Posts with the tag
“COVID-19”

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, 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.


Between Power and Irrelevance: Are ICSOs actually looking at shifting their roles?

18th March 2021 by Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken and Barney Tallack

In the first of two guest blogs, accompanying the publication of ‘Between Power and Irrelevance: the Future of Transnational NGOs’, George E. Mitchell and Hans Peter Schmitz argued that if the ‘charity architecture’ in which our ICSO sector has been embedded for decades does not change, ICSOs will not be able to achieve the long-term impact they promise to deliver.

In this companion blog, Barney Tallack and Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken discuss some recent changes in the environment of ICSOs and what this means for their role. An upcoming interview with all four authors on these big questions of power and relevance of ICSOs will also be released later this month on the Centre’s Civil Society Futures and Innovation Podcast.

What has shifted over the past 12-18 months, in terms of ICSO power and relevance?

The COVID-19 pandemic primarily accelerated underlying challenges, providing additional drivers for what have been longer-standing trends:

  • The financial duress, which started well before the pandemic based on plateauing and/or declining fundraising in traditional ‘markets’ deepened. Some big ICSOs, such as World Vision and Save the Children, had good years in 2020 in terms of income. Many others, however, were treading water or are in decline, and furloughs and layoffs are now more common.
  • Southern philanthropy is increasing – its impact on North-founded ICSOs uncertain.
  • An increased interest in Mergers & Acquisitions.
  • A shift towards a network model of autonomous, lean organisations.
  • Increased operational interest in shared services, office space, etc.
  • Significant soul-searching on anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion. Strong emphasis on cognitive awareness-raising, in the form of discussion, training, etc. – even though research shows this has limited impact and can even backfire, when used as the sole solution.
  • Long-term transition to ‘digital first’ organisations. But will ICSOs be willing to relinquish control when it comes to people-powered forms of campaigning and fundraising? And succeed in effectively linking online and face-to-face collaboration and organising?

#ShiftThePower: Highly relevant but in need of some nuance

The #shiftthepower and decolonising aid narratives, rhetorically, have become stronger and calls for action louder. The key question is: will ICSOs hear the critiques of Global South civil society, academics and governments and respond this time with greater clarity on how their role and size need to change and/or reduce significantly, in order to retain legitimacy and relevance? And can they discern the contexts in which a larger scale and global presence is still adding value?

At the same time, let’s add some nuance. For instance, which parts of global South civil society do not agree with the stance that ICSOs are crowding them out, and why not? We also urge the sector to take a nuanced, contextualised approach. The request to simply transfer unrestricted resources to Southern CSOs does not recognise the necessity for northern ICSOs to still create that income in the first place. They can only do this by being out in front of the public in their own markets, or by mobilising citizens to give their governments the mandates to allocate resources.

At the same time, a good amount of philanthropy is provided by high wealth individuals (increasingly from all parts of the world) who still need persuading that direct transfer of resources to CSOs in the Global South means that their ways of imprinting on such delivery will be more limited. 

Equally, the commitment of boards, staff and volunteers to social justice and solidarity should not be dismissively categorised as being all about self-interest. It is the “how”, the “forms and norms” (as we say in the book) that need to change. It is not about the wholesale removal of Northern ICSOs from the equation.

Are ICSOs actually rethinking roles – in a serious way?

ICSOs need to seriously rethink shifting their roles to respond to this set of drivers, but we have not yet seen widespread openness to doing this in significant ways. By this, we mean more focused, specific and limited roles that really add value to the system, given the maturity of Global South civil society. Few ICSOs have fundamentally changed their role, power structure, or organisational “forms and norms”.

How ICSO leaders can start doing this:

  • Engage with your critical friends/stakeholders to ask for robust critique of where your organisation is helpful and where it is not
  • Know that recognising the need to change roles in some areas does not invalidate your organisation’s historic purpose and achievements up to that point     
  • Frame sharing power with Southern peers and moving to new roles as a way of regaining valuable legitimacy and relevance

What these new roles could look like:

  • Be the campaigning ally/presence in their home countries for truly global multi-stakeholder co-owned and co-created campaigns
  • In public education and mobilisation, connect missions abroad to social justice issues at home
  • Provide, upon request, focused consulting services in specific thematic and technical niches
  • Offer policy research services, targeting mainly governments and institutions based in Europe, the Americas, and other wealthy nations
  • Broker relationships in multi-stakeholder collaborations
  • Play a backbone role, upon request, in networks of Global South actors to support collective impact
  • Be open to merging or being acquired by other actors (including in the Global South) for specific expertise or country footprint.

