the COVID-19 response, that stands in the way of real progress, is the role of the individual agency in relation to the collective response.
                                      • What narrative and behavioural sciences tell us about how to campaign during coronavirus (MobLab)
                                        What we can learn from Mindworks’ behavioural science approach to understanding action around coronavirus response.

                                      Pandemic Specific Consequences and Responses (economic, health & social impacts)

                                      • COVID-19 could stall Africa’s integration agenda (Institute for Security Studies)
                                        Freedom of movement within Africa is one of the African Union’s main goals. This goal is hindered by the outbreak of COVID-19 which could have lasting negative effects on whether this goal will be attainable even after the pandemic.
                                      • No crystal ball needed – evaluating the COVID-19 response (HERE-Geneva)
                                        Sooner or later, governments, UN organisations, NGOs, and others will undertake after-action reviews and evaluations of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many of the the lessons of COVID-19 evaluations can be understood right now.
                                      • Podcast: COVID-19 in fragile states: fighting conflict in the midst of a pandemic (International Institute for Strategic Studies)
                                        This podcast explains Africa’s vulnerability and challenges for peacekeeping due to ongoing conflicts and fragile states.
                                      • How to Make Sense of Uncertainty in a Coronavirus World (Singularity Hub)
                                        Countries are pursuing five major public health strategies to control virus transmission: antibody tests, distancing, prevention, treatment and viral testing. These strategies arise from things we can control based on the things that we know at any given moment. But what about the things we can’t control and don’t yet know?
                                      • Impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the African Economy (African Union)
                                        This report by the African Union uses a method of scenarios in order to explore the potential impact of the pandemic on various dimensions of African economies. It focuses on the possible socio-economic repercussions in order to propose policy recommendations to respond to the crisis.

                                      Populism and Authoritarianism

                                            3. Policy

                                        • Community leadership is key to halting COVID-19: Social Solidarity while Physical Distancing (The Movement for Community-Led Development)
                                          This website outlines a deep dive in the critical community-led strategies to defeat this unparalleled pandemic. MCLD intends these points and references to support collective advocacy and action.
                                        • COVID-19 and true solidarity on the internet (Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society)
                                          Digital technologies have reduced the effort required for solidarity-based action. Using hashtags, issuing personal calls to action via private social media profiles, offering neighbourhood help and undertaking organisational activities with increased responsibility to express solidarity. The relationship between individuality and collectivity has changed due to a structural transformation. Nowadays, the constitution of individuality no longer takes place in the private sphere but on the basis of social networks.
                                        • Take Robust Actions to Manage COVID-19 Crisis in South Asia: Joint Statement of South Asia CSOs (Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism: South and South-West Asia Working Group)
                                          In order to address the issues and challenges regarding the COVID-19 crisis, multiple CSOs of South Asia have jointly released this statement to draw the attention of Governments of South Asia, international communities and to affirm COVID-19 response and recovery actions as inclusive, participatory, accountable and rights-based.

                                            4. Operational

                                        • Mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19 (C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group)
                                          This article sets out approaches that city governments are taking to monitor and mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, with five priority issues: cash flow support and guidance for affected SMEs and marginalised groups; monitoring local economic impacts; working with local industries, trade unions and NGOs; and supporting job opportunities, particularly for green jobs.
                                        • The $90Bn Question: Can we reach 700 million people in response to COVID-19? (The Cash Learning Partnership)
                                          Digital cash delivery may be more efficient but might be excluding the most vulnerable people and widening existing digital divides: In low-income countries, the offline population remains disproportionately poor, rural, elderly, and female. Only consolidated beneficiary information aligned to cross-sector and multi-organisational collaboration will be critical to delivering at scale.
                                        • Three Things Nonprofits Should Prioritize in the Wake of COVID-19 (Stanford Social Innovation Review)
                                          Why organizations need to examine their social impact, economic viability, and capacity to deliver in order to remain relevant and viable both now and into the future.
                                        ,

                                        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.


