New civil society collaborative launches to understand the true scale of COVID-19’s impact on marginalised people

14th April 2021 by Kate Richards and Peter Koblowsky

Announced today, the Civil Society Collaborative on Inclusive COVID-19 Data will work alongside marginalized communities and activists to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and collectively advocate for an inclusive recovery.

With COVID-19 pushing up to 150 million people into extreme poverty by the end of 2021, the urgency to understand and meet the needs of the world’s most marginalised people has never been greater. However, pervasive gaps in official data and statistics are hindering efforts to protect and support those being left behind. To address this, over 15 civil society organisations (CSOs) are coming together and launching a collaborative that will combine their data-driven insights to create a more intersectional understanding of the pandemic’s effects.

From women to persons with disabilities to refugees, the pandemic has highlighted and deepened long-standing inequalities. But the true scale of the pandemic’s effects is obscured by data gaps. Many millions of people are invisible in official data and statistics, their lives and needs uncounted in policy decisions. An equitable recovery from COVID-19 requires better data on the lives of marginalised people, collected with their knowledge, consent, and participation.

Civil society is uniquely positioned to generate data and insights with marginalised people that can complement official statistics and fill data gaps. From citizen-generated data to rapid needs assessments to programmatic data, the collaborative is harnessing existing data collected by CSOs over the past year.  

The collaborative will work with communities and activists to develop a data-driven report and advocacy campaign, launching in July this year at the United Nations High Level Political Forum. 

Alongside new insights on the effects of COVID-19, the report will highlight CSOs and citizens’ learnings on inclusive and participatory data collection methods, and offer recommendations for improving collaboration and coordination between official data producers, civil society, and citizens.

The collaborative is led by a Steering Group, involving Action Aid (Denmark), Christian Aid, Development Initiatives, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, International Civil Society Centre, Plan International, Restless Development, and Sightsavers. 

A diverse and growing range of CSOs are engaged as partners, including Africa’s Voices Foundation, CBM, CIVICUS, Consortium for Street Children, HelpAge, Institute for Global Homelessness, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Save the Children, VSO, and World Vision.

The collaborative is an open platform for civil society, communities, and activists. If you would like to learn more about engaging, please contact Kate Richards, Inclusive Data Charter Outreach Manager.

The collaborative is made possible by the Steering Group’s contributions and convened by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and the International Civil Society Centre. 

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Kate Richards

Inclusive Data Charter Outreach Manager

Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

Kate Richards is the Outreach Manager for the Inclusive Data Charter, an initiative of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. She leads on engaging new Inclusive Data Champions, as well as developing and implementing communications and advocacy strategies that catalyze action on disaggregated and inclusive data. She previously worked at Dalberg, advising leading foundations, multilaterals, and NGOs on strategic communications and advocacy, and at Oxford University. Kate has an MPA from the London School of Economics and is based in London.

Peter Koblowsky

Senior Partnership Manager - Leave No One Behind

International Civil Society Centre

Peter joined the Centre in January 2013, back then as a trainee. He completed the traineeship in the advocacy & campaigning office of World Vision Germany. Peter now coordinates the Leave No One Behind project and contributes to the development and implementation of various other strategic formats. Before joining the Centre, Peter worked for various organisations and think tanks in the development sector, being an expert in multi-stakeholder processes. He studied at the University of Bonn and graduated with an MA in Political Science with a focus on multi-actor advocacy for climate policy.

Call for Applications, Project Consultant Tender

23rd February 2021 by Adriana Sahagún Martínez

The International Civil Society Centre is looking for a project consultant to support the Civil Society Collaborative: Inclusive COVID-19 Data.

The goal of the collaboration is to bring together CSOs and use their data to understand and amplify the needs of marginalised people, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, 15 partner organisations from the international civil society have signed up to the project, including key actors like Plan International, Sightsavers, Development Initiatives, Restless Development and CIVICUS.

The key output of the collaboration will be a joint report to be launched and presented at the UN High-Level Political Forum, taking place in early July. Further presentations are planned for the UN World Data Forum in October and potentially other occasions. The report’s main content will be an analysis of the data, learnings, and insights that partner organisations have jointly contributed, focusing on COVID-19 and its impact on marginalised people. 

