Understanding megatrends’ impact on civil society’s work – Oxfam GB

30th April 2020 by Thomas Howie

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Mini Series: Exploring the Interconnectedness of Global Trends Mini-series – Episode 2

Irene Guijt and Filippo Artuso, Research and Publishing Team Oxfam GB, share insights and discuss their findings of a yearlong mapping of global megatrends

Producer: Julia Pazos

Global Megatrends: Mapping the forces that affect us all: oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/bitstrea…d=yOxfam From Poverty to Power blog: Will the real megatrend please stand up? Insights from a scan of scans: oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/will-the-rea…-a-scan-of-scans/
Scanning the Horizon – icscentre.org/our-work/scanning-the-horizon/

,

Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre

COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #4

23rd April 2020 by Thomas Howie

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

Click here to view all available pages.

Click here for our latest events news.

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

The sections are:

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

Strategic: 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

  • Cities and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Portal (C40 Knowledge Hub)
    C40 staff and cities have identified a range of compelling resources relevant to cities’ efforts to understand and combat the virus’ spread and impact. This collection will be updated as new resources are identified.
  • COVID-19 brings a wave of cyberattacks against NGOs (Devex)
    Aid groups say they are coming under an increased number of cyberattacks as they try to work through the disruption of COVID-19.
  • Curfews are a safer plan than total lockdowns to slow COVID-19’s spread in informal economies (Quartz Africa)
    W. Gyude Moore, former Liberia public works minister and visiting fellow Center for Global Development, on the difficult challenge of adapting social distancing measures and public health measures to informal economies which lack a comprehensive safety net to support those shut in.
  • France Says Apple Bluetooth Policy Is Blocking Virus Tracker (Bloomberg News)
    The article sheds light on a conflict line between states demanding changes to the operating system of mobile phones so as to “develop a sovereign … solution”. Apple, on the other hand, claims that the current configuration of its operating system is designed to protect the users’ privacy.
  • COVID-19 Africa Watch (Milken Institute)
    A hub for information, analysis, and the global response to COVID-19’s impact on Africa.
  • Key sources on COVID-19 impacts on Food and Nutrition Security (Food & Business Knowledge Platform)
    The short- and long term-consequences of COVID-19 on food systems globally are becoming increasingly visible. This is an overview of key resources related to the COVID-19 impacts on Food and Nutrition Security, which is being continuously updated with research and information.
  • Source overview: COVID-19 and older people (HelpAge)
    Studies confirm the high risks for older people from coronavirus. A health crisis can isolate older people and the risk of this happening is far higher in countries with less developed health systems where access to medical services and other forms of care and support can be challenging.
  • What are the responses to the COVID-19 crisis in West Africa? (WATHI)
    Portal aggregating pieces on the response in West Africa in particular, in English and French. Many by outside organisations and a mix of African and non-African authors.
  • What we’re reading on conflict & governance (Heather Marquette, University of Birmingham)
    Resources round-up on COVID-19 and governance.
  • Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance (Tomas Pueyo)
    This piece arguees that strong coronavirus measures today should only last a few weeks, that there shouldn’t be a big peak of infections afterwards, and it can all be done for a reasonable cost to society, saving millions of lives along the way. If we don’t take these measures, tens of millions will be infected, many will die, along with anybody else that requires intensive care, because the healthcare system will have collapsed.

    2. Strategic

    Biodiversity and Climate Change

    Cities and Urbanisation

    • Responding to COVID-19 in global south cities (C40 Knowledge Hub)
      This article provides solutions to some of the biggest COVID-19 response challenges raised specifically by mayors of global south cities in the C40 network, based on measures already being implemented by cities worldwide. It draws experiences and approaches mostly from cities across Africa, South Asia and Latin America.