As practitioners, we will be keen to follow whether we will see such role shifts develop, and with them a greater handover of power, authority and decision rights – not just responsibility and risk – to country-level leadership, national boards and to partners.

As a sector, we need now more than ever to identify and share models of transformative practice in role shifting, and we will stay connected with the Centre to do this together in future. So if you have something significant to share on this, please get in touch!

Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, alongside George E. Mitchell and Hans Peter Schmitz, are co-authors of the recently published book Between Power and Irrelevance: the Future of Transnational NGOs. You can discover more details about it here.

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Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken

Principal Consultant

Five Oaks Consulting

Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken has worked on international development and civil society issues for 30 years, in practice, in academia and as independent consultant. Before launching her consulting practice, Five Oaks Consulting, Tosca was the Director of the Transnational NGO Initiative at Syracuse University, USA. She focuses on NGO change management, leadership development and organisational culture. She has served as board member of InterAction, Public Interest Registry, ProLiteracy and Cadasta. Early in her career, Tosca worked as development practitioner for NGOs, the UN, the World Bank and at a think tank based in the Netherlands, Tosca’s country of birth.

Barney Tallack

Consultant on INGO strategy and transformation

Barney has worked as a practitioner in the INGO sector for nearly 30 years. He has held senior leadership and Board member roles in a variety of international and UK based organisations. He has deep experience in leading strategy and organisational transformation programmes, supporting restructurings, governance and NGO mergers. As Director of Strategy for Oxfam International, he ran the global strategy process and for five years the global transformation and change programme.


Tools for inclusive futures: Reflections on ‘Imagining Feminist Futures after COVID-19’

5th March 2021 by Vicky Tongue

In 2021, the Centre’s Scanning the Horizon futures community is working on ‘inclusive and equitable futures’, exploring and sharing models, analysis and collaborative opportunities for feminist, racially just futures. One key part is sharing practical and accessible tools, particularly open source methods which do not require significant specialist knowledge or skills to implement and, increasingly, virtual delivery options.

We want to explore new opportunities to either use these tools for our own community or group collaborations, or exchange experiences as we use shared techniques with our own audiences. These tools ‘meet the author’ tools workshops are a new kind of online community offering this year.

Tools for inclusive futures: Bringing you the best of what is ‘out there’

Common barriers to introducing or strengthening futures thinking in organisations include time-consuming workshops, not being able to bring diverse groups together (especially in-person) or the need for consultants or specialists to lead this work. So in 2021, we want to find the best of what is ‘out there’ to address these challenges, and bring them back into our community to help democratise futures practice beyond a smaller group of organisational strategic thinkers.

So we were very excited to find the new ‘Imagining Feminist Futures after COVID-19’ workshop methodology developed by the Australian CSO International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) in 2020. This is a 3-hour online methodology which can bring new, diverse audiences together without expert external facilitation. And we partnered with IWDA to deliver a combined familiarisation and training of trainers session on 23-24 February for ten organisations from the Scanning the Horizon community.

A way to bring futures thinking to feminist thinkers, and feminist thinking to futures thinkers

Imagining Feminist Futures After COVID-19 is a project IWDA with support from a steering group of actors across the feminist movement. The project aims to enable feminist organisations and networks to think through the ways in which the COVID-19 crisis is changing the future trajectories – both positive and negative – for feminist social change towards the year 2030.

IWDA commissioned a consortium of feminist futurists, led by Changeist, to design this adaptable workshop methodology based on futures thinking approaches to support diverse feminist activists, organisations and networks to come together virtually (or in person where possible) and apply their own futures thinking and scenario building. For many participants, it may be their first experience of structured futures thinking, and as such, the tools have been designed for use by an audience which is totally new to the concepts.

A core objective of the project is to make the workshop methodology available for anyone to run with their own organisation, network or community. In return, they ask that participants share the findings from these different workshops. IWDA, along with project steering group members, plan to bring their own analysis and visioning to these outcomes and develop a range of creative outputs to add to the rich discussions happening across feminist movements.

IWDA has been holding feminist futures workshops with participants in Australia and across Asia and the Pacific. This workshop with our Scanning the Horizon community was IWDA’s first time with a group of more generalist futures thinkers, rather than strongly feminist-focused organisations and individuals.