The Centre and GPSDD are currently conducting a survey across the participating partner organisations, collecting their relevant insights, learnings and available data. For the next steps of project implementation, the Centre is commissioning a consultant to:

  • Utilise the landscape survey and analysis conducted across the project partners to develop a report structure and outline;
  • Author of the advocacy report (10,000-12,000 words) to influence global leaders;
  • Identify case studies and impact stories to be promoted; and,
  • Work in close collaboration with the Centre, GPSDD and the project Steering Committee throughout the entire process to reconcile the report development with the interests of all participating parties. 

Find the full tender and how to apply here

If you meet the selection criteria, please submit your application to including:

  • A brief description of the Offeror’s experience and expertise in the field that illustrates overall qualifications and capabilities;
  • A brief description of the Offeror’s understanding of the scope of services and proposed methodology for the work;
  • Resume or CV of individual or principals, in the case of a consulting firm; 
  • List of Past and Current Clients; and,
  • Cost Requirements. 

Proposals, including any attachments, should be sent electronically in PDF format by Thursday, 4 March 2021. Please include the subject line: “Call for tenders – COVID-19 Data Collaborative”. 

Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre

Open Letter to States on Universal Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

8th February 2021 by Adriana Sahagún Martínez

This open letter from leaders of CSO platforms calls on States and UN Secretary-General to meet their obligations to protect the most marginalised groups during the Covid-19 crisis and ensure that all people worldwide, without distinction of any kind, have access to an effective vaccine in a timely manner.

8 February 2021

Permanent Missions in Geneva and to the United Nations Secretary-General Office

In these early months of 2021, our common SDG pledge to leaving no-one behind is as critical as ever. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit indiscriminately both high-and low-income countries, threatening lives and aggravating existing inequalities and vulnerabilities, it is high time for international solidarity.

We are conveners of influential civil society networks and platforms.  Our constituency entails thousands of civil society organisations and their partners which work with, and on behalf of millions of people who are being marginalised and deprived of their human and civic rights.

We highly value the long-standing partnership with States and UN agencies. We are determined to mobilise and lead collectively, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the rights of those left furthest behind.

Together we have been able to move forward on crucial agendas such as peace and human rights, disaster response and development goals. Although, across these topics, serious challenges still exist, we remain committed to addressing them jointly. This is key to our success.

Regretfully, today we note a lack of collective actions in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and are seriously concerned by the increased competition on access to vaccines. While we recognise States’ responsibility to respect, protect and promote the right to adequate health care for all those living on their territory, we would like to highlight that this pandemic knows no borders and demands global solutions.  With new variants of the virus developing in various locations in the globe, it has become clear that universal access to the COVID-19 vaccine is the only solution to end the pandemic and mitigate the deepening socio-economic inequalities.  All people worldwide, without distinction of any kind, must have access to an effective vaccine in a timely manner.

Thereby we call upon States to step up multilateral efforts and lead a truthy global response. We call for a global allocation framework that puts humanity at the centre. It is in our common interest to ensure that priority in access to vaccine at a global level is given to those at a higher risk of infection and/or developing a serious disease. Other priority considerations at national and global level will be counterproductive, leading to a perpetual spiral of new, vaccine-resistant variants of the virus.

We urge States, pharmaceutical companies and all other private actors in the supply and production chain to undertake concrete steps to rapidly step up the production of vaccines’ and at a price that will be affordable for all. In these life-threatening times, more than ever, we need full transparency from our governments and accountability on invested public money.

As civil society organisations we stand ready to work hand in hand with States, UN Agencies and the private sector to ensure that this truly becomes a people’s vaccines. We have valuable knowledge, expertise and capacities to concretely support the roll out of effective and all-inclusive national vaccines programmes. We strongly believe that only by working together we can defeat this pandemic and successfully stand against future ones.


Abdirashiid Hirsi, Acting Director, Somalia NGO Consortium

Abby Maxman, Chair of SCHR

Colin Rajah, Coordinator, Civil Society Action Committee

Daniel Eriksson, Interim Managing Director, Transparency International 

Ignacio Packer, Executive Director, ICVA

Samuel A. Worthington, Chief Executive Officer, InterAction

Sarah Strack, Director, Forus

Stephanie Draper, Chief Executive, Bond

Wolfgang Jamann, Executive Director, International Civil Society Centre


Open Letter to States on Universal Access to Covid-19 Vaccines (PDF).