    Civic Space and Human Rights

    Data and Digital

    • COVID-19, Disruption Of Education And The Digital Divide (Development Works Changemakers)
      How COVID-19 has disrupted education and the digital divide – the extent of disruption, impact on nutrition, demands on parents, technology to the rescue, the digital divide’s implications for becoming part of the learning society, and opportunities for learning during a lockdown.
    • How Access to Technology and Other Strategies Can Keep Education Afloat in the Time of COVID-19 (Development Works Changemakers)
      What is required to enable school learners and students to derive the best possible benefit from technology? This is a snapshot of approaches followed by schools, teachers, parents and learners during the lockdown period. Collaborative multi-dimensional effort and the role of education ministers are key.
    • “The Emergency and the World of Tomorrow” (El Pais) Article in Spanish
      In this article, the philosopher Byung-Chul Han discusses confuzianism, big data, and souvereignty, as well as the immediate and long-term effects of the ongoing pandemic on Europe and Asia.

    Futures

    Gender Equality

    • Women at the core of the fight against COVID-19 crisis (OECD)
      Making up 70% of the health care workforce, women are exposed to a greater risk of infection and shouldering most responsibilities at home. Quarantine and states of emergency increase the risk of job and income loss, violence, exploitation and abuse or harassment. Policy responses must have a gender lens and account for women’s unique needs, responsibilities and perspectives.

    Leave No One Behind / Inclusion

    Livelihoods

    Multilateralism and international cooperation

    • Global response to COVID-19 in Africa must protect lives, livelihoods, and freedoms (OECD/African barometer)
      Overview of Africa’s levels of readiness for COVID-19, and the likely politics of the response. Limiting the effects of the pandemic on Africa and saving lives requires an urgent global response, but the international community must also provide support in ways that strengthen, rather than undermine, Africans’ freedoms.

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

    • COVID-19: Protecting people and societies (OECD)
      COVID-19 is affecting social relations, trust in other people and in institutions, personal security and sense of belonging. This OECD policy brief looks at the broad range of effects that COVID-19 will have on different aspects of people’s well-being, with a focus on specific population groups such as children, women and the elderly.
    • Coronavirus: Responsibility and Fragility Revue (Médicale Suisse) – Article in French
      The coronavirus won’t be the Big One. But the risk is there that humanity will one day face a highly lethal pandemic. In that case the only way to survive is openness, knowledge sharing, organizational intelligence, and the willingness to anticipate and prevent. It is therefore about culture, solidarity, and civilisation says the Swiss medic and journalist Bertrand Kiefer (Article in French).
    • Five key steps for a health systems response to COVID-19 in Africa (Options)
      Countries with particularly fragile health systems can take five steps to overcome the challenge of responding to the pandemic and continuing to provide vital services. Memories of rapidly learning from scratch how to cope with the Ebola outbreak are still fresh in West African countries.
    • ‘Millions hang by a thread’: extreme global hunger compounded by COVID-19 (The Guardian)
      Coronavirus ‘potentially catastrophic’ for nations already suffering food insecurity caused by famine, migration and unemployment.
    • Mitigating COVID-19’s impact on Africa’s food systems (Nutrition Connect)
      Latest in a blog series on opportunities for building back better food systems and nutrition. African Development Bank economists, Martin Fregene and Atsuko Toda, remind us that the pre-existing crises in Africa of locusts, droughts and foreign exchange losses, now with COVID-19, looks to be converging on an imminent food crisis on the African continent.
    • Using Graphics to Cut Through COVID’s Complexity (Oxfam: From Poverty to Power)
      Helpful picture-‘explainers’ to help frame thinking on COVID-19, communicate the complex problems we’re all facing and how to use social science and political research to tackle these.

    Vulnerable populations

    • COVID-19 & Migration: Resources page (SDC Network on Migration and Development)
      The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on migrants and displaced populations wears many faces. This page summarises resources on this particular theme.
    • Will COVID-19 Harm or Help Displaced Populations? (Political Violence at a Glance)
      The COVID-19 pandemic poses myriad threats to vulnerable populations, including the more than 70 million migrants and refugees forcibly displaced from their homes globally. However, there are also reasons to anticipate some positive side effects for our collective treatment and management of migrant and refugee populations.