                                        COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #5

                                        30th 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. 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

                                        • The impact of COVID-19 on global poverty: Why Sub-Saharan Africa might be the region hardest hit (World Bank)
                                          COVID-19 is taking its toll on the world, causing deaths, illnesses and economic despair. But how is the deadly virus impacting global poverty? Here we’ll argue that it is pushing about 40-60 million people into extreme poverty, with our best estimate being 49 million.
                                        • COVID-19 response hub (Witness)
                                          Civic media depicting the grassroots realities of COVID-19 is vital. This resource hub supports vulnerable communities worldwide using video and technology to expose the unseen impacts of the pandemic, as well as counter lies, mobilise action, and preserve vital evidence that will help advocate for justice in future. It supports a broad-based community, including frontline healthcare workers, community leaders and social justice activists.
                                        • Creative Public-Private Collaborations in Taiwan and South Korea Bolster the Fight Against Coronavirus (Stanford Social Innovation Review)
                                          Cooperation between the public and private sectors in Taiwan and South Korea are enabling prompt response to the challenge of distributing important health products during the COVID-19 crisis.
                                        • Global Humanitarian Response Plan COVID-19 (UN OCHA)
                                          This COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan aims to fight the virus in the world’s poorest countries, and address the needs of the most vulnerable people, especially women and children, older people, and those with disabilities or chronic illness. Coordinated by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, it brings together appeals from the WHO and other UN humanitarian agencies.
                                        • In the Northern Triangle, rising food insecurity tests NGO adaptability (Devex)
                                          A heightened risk of food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has mobilised NGOs in the region — even those that don’t typically engage in humanitarian response — to ensure that people in both rural and urban areas will have access to food.
                                        • Multidimensional Poverty and COVID-19 Risk Factors: A Rapid Overview of Interlinked Deprivations across 5.7 Billion People (Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative)
                                          How can poverty data help with the crisis? This briefing uses the 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to identify where people are lacking in up to 3 key poverty indicators that provide timely and relevant information for the COVID-19 response.
                                        • Remote technologies find a role in COVID-19 response (Devex)
                                          On technologies (drones, video conferencing, mobile apps, etc.) in use to deliver services remotely in various countries to overcome the confinement.
                                        • Report: The Impact of COVID-19 Across Africa (Geopoll)
                                          This study examines the perceptions and impact of COVID-19, with data collected from more than 4,500 Africans across 12 nations. Results show high levels of fear surrounding the virus its effects on economic stability and food security: 72 % are very concerned about the virus, and 80 % worried about having enough to eat in the past week.
                                        • Social movements in and beyond the COVID-19 crisis (Oxfam From Poverty to Power)
                                          Summary of readings by/on social movements and how they are dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic, amplifying the voices of activists and people organising communities through the crisis.
                                        • The AfCFTA gets locked down for the year (Institute for Security Studies)
                                          The African Continental Free Trade Agreement was supposed to be implemented on 1 July 2020 which would have had positive impacts on Africa’s economic growth and cooperation. This date has been postponed, but the article argues that this could be used as an opportunity for Africa to become independent by using its regional value chains.
                                        • Voices from the Field: How NGOs Are Responding to COVID-19 (TechSoup NGO Source)
                                          This blog highlights some organisations taking extraordinary measures to act within the constraints of the pandemic and use this opportunity to make lasting change.
                                        • Voices from the Ground: Stories of Community Resilience & Entrepreneurship in the Pandemic (Oxfam From Poverty to Power)
                                          Stories of how local communities are coping with and responding to the global crisis on four key issues: production of face masks, awareness-raising, protection of the most vulnerable, and food systems.
                                        • Podcast: Women Leaders are Flattening the Curve (Foreign Policy )
                                          This podcast explores how the response to COVID-19 of countries such as New Zealand and others have been better than others. The countries who have responded better in relative terms all have one thing in common: female leaders.

                                            2. Strategic

                                          Climate Change and Biodiversity

                                          • The Effect of Coronavirus on Pollution in the UK (The Eco Experts)
                                            The analysis looks at how much COVID-19 social distancing measures for 12 weeks (from Boris Johnson’s 19th March announcement) will reduce emissions in 5 main areas: public transport, road vehicles, air travel, energy usage, London pollution.