The short summaries of (i) principles and frameworks that support and enable a feminist future and (ii) privileging forces/established power structures within society that hinder equal progress towards feminist futures help bring about different and deeper types of conversation. With more generalist audiences, we recommend including these as additional pre-reading, and to increase the amount of time in the agenda allocated to discussing the lens of privileging forces.

And actually, just a great entry point for different and dynamic conversations

Participants felt the workshop methodology can be used both to inform strategic thinking and also as a tool for personal formation and training minds to think in more inclusive and equitable ways about the future. Its full trends list includes STEEP + V – incorporating values into a standard social, technological, economic, environmental and political assessment – which makes this a more holistic and interesting process.

We wanted our particular group to work on a broad range of trends, so included 18 from the full list of 20 (three teams with six trends). For groups with a specific aim or audience, focusing down on a smaller set of more relevant or influential trends may work better for more focused futures conversations.

Interestingly, of the trends provided, our three breakout teams independently decided to focus on: (i) ‘new faces of change’, (ii) ‘refocus on community’ and (iii) ‘sharing and peer economies’. This may reflect interest in exploring some of the new decentralised and power and leadership models which have become more prominent since COVID-19.

You can see the outcomes of our conversations here. They show that the method is great at enabling dynamic and interesting exchanges which can shift thinking and explore new possibilities in the group you’re working with. It also documents a range of insights which can be compared and contrasted with other groups also using the tool.

You don’t need expert knowledge, but you do need well-prepared facilitation

Key factors for facilitation are who you have in the virtual ‘room’ (see below), how you capture different perspectives, and how you support participation and share the findings.

IWDA have really made the toolkit as ready to use as possible, with a clear, well-illustrated facilitation guide and pre-populated Miro board for your use. After our session, nearly all participants felt ready to run a workshop themselves, with proper preparation time. This included participants relatively new to futures thinking, feminist thinking or even both, which reiterates just how accessible it is and does not require significant pre-existing knowledge, experience or expertise.

It does, however, require careful thought on facilitation, and time to ensure in advance that participants have sufficient basic skills and familiarisation with Miro. This may be easier for digital natives and require more preparation time for others (note that participation does not require a paid account. You should offer advance familiarisation sessions to people who have not Miro before, and share a practice ‘play’ board. The workshop board layout is a very intuitive design, with arrows to guide people through the navigation. If you take this time and care, the technology should not be alienating or prevent people from taking part.

And you do need to stress fully with participants how important it is for them to take the time for the pre-reading so that they will get the most out of the group conversations.

You also need to think through how to organise the group documentation of dynamic conversations to fit the time available – as you will feel the pressure to get things down! The beauty of Miro allows everyone to write down and share their ideas individually, in an open way aligned to the aims of the method. But a designated scribe may also be needed to help summarise the collective sense-making conversations for report back in plenary, at the risk of simplifying or even silencing some of other strands, to report back to the others.

Ensuring diversity in the virtual room and breakout teams

When asked who they planned to run the workshop with, there was a real mix of audiences, both internally within our own organisations, externally with partners, networks and stakeholders, and in social circles with family and friends. And also with a range of people – activists and young changemakers, advocates, leadership/management teams, gender team/community of practice – but ideally with a broad mix of perspectives and roles to keep the explorations as diverse and dynamic as possible.

The workshop is designed for 5-20 participants. Breakout groups of around four people feels optimal to both generate ideas and keep documenting of conversations manageable. But ensuring diversity of groups is most critical – experience/knowledge/roles (futures/feminist/other), gender and geographic diversity, and a mix of optimists/pessimists (which could be identified by icebreakers).

Building a base of practice and knowledge

Half the organisations who took part are already planning to run workshops with their networks. The Centre itself will run another session in May at an Americas/Europe/Africa-friendly time for organisations. We want to contribute to a community of worldwide practitioners using this method, and share both content findings and facilitation experiences or tips with IWDA. This blog is our first contribution, so watch this space for more updates from us and the other participants-turned-practitioners, over the coming months!

Let us know if you are interested in joining or running an upcoming workshop on ‘Imagining Feminist Futures after COVID-19’.

Our next community methods/tools workshop will be with ParEvo on 29 April 2021 – see more here.

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Vicky Tongue

Head of Futures and Innovation

International Civil Society Centre

Vicky Tongue is the International Civil Society Centre’s Head of Futures and Innovation, leading our core initiatives on future trends, horizon scanning and civil society innovation. Vicky has more than 15 years’ senior programme management with several leading UK-based ISCOs, including Marie Stopes International, Article 19, CAFOD, ODI and Save the Children.


COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #14

30th July 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

    • Cancelled, postponed, virtual: COVID-19’s impact on human rights oversight (Open Global Rights)
      The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for nonprofits’ services while damaging their finances and staff. What can history tell us about surviving this crisis, and how can philanthropy help?
       
    • Combatting COVID-19 disinformation on online platforms (OECD)
      Disinformation and misinformation about COVID-19 are quickly and widely disseminated across the Internet, reaching and potentially influencing many people. This policy brief derives four key actions that governments and platforms can take to counter COVID-19 disinformation on platforms, namely: 1) supporting a multiplicity of independent fact-checking organisations; 2) ensuring human moderators are in place to complement technological solutions; 3) voluntarily issuing transparency reports about COVID-19 disinformation; and 4) improving users’ media, digital and health literacy skills.
    • COVID-19 Aftershocks: A Perfect Storm (World Vision International)
      This report looks at the impacts of COVID-19 relating to violence on girls and boys. We predict a major spike in the cases of children experiencing physical, emotional and sexual violence, both now and in the months and years to come. Up to 85 million more girls and boys worldwide may be exposed to physical, sexual and/or emotional violence over three months as a result of COVID-19 quarantine.
    • COVID-19 Aftershocks: Out of time (World Vision International)
      Millions of parents and caregivers have lost incomes and jobs due to COVID-19, forcing them to expose their children to harmful and dangerous circumstances, such as begging or child marriage. World Vision has conducted rapid assessments in 24 countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia confirming alarming predictions of increased child hunger, violence, and poverty due to the economic impact of COVID-19
    • COVID-19 Aftershocks: Secondary impacts threaten more children’s lives than disease itself (World Vision International)
      As many as 30 million children are at risk of disease and death because of the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. World Vision’s Aftershocks report considers what would happen if the devastating secondary impacts of the 2015-2016 Ebola outbreak on children were replicated in the 24 most fragile countries covered by the UN’s COVID-19 humanitarian appeal.
    • Embracing Innovation in Government: Global Trends 2020 (OECD)
      New report summarising innovative responses by governments to the COVID-19 crisis, drawing upon the over 400 cases and initiatives, under five key themes: Theme 1: Rapid acceleration of digital innovation and transformation, Theme 2: Seeking bottom-up solutions and insights, Theme 3: Social solidarity and caring, Theme 4: Reducing the spread through virus tracking and adaptive action, and Theme 5: Forging a path to recovery.
    • Fighting COVID-19, Building Peace – a civil society perspective. What Local Peacebuilders Say about COVID-19, Civic Space, Fragility and Drivers of Conflict (Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS))
      This report provides a comprehensive outlook on the lived experiences of local peacebuilders as they face down COVID-19 and its consequences. It explores how the pandemic has affected civil society’s capacity to operate, how local peacebuilders view the pandemic as occasioning violence and stimulating drivers of conflict, and the dearth of coordination between government and civil society.
    • Is the explosion of COVID-19 conspiracies changing people’s real-world behavior? (Fast Company)
      More than 20 million people saw a video filled with lies about COVID-19. Researchers still don’t know how this kind of viral misinformation is impacting people’s willingness to wear masks—or to get an eventual vaccine.
    • ODI Bites: Africa beyond Covid-19 (ODI)
      Early signs from Africa are that in many countries, the response to Covid-19 has been effective. But contrary to commonplace narratives about aiding Africa, recent events highlight opportunities for Europe and elsewhere to learn from Africa.
    • Sensemaking possibilities #2: tools and analyses to support local and global sensemaking (OECD)
      What are some of the different narratives and perspectives emerging from or, or prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated crises? How do we explore them and make sense of them?
    • The Current and Potential Impact of COVID-19 on Nonprofits (SSIR)
      The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for nonprofits’ services while damaging their finances and staff. What can history tell us about surviving this crisis, and how can philanthropy help?
    • Updated forecasts quantify the impact of COVID-19 on Africa (Institute of Security Studies (ISS))
      Compared to pre-COVID-19 projections, Africa’s economy will be between US$349 billion and US$643 billion smaller in 2030. As such, beyond being a health pandemic, COVID-19 is set to create a generational set-back for development in Africa.
    • Urban Thinkers Campus – COVID-19 & the role of youth in cities (Webinar) (World Vision International and Plan International)
      This webinar included youth representatives from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru and from organizations working with this population segment on how they are involved in prevention, response and recovery efforts to address COVID-19 while contributing to long term outcomes contributing to more liveable cities. Password: $C=Nr89H
    • Why African countries are reluctant to take up COVID-19 debt relief (The Conversation)
      African countries should tread carefully over the debt relief offered by multilateral institutions and other lenders. It could prove very costly in the medium to long term.