For further information on this letter contact the co-signatories or email:

Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre

Explore: ‘Civil Society Innovation and Urban Inclusion’ report

2nd February 2021 by Adriana Sahagún Martínez

Civil society organisations are innovators. They test new approaches to both traditional and emerging problems. One of today’s most prominent and influential global megatrends is the rapid but unplanned urbanisation taking place around the world, which risks excluding the priorities of many groups of people living in cities from formal planning and decision-making processes. While civil society organisations have achieved some success in addressing these challenges, there is a significant opportunity for organisations to learn and benefit from the lessons others have encountered.

In this report, we’ve collected some samples of successful innovations in complex urban contexts that deliver inclusive solutions for marginalised communities. Get inspired by real-life examples of new approaches:

School Area Road Safety Assessments and Improvements (SARSAI) 

Built for Zero

Ageing and Urbanisation

Safer Cities for Girls

Urban Refugees Incubation Program (URIP)


Listen to our Futures and Innovation Podcast – an audio series streaming on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud designed to explore new ways of working and thinking in complex urban contexts.

Visit our Innovation Website to find out more about the aims of the report and all the case study content:

Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre

New – 2021 events and programme flyer, find out what’s on and what we are doing

15th January 2021 by Adriana Sahagún Martínez

Welcome to our 2021 flyer. You can download the flyer below to find out about what we plan to do this year and how you can get involved.

Download 2021 Flyer


Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre

Support for making Voices Heard and Count by the Robert Bosch Stiftung

3rd August 2020 by Outi Ruuska

We are pleased to share with you that Robert Bosch Stiftung recently agreed to support the Leave No One Behind Partnership. The support agreement will see €150.000 between July 2020–June 2021 go towards making the most marginalised voices heard and count in sustainable development goals achievement, ensuring no one is left behind.

Specifically, the money will seed fund some of our national level LNOB projects in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, or Nepal. In addition, it will advance our global level work on the development of online data tools and capacity building for our country team. This work is being co-led by our partners from IISD and Development Initiatives.

The Leave No One Behind partnership was launched in late 2017 as a partnership of 12 international civil society organisations (ICSOs). In 2018, the partnership set up national coalitions in 5 pilot countries (Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Nepal and Vietnam). The partnership further brings together national NGOs and civic platforms, as well as community-based organisations with the goal of making the voices of marginalised groups heard and count in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The partnership puts marginalised communities at the forefront of its project design: they are involved in generating monitoring data at the local level. Partners in the action countries have entered into a dialogue with local and national governments, aiming for the official recognition of this data to make it a source of public planning. Marginalised communities are empowered to take part in this dialogue, enabling them to address their needs and challenges face-to-face with authorities.

Between 2020 and 2022, the partnership wants to scale up its activities, globally promoting the use of community-driven data and other unofficial data sources in the SDG context, and establishing additional communities of action at country level. To underline the universality of the promise to “leave no on behind”, collaborative action with a focus on marginalised communities will also take place in countries of the ‘global north’. By 2022, partners aim to have jointly reached 100.000 people with the project, helping to making their voices heard and count.  

Clemens Spiess, Program Director Inequality, Robert Bosch Stiftung

“Generating community-driven data on marginalized groups and feeding the data into dialogues with local and national governments and the international community is a necessary step to make the implementation of the Sustainable Development goals more effective and more inclusive. As Robert Bosch Stiftung, we see the efforts made by the Leave No One Behind Partnership not only as a crucial building block for creating a knowledge base to tackle inequality more effectively, but also to increase the visibility of those most affected by inequality thus making voices heard and count in a true sense.”

The Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH is one of Europe’s largest foundations associated with a private company. In its charitable work, it addresses social issues at an early stage and develops exemplary solutions. For this purpose, it plans and implements its own projects. Additionally, it supports third-party initiatives that have similar goals. The Robert Bosch Stiftung is active in the areas of health, science and research, education, active citizenship, as well as international understanding and cooperation.


To hear more about the Leave No One Behind partnership and its Making Voices Heard and Count project in the pilot countries, contact Peter Koblowsky, Senior Partnership Manager at


Outi Ruuska

Executive Assistant

International Civil Society Centre

Outi joined the Centre in January 2018. She supports the Executive Director in organisational matters and coordinates the Centre’s governance and legal processes. Her background is in Social Sciences and Environmental Policy. She holds a BA in Social Sciences awarded by the University of Lapland from her native Finland and an MA in Environmental Policy and Planning from the Technische Universität, Berlin. In her master’s thesis, Outi studied the framing of urban climate change adaptation to heat stress in Europe.