          3. Policy

      • Accelerating Tech for Inclusion in a Time of Crisis (The German Marshall Fund of the United States)
        Digital technology has gained traction in the global fight against the virus and has helped millions cope with isolation. As the crisis has also exposed gaps in access to technology, the article advocates for an acceleration of tech development and policies for inclusion and against a digital divide in western societies.
      • Coronavirus: Impacts on freedom of expression (ARTICLE 19)
        Website monitoring and reporting on the impacts of COVID-19 and government overreach on Freedom of Expression. Includes a new briefing on tackling misinformation.
      • A statement from civil society and academia on the situation of international migrant workers from India during COVID-19 Pandemic (ActionAid India & many more)
        As the origin country of one of the largest migrant populations in the world, India has many reasons to worry. Temporary labour migrants from the country are increasingly vulnerable due to the loss of employment, lack of access to healthcare and other basic services – especially in GCC countries where almost 50 % of Indian migrants are located. Indian academic and civil society organisations are endorsing this list of immediate and long-term solutions. Please contact us if interested in adding your name.

          4. Operational

      • Care International Gender and COVID19 Programme Guidance (Care International)
        This one-pager is helping CARE countries prioritise, adapt and maintain gender programming and organisational work during the COVID-19 pandemic, with priorities identified by a Global Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA).
      • Care International Gender-Based Violence and COVID19 Guidance Note (Care International)
        Movement restrictions and other COVID-19 safety precautions have increased risks of domestic violence and intimate partner violence. The need for specialised gender-based violence (GBV) services and risk mitigation across programming is increasingly important. This guidance is helping CARE staff adapt existing GBV prevention, response and risk mitigation programming, internal and external messaging.
      • Identifying & Mitigating Gender-based Violence Risks within the COVID-19 Response (Global Protection Cluster/Inter-Agency Standing Committee)
        An initial summary of potential gender-based violence (GBV) risk mitigation actions, based on established good practise, that are starting points to address GBV risks in this unprecedented situation.
      • Tough Times Call For Tough Action: A Decision Framework For Nonprofit Leaders & Boards (SeaChange)
        SeaChange has a decade of experience working with nonprofits with respect to risk management, lending, financial analysis, mergers/collaborations, and restructuring/dissolution. This briefing note summarises their advice to organisations grappling with COVID-19 and the best practices they are seeing in the field.
      ,

      Communications Manager

      International Civil Society Centre

      Solidarity Playbook: Discover and Learn from our Pilot Case Studies

      22nd April 2020 by Eva Gondorová

      Solidarity and collaboration are among strongest tools we have to push back against clampdowns on civil society. These pilot case studies – initiated by the Solidarity Action Network (SANE) – showcase best practices, challenges, and lessons learned from organisational resilience mechanisms and coalition responses to scrutiny and attacks. They show positive outcomes and new practices developed by civil society organisations and coalitions.

      There is clearly a need to move from reactive mode – responding to clampdowns – to a more formal prepared footing. Our strength will be in building on these case studies and ensuring that there are stronger organisational and sectoral responses as a whole.

      Click on the pictures for a case study summary or find each complete case study to download below.

      Case Studies on Coalition Responses

      Case Studies on Organisational Resilience Mechanisms

       

      Background to our Pilot Solidarity Playbook Case Studies

      Written by Sarah Pugh and Deborah Doane, these case studies first appeared in an in-house study called “Solidarity in Times of Scrutiny” presented at the International Civic Forum in Addis Ababa in October 2019.

      We sincerely thank our case study partners for making their learnings available to a larger readership.

      The presented case studies reflect the status of when they were written in October 2019. Naturally, the political situation as well as the organisations’ and coalitions’ learnings have since evolved and are constantly evolving.

      Click on the buttons to read a complete case study.

      ActionAid case study

      Civilisation case study

      Spaces for Change case study

      Vuka! case study

      Greenpeace case study

      Islamic Relief case study

       

      Eva Gondorová

      Project Manager

      International Civil Society Centre

      Eva coordinates the project Solidarity Action Network (SANE) which aims at strengthening resilience of and solidarity among civil society actors.

      Civilizáció (Civilisation): Coalition-building to fight back against government attacks on civil society in Hungary

      22nd April 2020 by Eva Gondorová

      The Civilisation, a cross-sector coalition of Hungarian CSOs, came together to defend against government attacks on civil society.