    2. Strategic

        Biodiversity and Climate Change

          Civic Space and Human Rights

          • COVID-19 has opened the floodgates for smart cities—whether we like it or not (Fast Company)
            The conditions created by the pandemic will make it easier for local governments to adopt technological solutions.
          • Putting cities at the centre of the post-pandemic world (C40 Cities)
            Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires, highlights why both the global health and the global climate crises have galvanized cities’ central roles as global actors.
          • Priorities for mayors for a green post-COVID recovery: global perspective (C40 Cities Knowledge Hub)
            This collection of articles is intended to give a global outlook and shape regionally-appropriate responses for accelerating a green recovery in cities. Whilst there are regional nuances and differences, all experts agree that the response to the climate crisis and this global pandemic must be inextricably linked.

          • Migrant smugglers are profiting from travel restrictions (Institute for Security Studies (ISS))
            Across the world, over 60 000 mobility restrictions to contain COVID-19 have been imposed. Travel constraints, border closures and reduced travel modes severely disrupted smuggling markets. After an initial slowdown though, smugglers are reviving and adapting to meet changing needs.
          • The Dangers Ahead: COVID-19, Authoritarianism and Democracy (LSE)
            LSE article on trend towards authoritarianism and related threats and potential responses. It describes the broader political context CSOs are working in and provides some suggestions for how to counter some negative threats trends Four threats: ‘Deglobalisation’ takes a nationalist form, less democratic participation, more centralisation, surveillance state and erosion of human rights, inequality goes unchallenged.

          Data and Digital

          • Our post-COVID future should be as much about welfare as it is about tech (Open Global Rights)
            Surveillance thrives in unequal environments, and the pandemic has increased inequality. We need a welfare state for our digital information economy.
          • How COVID-19 exposed AI’s limitations (Nesta)
            As COVID-19 spread, a multitude of AI models were put to work in a bid to tackle it. The results to date have been largely disappointing. Instead, the unlikely hero emerging from the ashes of this pandemic is the crowd. Crowds of scientists sharing data, of local makers manufacturing PPE and of people organising through mutual aid groups.

            Futures

            • Making Strategic Decisions in the Context of COVID-19 (SSIR (Stanford Social Innovation Review))
              The long-term impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on society is still uncertain, but the tools of scenario planning can help social sector leaders better prepare their organizations for the different, possible futures that may unfold.
            • Scenarios to Navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Possible Futures (1) (The Red (Team) Analysis Society)
              This article presents nested scenarios – and linked narratives – to handle the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its aim is to provide an organised framework to foresee the future of our world as it lives through the pandemic, while easing understanding.
            • A post-pandemic world: well-being for all or deepening inequality? (Open Global Rights)
              Putting fear aside as we emerge from this pandemic will allow space for what we value most in people: empathy, solidarity and mutual support.
            • 7 predictions for the new normal post-pandemic (In The Black)
              As a society, we have a unique opportunity to re-evaluate how we live and work. There has been a cultural shift that brings into focus new priorities and emphasises the need for adaptability. Futurists believe that our “next normal” will prioritise collective benefit, collaboration and empathetic leadership.
            • Our COVID Future: The Long Crisis Scenarios(Long Crisis Network)
              Scenarios of how the response to COVID-19 could shape the conflict dynamics of the Middle East: some portend the pernicious effects of the virus moving the region even further away from integration and closer toward acute insecurity, but some also see a transition to greater stability, or even the prospect of a “wake-up” moment where leaders move toward a “resilience regional architecture.”
            • Middle East Conflict and COVID-19 A view from 2025 (Middle East Institute)
              Scenarios of how the response to COVID-19 could shape the conflict dynamics of the Middle East: some portend the pernicious effects of the virus moving the region even further away from integration and closer toward acute insecurity, but some also see transition to greater stability, or even the prospect of a “wake-up” moment where leaders move toward a “resilience regional architecture.”
            • Strategic foresight for the COVID-19 crisis and beyond: Using futures thinking to design better public policies (OECD)
              This resource supports the use of foresight in post-COVID 19 policy-making, presenting key uncertainties and possible future developments with short- and medium-term policy implications, a preliminary guide for using these elements, and selected foresight pieces.