Call for Global Perspectives Speakers and Workshop Hosts

29th July 2020 by Thomas Howie
Global Perspectives 2019 - International Civil Society Event

We are looking for inspiring people to contribute to Global Perspectives 2020 – A Passion for Inclusion. Global Perspectives is an annual conference bringing together leaders of civil society organisations (CSOs) with high-level representatives from governmental, inter-governmental, corporate, philanthropic and academic sectors. Every year around 150 participants engage in interactive formats, discussions and co-creation sessions to analyse the world’s most pressing challenges and devise strategies to bring civil society forward in pursuit of solutions.

Who are we looking for?

Anyone with a Passion for Inclusion and an inspiring idea or piece of work from one of the sectors mentioned above, namely: civil society, governmental, inter-governmental, corporate, philanthropic and academic.

How can you contribute?

We are looking for anyone happy to host a workshop or panel or be part of a panel. Workshops and panels last between 1 and 1.5 hours. There are three pillars to our conference on which you can focus your contribution: Including CSOs in political processes, inclusive programmes and CSOs as diverse and inclusive organisations. There are also three cross-cutting dimensions: Digitalisation, diversity and futures. To find out more detail, please read the flyer.

How can express an interest?

Fill out the form below!

Where is it and what do I have to pay?

This year’s event is fully virtual, so there are no travel costs or hotel to pay. We do have a limited number of funded participation spots open, you can find the application form and the regualr participation fees, on the registration page. This event is almost solely funded by participation fees and relies on the generosity of people to share there time and expertise, at the same time as getting access to the most interesting people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Got a question?

Email the Global Perspectives Event Manager, Nihal Helmy

Name of the organisation, network, foundation...etc that the speaker is affiliated with

Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre

Call for Applications, Innovation Report Website and Graphics Tender

23rd July 2020 by Thomas Howie

The International Civil Society Centre is looking for a web designer (individual or firm) to repurpose and develop specific elements of our Innovation Report website,, design a printable publication and create a report-related headline graphic (for use online and in print) to communicate our Innovation Report 2020, on ‘Civil Society Innovation and Urban Inclusion’.

The inaugural report ‘Civil Society Response to Populism in a Digital Era’ was a ground breaking and award winning publication. It was first publication to take a broad civil society overview in documenting and sharing effective response strategies and case studies from a range of organisations – national CSOs and networks, ICSOs and campaigns or movements.

In terms of design, it broke the mould of civil society reports by looking at the bigger picture and trying to find a new way of communicating innovative ideas. The report was a success with 14 case studies from around the world. It gained recognition by winning AIGA’s 50 Books 50 Covers Awards.

This year we want to continue this winning trend in order to take the stories of civil society organisations and share them as widely as possible.

Find the full tender and how to apply here

If you meet the selection criteria, please submit your application to including:

  • A brief implementation plan with the first outline of ideas for the website and publication;
  • A budget proposal, including a quotation of other related software licenses if needed; and,
  • A track record of your experience and examples of relevant work.

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.

Global Perspectives 2020 and Delegate Connect

7th July 2020 by Thomas Howie

We are excited to announce a new partnership between the International Civil Society Centre and Delegate Connect to deliver Global Perspectives 2020 virtually in November.

We chose Delegate Connect for its exciting and user friendly platform which provides a space for participants to network, operate on a low bandwidth making it accessible around the world, and for their excellent customer support. Delegate Connect also understands that this event will generate social good and is the flagship event for civil society. As such they are supporting us to put on the best Global Perspectives ever.


Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre

Join Making Voices Heard and Count at the UN’s High Level Political Forum

6th July 2020 by Peter Koblowsky

Event Title: Community-driven data as transformative means for accelerated action and SDG delivery
Call link:
Date: 9 July 2020
Time: 8.00-10.00am (EDT)
Facilitation: Wolfgang Jamann, International Civil Society Centre

Download the Agenda

We will record this event! Room capacity is limited to 300! We advise our audience to arrive at the virtual room before the official starting time. Moderators will be online in the room as of 7.45am.

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Peter Koblowsky

Senior Partnership Manager - Leave No One Behind

International Civil Society Centre

Peter joined the Centre in January 2013, back then as a trainee. He completed the traineeship in the advocacy & campaigning office of World Vision Germany. Peter now coordinates the Leave No One Behind project and contributes to the development and implementation of various other strategic formats. Before joining the Centre, Peter worked for various organisations and think tanks in the development sector, being an expert in multi-stakeholder processes. He studied at the University of Bonn and graduated with an MA in Political Science with a focus on multi-actor advocacy for climate policy.