                                          Civic Space and Human Rights

                                          Data and Digital

                                          • Artificial Intelligence against COVID-19: An Early Review (IZA Institute of Labor Economics)
                                            This article provides an early, and necessarily selective review, discussing the contribution of AI to the fight against COVID-19, as well as the current constraints on these contributions.
                                          • As content moderators go home, the content could go down (Witness)
                                            The sudden shift to broaden algorithmic content moderation during COVID-19 has significant potential human rights implications: from hate speech staying on platforms in vulnerable societies, to the removal of critical war crimes evidence at scale from YouTube.
                                          • COVID-19: arming Africa with debt, aid and open digital delivery partnership (The Africa Report)
                                            Africa has led the world in leapfrogging through mobile and Fintech. As a result, we can now spread accurate health messages, collect data on symptoms from citizens, trace outbreaks, track financial flows through open budgets and contracts, map geospatial data with ground-truthed data collected by local ‘factivists’ and all this information can be analysed by collaborations of data scientists and AI to help predict, prevent and invest.

                                          Food security

                                          Futures

                                          • How Will Covid-19 Affect the Role of NGOs? (Dianova)
                                            Lidiya Grigoreva, from the Office of the UN Director-General in Geneva, reflects on how the future of NGOs could look like after the pandemic.
                                          • A better society can emerge from the lockdowns (Financial Times)
                                            Amartya Sen on how history shows some crises lead to improved equality and access to food and healthcare.
                                          • After the Immediate Coronavirus Crisis: 3 Scenarios for Global Development (Global Policy)
                                            Three scenarios for how the world might look after the immediate COVID-19 crisis has passed: (i) an ugly scenario of a global meltdown, (ii) a bad scenario of a return to the pre-COVID-19 state of climate breakdown and considerable inequality, and (iii) a good scenario of a transition towards global sustainable development (a considerable challenge).
                                          • Click Here: New Normals During and After COVID-19 (Stanford Social Innovation Review)
                                            Links from SSIR’s editors to interesting news, essays, tweets, research, videos, podcasts, and more.
                                          • Coronavirus is accelerating eight challenging megatrends (Sydney Morning Herald/The Telegraph)
                                            The forces that will shape all our futures – the global tensions, the economic policies, the political ideas, the new technologies – are being sped up. We are about to experience the next 20 years in 12 months, and we need to get ready for it.
                                          • COVID-19 as a Critical Juncture and the Implications for Advocacy (Global Policy)
                                            Duncan Green’s essay on the possible longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on political, economic and social systems, the potential impact on the aid sector, and the implications for progressive advocacy, whether by CSOs or others, in defending past gains, building on new opportunities or heading off new threats.
                                          • Not back to normal (Elephant in the Lab)
                                            The bureaucrats lost control. When leaders take away uncertainty, many people feel comforted. More pessimistic and sceptic people may develop dystopian ideas, and conspiracy theories find a fertile ground to flourish. Optimistic and naïve people dream of the COVID-19 crisis supporting a revolution towards a better and more sustainable world. But uncertainty is a fundamental characteristic of complex systems, and a crisis confronts us with many alternative scenarios for the future. Plan for the unplannable.
                                          • Podcast: At a Distance (The Slowdown)
                                            A new documentary podcast series on the bigger picture and the interconnectedness of things, calling leading minds to get a whole-earth long-view perspective. Includes: the power of long-term thinking, finding a ‘whole society’ consensus, COVID-19’s impact and the climate crisis, and many more fascinating topics.
                                          • This is the best time to plan for urban Africa’s next health emergency (Quartz Africa)
                                            COVID-19 should trigger an extraordinary convening of coordinated emergency foresight teams across sectors and geographical boundaries to develop and effect strategies and action plans for a long-term change to reduce vulnerability to, and the risk of future emergencies.

                                          Gender Equality

                                          Global China

                                          • China, the coronavirus, and the liberal international order (Open Global Rights)
                                            China’s apparent success in tackling COVID-19 will bolster its authoritarian political system—and its restrictive approach to human rights.
                                          • Coronavirus: Will China come out on top? (BBC World Service) Podcast
                                            This podcasts brings together different experts and explores and debates China’s global future with regards to economics and security. China was hit first and will probably emerge out of the crisis first, however it still faces various economic, demographic and global challenges.

                                          Leave No One Behind – Inclusion

                                          • COVID-19 and Conflict: Seven Trends to Watch (Africa Portal)
                                            The global outbreak has the potential to wreak havoc in fragile states, trigger widespread unrest and severely test international crisis management systems. Its implications are especially serious for those caught in the midst of conflict if the disease disrupts humanitarian aid flows, limits peace operations and postpones diplomacy efforts at diplomacy.
                                          • Inclusive, empathetic communication will be a game changer in the Covid-19 emergency (Masimanyane Women’s Rights International)
                                            A South African perspective which argues that the language used around the COVID-19 pandemic can have an exclusionary effect on those living in poverty, migrants and the most vulnerable in the community.
                                          • Redefining vulnerability in the Era of COVID-19 (Lancet)
                                            Article focusses on vulnerable people who carry more of a risk regarding COVID-19. It argues that people who are not necessarily deemed vulnerable at the outset of the pandemic could become so as a result of policy responses.