      Read the summary and find the full case study at the bottom of the page.

      About the coalition

      What launched the coalition?Democratic backsliding, smear campaigns, and legislative reform concerning funding and registration of CSOs.
      Who are the members?Approximately 30 national CSOs form the inner circle of the network; they range across different sectors.
      How does it work?A part-time coordinator supports the work; regular in-person meetings occur; there are protocols on decision-making; email lists and info-sharing.

      Coalition action

      OutcomesMembers are now more resilient and better prepared for future threats; solidarity has been strengthend via the first cross-sector network in Hungary; they have conducted engagement with rural CSOs to try and undo the ‘chill factor’ of the government’s attacks.
      ChallengesThe coalition was established in reaction to restrictions, and worked well in resistance; but how do you maintain collaboration in ‘standby’ mode?
      Lessons learnedHow to cooperate, acknowledge different attitudes, approaches, appetites and agendas, and work with the diversity in a cross-sector coalition, as opposed to against it.

      Get the case study

      Background to our Pilot Solidarity Playbook Case Studies

      This case study is one of six that reviews best practices, challenges, and lessons learned for both ICSO internal mechanisms and coalition responses to scrutiny and attacks. They show positive outcomes and new practices that were initially triggered by an undue threat or attack.

      Written by Sarah Pugh and Deborah Doane, these case studies first appeared in an in-house study called “Solidarity in Times of Scrutiny” presented at the International Civic Forum in Addis Ababa in October 2019.

      Thanks go to our case study partners for making their learnings available to a larger readership.

      The presented case studies reflect the status of when they were first written up in October 2019. Naturally, the political situation as well as the organisations’ and coalitions’ learnings have since evolved and are constantly evolving.

       

      Eva Gondorová

      Project Manager

      International Civil Society Centre

      Eva coordinates the project Solidarity Action Network (SANE) which aims at strengthening resilience of and solidarity among civil society actors.

      Spaces for Change: From informal networks and collaboration to the Action Group for Free Civic Space in Nigeria

      22nd April 2020 by Eva Gondorová

      The Action Group on Free Civic Space in Nigeria works to co-create a unified sector position and voice to defend civic space against security-induced restrictions.

      Read the summary and find the full case study at the bottom of the page.

      About the coalition

      What launched the coalition?Successive proposed Bills focused on restricting internet freedoms, NGO operations, terrorism financing and anti-money laundering measures.
      Who are the members?A cross-sector and cross-regional movement of 61 national organisations and ICSO country offices.
      How does it work?This started as an informal, loose network, but has now crystallised into a formal group with a coordinating team, regular meetings and online communications.

      Coalition action

      OutcomesThe coalition built solidarity to ensure that government regulations (framed around national security, anti-money laundering (AML) and countering terrorism financing (CFT)) do not shrink civic space. Within a short time, the coalition grew in strength in numbers, shared expertise and research and built capacity amongst individual activists/bloggers, and created good working relationships with national and international AML/CFT regulators.
      ChallengesCreating a sense of common ownership for a sector-wide response; balancing inclusion with other considerations e.g. expertise.
      Lessons learnedIt is vital to create a sense of ownership and buy-in, by driving coordination with a ‘back-end’ team.

      Get the case study

      Background to our Pilot Solidarity Playbook Case Studies

      This case study is one of six that reviews best practices, challenges, and lessons learned for both ICSO internal mechanisms and coalition responses to scrutiny and attacks. They show positive outcomes and new practices that were initially triggered by an undue threat or attack.

      Written by Sarah Pugh and Deborah Doane, these case studies first appeared in an in-house study called “Solidarity in Times of Scrutiny” presented at the International Civic Forum in Addis Ababa in October 2019.

      Thanks go to our case study partners for making their learnings available to a larger readership.

      The presented case studies reflect the status of when they were first written up in October 2019. Naturally, the political situation as well as the organisations’ and coalitions’ learnings have since evolved and are constantly evolving.

       

      Eva Gondorová

      Project Manager

      International Civil Society Centre

      Eva coordinates the project Solidarity Action Network (SANE) which aims at strengthening resilience of and solidarity among civil society actors.