              Gender Equality

              Multilateralism and international cooperation

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

              • Pandemic profiteers exposed (Oxfam)
                In Pandemic Profiteers Exposed, Oxfam found that 17 of the top 25 most profitable US corporations, including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Facebook, Pfizer, and Visa, are expected to make almost $85 billion more in 2020 than in previous years. Oxfam is calling for a resurrection of the WWII-era excess profits tax to limit pandemic price-gouging, level the playing field between companies, and raise much needed funds for COVID relief and recovery, such as providing ongoing COVID-19 testing and vaccines for every person on the planet.
              • Divided we stand: the EU’s domestic- and foreign-policy agenda  (International Institute for Strategic Studies )
                Europe was already facing a host of complex geopolitical and economic challenges at the start of 2020, even before the COVID-19 crisis. In this week’s episode, Meia is joined by Sarah Raine and Fabrice Pothier for a wide-ranging and in-depth discussion on how the EU’s political agenda has been impacted by the pandemic and what issues remain at the forefront of its policy priorities.

              3. Policy

              • Almost 10 Million Children May Never Return to School Following COVID-19 Lockdown (Save the Children)
                Deep budget cuts to education and rising poverty caused by COVID-19 could force at least 9.7 million children out of school forever by the end of this year, with millions more falling behind in learning, especially girls. As the impacts of the recession triggered by COVID-19 hits families, many children may be forced out of school and into labor markets.
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                Communications Manager

                International Civil Society Centre


                COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #13

                15th July 2020 by Robert Vysoudil

                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

                • COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker (ICNL/ECNL)
                  This tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws.
                • Cultural factors are behind disinformation pandemic: why this matters (The Conversation)
                  In Africa, people who report higher levels of exposure to disinformation also report lower levels of media trust. The most common reasons for people to share misinformation was to raise awareness out of a (misplaced) sense of civic duty, and make others aware of misinformation. Media users in sub-Saharan countries also said they shared misinformation “for fun”.
                • Effective Activism in a Time of Coronavirus: what are we learning six months in? (From Poverty to Power + Save the Children)
                  Activism is unlikely to be what speeds our exit from the crisis, but it is the single biggest determinant of whether that exit is equitable. This moment demands our best ever work and we won’t do it without plans to deal with the biggest strategic challenges in front of us – Save the Children’s Kirsty McNeil lists four to start with.
                • EU launches another tool on pandemic’s threat to human rights (Devex)
                  The EC is launching a new platform to monitor the consequences for democracy and human rights, prepared by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance — or International IDEA. It is intended as a one-stop shop to allow policymakers, journalists, civil society groups, and the public to track the impact of the pandemic.
                • How have Africa’s regions fared in tackling COVID-19? (Institute of Security Studies)
                  Regional responses to the pandemic are essential, and although regions acted quickly, results have been mixed.
                • Locally Rooted: The place of community organising in times of crisis (Community Organisers UK)
                  It is widely acknowledged that neighbours have played an essential role in supporting their local communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Often this support has bubbled up spontaneously from below. UK-focused blog and report.
                • The COVID Inequality Ratchet: how the pandemic has hit the lives of young, women, minority and poor workers the hardest (From Poverty to Power)
                  Oxfam blog on what we know about the unequal impact of COVID-19 on workers and pre-existing inequalities in labour markets, looking at data for high and lower/middle-income countries.
                • The Wicked Conversation (Good Governance Africa)
                  A blog series of current pan-African perspectives on the pandemic as a ‘wicked problem’, to explore ‘wicked solutions’ on: leadership, rule of law, work and jobs, public health measures, social support measures, and planning the future.