                                            Multilateralism and international cooperation

                                            Narratives

                                            • The coming battle for the COVID-19 narrative (Vox)
                                              COVID-19 (along with climate change) will alter how we think about the economy and public policy, but also the ways in which people talk about their livelihoods and futures. It will likely prompt a leftward shift on the government-versus-markets axis. But more important, it may draw on social values going beyond compliance and material gain to include ethical motivations of solidarity and duty that underpin community.

                                            Pandemic Specific Consequences and Responses (economic, health & social impacts)

                                            Populism and Authoritarianism

                                                  3. Policy

                                              • Policy brief: Environmental health and strengthening resilience to pandemics (OECD)
                                                COVID-19 highlights the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to human health. Enhancing environmental health through better air quality, water and sanitation, waste management, along with efforts to safeguard biodiversity, will reduce the vulnerability of communities to pandemics and thus improve overall societal well-being and resilience.
                                              • Statement on the COVID-19 response from civil society members of OGP Steering Committee (Open Government Partnership)
                                                The civil society members of OGP’s Steering Committee has released this statement on COVID-19 and its risks to open government. Focused on the need to sustain democratic values, the statement is a call to action to governments, donors and international organisations.
                                              • The time to act is now (Africa Is a Country)
                                                A letter from more than 90 African intellectuals to African leaders about the continent’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

                                                  4. Operational

                                              • The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Learning Pathway – Open Access (Humanitarian Leadership Academy)
                                                The COVID-19 Learning Pathway aims to enable humanitarians, including local responders, to be best equipped to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic. More than 5,000 learners have already signed up.
                                              • Urban Considerations for World Vision’s COVID-19 Response (World Vision)
                                                What puts cities at higher risk of COVID-19 transmission? Poverty and marginalisation of specific groups and spaces creating hotspots of the pandemic in urban areas. This document serves to provide specific recommendations to the four strategic objectives of WV’s global response to COVID-19 in urban contexts, and considers needs beyond prevention and response.
                                              ,

                                              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.


                                              ICSOs and Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation

                                              7th February 2020 by Sanjee Singh

                                              Sanjee Singh, Director for International Housing Programs at Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), explains why the theme of this year’s tenth World Urban Forum (WUF), ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation’ is highly relevant to the work of international civil society organisations (ICSOs). She shares key lessons from HFHI’s significant experience in designing and delivering innovative urban programming promoting inclusion and cultural diversity. 

                                              This is our second perspective from a leading international CSO highlighting working in urban contexts around the world, sharing thoughts on why this is a significant driver for innovation in our sector accompanying our first guest blog from World Vision. Sanjee will also be presenting at our networking event at the World Urban Forum on Monday 10 February. 

                                               
                                              Be part of our Innovation Report 2020 on ‘Civil Society Innovation and Urban Inclusion’

                                               

                                              Driving Sustainable Urbanisation through Innovation & Culture 

                                              International civil society organisations have an important role to play in the sustainable development of cities and urban environments. As we move towards 2030, implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda requires prioritisation and collaboration between communities, governments, and private and development sector actors. 

                                              Achieving these global ambitions requires special collaborative efforts, sharing best practices and knowledge, targeting resources and linking marginalised communities with public and private sector opportunities. This year’s 10th World Urban Forum is about ´Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation´. It offers ICSOs a place to share their programming lessons and experiences and to tie some of these threads together.  

                                               

                                              Partnerships & Initiatives Supporting Culture & Innovation in Cities 

                                              Cities are centres for innovation, employment, creativity, and social and economic development. They are complex environments that are constantly changing. Navigating this complexity and addressing challenges around affordable housing, informality and inequality requires innovative solutions and collaboration between multiple partners and sectors.  

                                              Habitat for Humanity`s work as an international housing CSO centres around everyone’s need for a home, and recognises that adequate and affordable is critical to building better cities. We take a people-centered, partnership-driven and ecosystem-wide approach to tackle the affordable housing challenge in cities.  