      Vuka! – Building an international coalition to coordinate and enable civil society’s response to closing space

      22nd April 2020 by Eva Gondorová

      With its Country Coordination Calls, Vuka!, a coalition of international, regional and national CSOs, manages country-level responses to closing space.

      Read the summary and find the full case study at the bottom of the page.

      About the coalition

      What launched the coalition?The recognised problem: how should international civil society respond to the global issue of closing civic space?
      Who are the members?Approximately 160 organisations; a diverse range of international, regional and national CSOs.
      How does it work?A coalition secretariat and a steering committee; country-focus across 6 action teams. Each member has equal footing to determine the coalition’s priorities.

      Coalition action

      OutcomesAdvocacy and campaigns enjoy greater reach thanks to the diverse membership; national engagement with international and regional bodies is facilitated; organic, bi-lateral connections have been enabled; creative and innovative initiatives incubated and stewarded by the action teams.
      ChallengesHow do you maintain the momentum of country-level conversations?
      How do you coordinate a response in ‘opening contexts’?
      Lessons learnedTrust is essential (and enabled by secure platforms); coordination enables identification of key gaps and opportunities; this needs to be backed by ready resources and mechanisms.

      Get the case study

      Background to our Pilot Solidarity Playbook Case Studies

      This case study is one of six that reviews best practices, challenges, and lessons learned for both ICSO internal mechanisms and coalition responses to scrutiny and attacks. They show positive outcomes and new practices that were initially triggered by an undue threat or attack.

      Written by Sarah Pugh and Deborah Doane, these case studies first appeared in an in-house study called “Solidarity in Times of Scrutiny” presented at the International Civic Forum in Addis Ababa in October 2019.

      Thanks go to our case study partners for making their learnings available to a larger readership.

      The presented case studies reflect the status of when they were first written up in October 2019. Naturally, the political situation as well as the organisations’ and coalitions’ learnings have since evolved and are constantly evolving.

       

      Eva Gondorová

      Project Manager

      International Civil Society Centre

      Eva coordinates the project Solidarity Action Network (SANE) which aims at strengthening resilience of and solidarity among civil society actors.

      Islamic Relief Worldwide: Building a Reputational Risk Management Strategy in the face of Islamophobia-motivated attacks

      22nd April 2020 by Eva Gondorová

      Facing Islamophobia-motivated attacks, Islamic Relief Worldwide, an independent humanitarian and development organisation, developed a strategy to manage reputational risks.

      Read the summary and find the full case study at the bottom of the page.

      Actions taken by the organisation

      What was the trigger? Designation as terrorist organisation in Israel and the UAE (2014).
      What was the internal response?Reputational Risk Management Strategy, backed by new infrastructure and resources.
      What measures were taken at the national level?Country offices received training and support to develop their own strategies.

      Response carried out in practice

      What was the trigger? Amendment proposed by US congressman to cut US funding to IRW (2017).
      What was the response?Collective action taken by IRW, InterAction and the Together Project, including advocacy, political engagement and solidarity action.
      What were the outcomes?The amendment was dropped, and their funding was left in tact. Learning has been applied to other contexts.

      Learnings collected by the organisation

      OutcomesIslamic Relief Worldwide is more prepared and resilient, and they have grown as an organisation since – and in spite of – the designations.
      ChallengesCosts – legal and lobbyist fees are expensive; staff time is hard to commit to this additional effort on top of day-to-day work.
      LessonsEngage with influencers over opponents; make friends while the sun shines and identify your key stakeholders; invest in saying who you are are rather than saying who you are not; fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

      Get the case study

      Background to our Pilot Solidarity Playbook Case Studies

      This case study is one of five that reviews best practices, challenges, and lessons learned for both ICSO internal mechanisms and coalition responses to scrutiny and attacks. They show positive outcomes and new practices that were initially triggered by an undue threat or attack.

      Written by Sarah Pugh and Deborah Doane, these case studies first appeared in an In-house study called “Solidarity in Times of Scrutiny” presented at the International Civic Forum in Addis Ababa in October 2019.

      Thanks go to our case study partners for making their learnings available to a larger readership.