                2. Strategic

                    Biodiversity and Climate Change

                      Civic Space and Human Rights

                        Data and Digital

                          Futures

                          • ‘Imagining a Post-COVID World – Strategic Futures’ (Six scenarios as 30-second videos) (Auxano Strategies, Nordic Foresight and the Global Arena Research Institute)
                            Explore COVID-19 pandemic’s implications on the trans-Atlantic community, US-China relations, IPCC emission reduction targets, the gig economy and more. Six video-illustrated scenarios: (1) The Panic Normalised, (2) Taming Our Worst Impulses, (3) Too Little, Too Late, (4) No Return to Normal, (5) An Atomised World, (6) A Disaster Forgotten.
                          • After the Pandemic: Which Future?  (Great Transition Initiative)
                            How will today’s crisis alter the shape of tomorrow’s world? Which scenario—Conventional Worlds, Barbarization, Great Transition—has become more likely? How can we seize the moment to propel transformation?
                          • Are you reframing your future or is the future reframing you?: Megatrends 2020 and beyond (EY)
                            The COVID­-19 pandemic accelerated global megatrends, pushing the world onto a new S-curve of growth. This global reset created an opening for change that seemed unthinkable a few months ago, including the opportunity to shape the post-pandemic world for the better. EY Megatrends provide leaders with a framework for navigating this unprecedented change and charting future growth.
                          • COVID-19 crisis: possible scenarios for the next 18 months (Futuribles International)
                            Thanks to its knowledge of rigorous forward-thinking methodologies, Futuribles International Association has set out 11 scenarios to forecast the possible evolutions of the crisis over the next 18 months (the targeted horizon being the end of 2021).

                            Gender Equality

                            Multilateralism and international cooperation

                            • African solidarity to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent (African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes )
                              The African Union (AU), together with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, launched a public-private initiative known as the AU COVID-19 Response Fund. The intention of this initiative is to mobilise at least US$150 million for immediate needs to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, and up to US$400 million to support a sustainable medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently spreading across the continent.
                            • The Multilateral Order Post-COVID: Expert Voices (The Institute of International and European Affairs)
                              The multilateral order since the Second World War was already showing strains before the world was afflicted with the pandemic. In this IIEA Expert Voices publication, ten foreign policy experts share short perspectives on the question of how COVID-19 pandemic will impact different aspects of the rules-based multilateral order.

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

                            • Beyond Lockdown⁠—Sustainable COVID Control for Low-Income Countries (Centre for Global Development)
                              Countries need to be supported to deploy layered context-specific mitigation strategies after lockdown
                            • Can we avoid a lost decade of development? (Brookings Institution )
                              Children have not borne the brunt of the immediate health threats posed by the coronavirus pandemic. But as the pandemic mutates into a global economic crisis, millions of children could be left carrying disadvantages that will limit opportunities for the rest of their lives. This article asks whether we can avoid the 2020s from becoming a lost decade for development.
                            • Economy Must Not Get Stuck Between Lockdown and Recovery (Chatham House )
                              Despite recent outbreaks in several countries which had appeared to be close to excluding the virus, focusing on suppression and elimination is the best economic as well as a health strategy.
                            • How have Africa’s regions fared in tackling COVID-19? (Institute for Security Studies)
                              African countries are increasingly trying to coordinate COVID-19 responses with those of their neighbours. This is done largely through regional economic communities and is a potentially important response to the pandemic. Yet their efforts have had mixed results.
                            • OECD’s Economic Outlook 2020: Facing The Jobs Crisis (OECD)
                              COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on jobs has been 10 times bigger than that of the global financial crisis. Countries now need to do everything they can to stop this jobs crisis from turning into a social crisis. Reconstructing a better and more resilient labour market is an essential investment in the future and in future generations.