                                              Habitat’s Global Urban Approach advocates for comprehensive programing that tackles the housing challenge from an innovative perspective, based on a deeper understanding of the entire housing ecosystem and the cultural and contextual needs of marginalised communities 

                                               The core objectives of our approach include: 

                                              • Designing and implementing more inclusive urban housing programs that contribute toward improvements in the living conditions for marginalised communities, and systemic market and policy enhancements across the entire housing ecosystem, implemented through people-public-private-partnerships. 
                                              • Creating unique urban hubs, networks, coalitions and platforms that bring together urban practitioners, researchers and policymakers, to create a common vision for development and addressing urban challenges through innovative solutions.  
                                              • Demonstrating the transformational impact of housing, its linkages to other sectors and contribution to broader urban development. 

                                               

                                              Lessons from designing comprehensive innovative urban programs for inclusion and cultural diversity 

                                              As cities grow, so too does the need for affordable housing, basic services, social services, infrastructure, etc. However, cities and local governments are struggling to meet the demand caused by rapid urbanisation, which is resulting in growing informality and inequality. Limits to access and affordability mean that marginalised communities struggle to gain access to networked infrastructures, social services and affordable housing. This is pushing them to the insecure edges of urban areas, such as informal settlements, making it even more difficult for them to vulnerable to be able to and difficult to cope with the impacts of climate change, natural disasters and conflict. 

                                              Our urban programming over the last decade has taught us something important: designing comprehensive urban programs to improve scale, quality and impact require: 

                                              • Partnerships: People-public-private-partnerships that drive urban programming around a common development vision are essential and create space for greater inclusion. These partnerships are critical for supporting assessments, program design and implementation. 
                                              • Systematic assessments: Effective urban programming requires the use of culturallyrelevant evidence-based solutions that fit the local environment and context 
                                              • Co-design and co-implementation of urban programs: The results of these systematic assessments should serve as a guide for designing and implementing programs. This design requires innovation to address the specific constraints, gaps and opportunities identified to address the urban needs and priorities of marginalised communities 
                                              • Effective entry points: These depend on community priorities, available resources and capacity. They may include: basic services, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), community infrastructure or development, housing construction or repairs, increasing security of tenure, advocacy, policy recommendations or capacity building, disaster risk reduction; or increasing accesses to housing finance, products and services. 
                                              • Timing: A minimum of five years is needed in a targeted area to achieve impact and build the partnerships necessary to ensure sustainability 
                                              • Monitoring, evaluation, accountability, learning (MEAL) and knowledge management: Promoting good MEAL practices throughout the project’s life cycle and documenting lessons, best practices and results is vital to promote transparency between stakeholders and foster a culture of accountability and evidence to guide actions. 

                                                 

                                                The complexity of the urban challenge requires innovative, cultural and contextually relevant solutions implemented through matrixed partnerships. Implementing comprehensive urban programs contributes toward improving the quality of life of marginalised communities, systemic market and policy enhancements and the sustainability of urban areas.  

                                                HFHI is partnering with the International Civil Society Centre, World Vision and Slum Dwellers International on ‘Civil Society Innovation and Urban Inclusion’ to create more spaces for our sector to develop a common learning agenda to inspire and inform continuous improvement and innovation. By doing so, we believe that ICSOs will be better placed to strengthen their impact and influence in connecting culture and innovation to make cities places of opportunity for everyone. 

                                                ,

                                                Sanjee Singh

                                                Director for International Housing Programs

                                                Habitat for Humanity International

                                                Sanjee Singh is the Director for International Housing Programs at Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), based out of Atlanta, USA. Sanjee is a solution-driven strategic thinker and natural collaborator with more than 20 years’ experience in international development. She is skilled at building strategies, policies and programs to drive enhancements and systemic change leading to greater impact and outcomes. Sanjee is part of the Global Programs Design and Implementation Team at Habitat for Humanity International, focusing on the development of the organization’s Global Urban Approach and supporting the design implementation of comprehensive programs across Habitat’s federation. Sanjee has Bachelor of Science in Town and Regional Planning and a Master’s Degree in Public Development and Management from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is passionate about contributing towards sustainable development, gender equity and building processes and partnerships that improve outputs, outcomes and impact of teams, projects and programs.