      The presented case studies reflect the status of when they were first written up in October 2019. Naturally, the political situation as well as the organisations’ and coalitions’ learnings have since evolved and are constantly evolving.

       

      Eva Gondorová

      Project Manager

      International Civil Society Centre

      Eva coordinates the project Solidarity Action Network (SANE) which aims at strengthening resilience of and solidarity among civil society actors.

      Greenpeace International: Developing resilience to Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation suits through joint action

      22nd April 2020 by Eva Gondorová

      Greenpeace International developed a proactive and collaborative response to the threat and damage of SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation) in the US and beyond.

      Read the summary and find the full case study at the bottom of the page.

      Actions taken by the organisation

      What was the trigger?Significant Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPP) suit filed against Greenpeace International in the USA (2016).
      What was the internal response?Greenpeace International developed a SLAPP Resilience Strategy, recognising legal solutions were not enough.
      What measures were taken at the national level?The strategy, developed with Greenpeace USA, involved outreach and engagement work in US.

      Response carried out in practice

      What was the trigger?A 2nd SLAPP suit was filed against Greenpeace International seeking almost $1 billion in damages (2017).
      What was the response?Thanks in part to Greenpeace International’s engagement work, there was a huge backlash from civil society, and the Protect the Protest coalition was formed.
      What were the outcomes?Both cases were dismissed (either in part or entirely); US civil society is now attuned to this tactic and responding collectively.

      Learnings collected by the organisation

      OutcomesGreenpeace International is now better prepared for SLAPPs, and has developed expertise and learning that can be applied elsewhere.
      ChallengesEngaging other CSOs, and managing differences within a coalition.
      LessonsWhen responding collectively to a specific restrictive tactic coordination is key for spotting opportunities and gaps; finding ways to enable easier participation e.g. by building efficient structures and processes, can help encourage joint action.

      Get the case study

      Background to our Pilot Solidarity Playbook Case Studies

      This case study is one of six that reviews best practices, challenges, and lessons learned for both ICSO internal mechanisms and coalition responses to scrutiny and attacks. They show positive outcomes and new practices that were initially triggered by an undue threat or attack.

      Written by Sarah Pugh and Deborah Doane, these case studies first appeared in an in-house study called “Solidarity in Times of Scrutiny” presented at the International Civic Forum in Addis Ababa in October 2019.

      Thanks go to our case study partners for making their learnings available to a larger readership.

      The presented case studies reflect the status of when they were first written up in October 2019. Naturally, the political situation as well as the organisations’ and coalitions’ learnings have since evolved and are constantly evolving.

       

      Eva Gondorová

      Project Manager

      International Civil Society Centre

      Eva coordinates the project Solidarity Action Network (SANE) which aims at strengthening resilience of and solidarity among civil society actors.

      COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #3

      15th April 2020 by Thomas Howie

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

      Click here to view all available pages.

      Click here for our latest events news.

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

      The sections are:

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

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

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

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

          1. Staying up-to-Date

          2. Strategic Analysis

        Coronavirus Pandemic-Specific – Response Scenarios and Economic Impacts

        Future Scenarios

        Intersectional Analysis

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

            3. Policy Positions

            4. Operational and Leadership Advice

        General
                  Fundraising

                   

                  Communications Manager

                  International Civil Society Centre

                  A platform for solidarity – our response to Coronavirus disease COVID-19 

                  15th April 2020 by Åsa Månsson Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

                  As for many, the coronavirus pandemic has turned a large part of the Centre’s work upside-down. Our team is busy connecting remotely and trying to implement all recommendations out there on how to do virtual leadership, team meetings and coffee breaks.  

                  Our Programmes and Events 

                  We are making several changes to our programmes:  

                  • We moved our Power Shift Lab and Solidarity Playbook workshop to the virtual space and will do so for both the upcoming Vision Works and Scanning the Horizon meetings. Although we hope that physical gatherings can take place in the second half of the year.  
                  • Our Leading Together meeting, which provides space for exchange for ICSO Directors of Programme, Policy and HR, will focus mostly on what the current crisis means for our work, both in the short and mid-term.  
                  • This year’s Innovation Report on ‘Civil Society Innovation and Urban Inclusion’ will include adaptive responses from some of the urban programming case studies to the COVID-19 response and strategic reflections on the future of pandemics and cities.  
                  • As part of our Leave No One Behind partnership, we have started talking to our partners about whether we can help provide data on how the current crisis is affecting already vulnerable groups in our action countries. This is challenging, but some important steps are being taken already.  
                  • Our focus on the ‘Interconnectedness of Trends’ with the Scanning the Horizon futures community this year is more relevant than ever, as we look to potential post-pandemic futures. Our remote meetings in May will gather insights from different sectors on analysing complex possible futures. We will plan the next steps for collaborative working on both the urgent and the important: COVID-19, civic space and climate change. 

                  Our role during the corona crisis 

                  In addition to these revisions of our current programme, we believe there is also a further role for us to fill in this crisis. We see that although many organisations are focused on internal challenges, there is a need and a clear interest to connect with others, to reflect together and to show solidarity with each other.  

                  These are a few things we are doing to help facilitate conversations between organisations:  

                  • We bring together Directors of Human Resources and People of the ICSOs for discussions on how they manage the situation. The exchange has focused on issues such as how to deal with the mental well-being of staff, how to get staff or volunteers back to their home countries and how to go about the anxiety and worries of partners.  
                  • Every week, we are curating strategic analyses, quality articles, podcasts and videos on what this crisis might mean for the civil society sector in the mid- to long-term perspective. Our ambition is to help organisations filter through the flood of information and opinions out there.  
                  • We are talking with other convening bodies such as InterAction, BOND, VANI and CIVICUS, about how to jointly support the discussion around what a post-corona world would look like and mean for civil society. This discussion will focus on bringing together COVID-19 foresight efforts and diverse perspectives and supporting our member organisations with the best tools and analysis to navigate the longer-term implications of the pandemic. 
                  • As a part of our Scanning the Horizon group, we convened Strategy Directors from the ICSOs to discuss how organisations see the current developments in light of their respective strategies. There is a lot of interest to work together to understand how to prepare for new, highly uncertain, futures – stay tuned.  

                  As the pandemic continues to create uncertainty, we will offer ICSOs and partners a platform to convene and share insights about how best to respond. Here a few things that we hope to see:  

                  • More exchange and collaboration: Although it is tempting to focus on our internal issues, both the unprecedented immediate and the unknown future should call for more joint reflection. There is no time for each of us to deal with this without learning from others.  
                  • More focus on intersectional approaches: If anything, the past weeks have shown us how developments are interlinked and that change in one area will have immense consequences in others. We have to get better at linking things up.  
                  • Using our precious face-to-face time far more intentionally: This might feel minor, but I don’t think it is. Will we, after this, better appreciate our time together with colleagues and partners from all over the world? Will we better prepare for these meetings and make better use of the joint time? Really listen to each other? I certainly hope so.  

                  For all of the above, we need to take a deep breath, listen well and look beyond the scope of our respective organisations. So in a way, we all need to practice now what each of us should also do in times of business as usual – show leadership and focus on the collective aim. Let us show that this is possible.  

                  Finally: This is my last blog as a member of the Centre, as I am moving on at the end of this month. I am incredibly grateful for everything that I got a chance to learn from all of you over the past years – thank you! I won’t go far, so let’s continue moving things forward together. See you out there.  

                  Åsa Månsson

                  Special Projects

                  Wikimedia Foundation

                  In May 2020 Åsa left the Centre and joined Wikimedia Germany in a role working on organisational development’. Between 2010 and 2013, Åsa acted as manager of the INGO Accountability Charter (Accountable Now). In September 2013, Åsa took up the role as Director of Development, innovating the Centre’s fundraising and communication efforts. Since October 2016, Åsa has been Director of the Global Standard and has additionally taken on the role as the Centre’s Programme Director in mid-2017. Originally from Sweden, Åsa earlier worked for a consultancy, evaluating social projects within the public and civil society sector. Åsa studied European Studies and Sociology at universities in Gothenburg and Berlin. She completed her education with a Master’s thesis on the role of civil society in European governance.