                            3. Policy

                            4. Operational

                            ,

                            Communications Student Assistant

                            International Civil Society Centre


                            COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #12

                            1st July 2020 by Robert Vysoudil

                            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

                            • A Better World Ahead Means Shaping Emerging Narratives Now (SSIR)
                              The groups that set the narratives about what happened during the COVID-19 crisis, what to do now, and what’s next will have outsized influence on who we hold responsible, who gets help, and what we do moving forward.
                            • Adaptive Context Analysis during Covid-19 – Listening to Local Voices During a Pandemic (Global Policy – World Vision blog)
                              With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic two key tenets for humanitarian aid that often go together, context analysis and travel, are now in tension. World Vision’s Johan Eldebo shows how they’ve sought to overcome it by balancing the necessity for remote management with the ongoing need for the locally informed analysis.
                            • Challenging the “‘White Gaze’ of Development” during COVID-19 (Podcast) (Oxford Society for International Development)
                              Liberian academic, activist and author Robtel Neajai Pailey, uses race as a lens of analysis to interrogate assumptions that Western whiteness and modernity are the primary signifiers of progress and expertise. In exploring the pitfalls of adopting a “colour blind” outlook on development, it considers how scholars, policymakers and practitioners can challenge the ‘white gaze’ by imagining “a better world beyond flattened curves”.
                            • COVID-19: Human development on course to decline this year for the first time since 1990 (UNDP)
                              The United Nations Development Program predicts a decline in global human development – education, health, and living standards – for the first time in 30 years.
                            • Embracing Innovation in Government Global Trends 2020: Innovative COVID-19 Solutions (OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation)
                              OPSI has identified five key themes driving public sector innovation efforts during the crisis: 1. Rapid acceleration of digital innovation and transformation, 2. Seeking bottom-up solutions and insights, 3. Social solidarity and caring, 4. Reducing the spread through virus tracking and adaptive action, and 5. Forging a path to recovery.
                            • How are Civil Society Organizations adapting in the pandemic? (From Poverty to Power FP2P)
                              Diverse stories on the roles of civil society and civic agency during the pandemic. While many actions focus on the basic and immediate needs that an emergency response requires, many others hint at gradual shifts and emerging areas of the agency.
                            • How the Coronavirus Tests European Democracy (Carnegie Endowment Europe)
                              The Coronavirus pandemic is prompting contrasting trends in European democracy. While the crisis is aggravating many stresses that afflict democracy in Europe, it is also propelling democratic efforts in a number of areas. Several articles including: Coronavirus and European Civil Society, Technocracy and Populism After the Coronavirus, Digital Divides and the Coronavirus.
                            • Humanitarian Financing Is Failing the COVID-19 Frontlines  (Center for Global Development)
                              Longstanding weaknesses in the humanitarian business model are undermining the COVID-19 response in fragile and conflict-affected states. Extensive delays, poor mechanisms for tracking disbursement of funds from intermediaries to implementers, and persistent obstacles to financing local actors are preventing funds from reaching organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight.
                            • In many countries, the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, not slowing (The Conversation)
                              Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating. While some countries such as Australia and New Zealand have managed to flatten the curve, in many other parts of the world the number of cases has continued to reach new highs.
                            • Latin America sees the largest decline in peacefulness as COVID-19 poses a further threat (Devex)
                              South America is the region of the world where peace deteriorated most last year, followed by Central America and the Caribbean, according to the “Global Peace Index 2020” report, with peacefulness expected to drop globally as a result of COVID-19.
                            • New UNESCO report shows COVID-19 leaving vulnerable children behind (Devex)
                              The “2020 Global Education Monitoring Report” from UNESCO shows progress is slowing on the global out-of-school rate for primary and secondary school-age children, and COVID-19 will only make it worse.
                            • Sector boundaries are blurring, says CARE secretary-general (Devex)
                              COVID-19 has “deeply transformed” the humanitarian and development sectors, potentially blurring the boundaries for good, according to the new secretary-general of CARE International.
                            • Sierra Leone faces coronavirus as rainy season hits – local disaster planning will be key (The Conversation)
                              Overlapping disasters of COVID-19 and flooding could be a serious threat for Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown.
                            • The Global Economic Outlook During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Changed World (World Bank)
                              The pandemic is expected to plunge most countries into recession in 2020, with per capita income contracting in the largest fraction of countries globally since 1870.
                            • The view from space: See how dramatically COVID-19 changed the world (Fast Company)
                              A new dashboard from three space agencies shows the startling impact of the coronavirus pandemic on everything from air quality to asparagus farming.
                            • What kind of research should inform COVID responses? (From Poverty to Power FP2P)
                              If we agree that evidence-informed policy and practice are good things, we need to think about what kind of research gets commissioned. We are fast reaching the end of the road for COVID expert opinion based on what was happening in last data rounds before COVID, and need to shift gears to investing in new data.
                            • When the West Falls Into Crisis (Webinar) (The New Humanitarian)
                              An important conversation on rethinking humanitarianism in the midst of #BlackLivesMatter and COVID-19. The globalisation of vulnerability – made clear by the Coronavirus pandemic and a global anti-racism movement – is putting into question traditional conceptions of humanitarian aid, too. Will this historic moment force a rethink of international solidarity? Is the international nature of aid inherently problematic? TNH Director Heba Aly posed these questions to panellists from across the aid sector.
                            • World Bank has ‘stretched’ its capacity in coronavirus response, Malpass says (Devex)
                              The World Bank has reached the limit of support it can provide to low- and middle-income countries recovering from the pandemic, even while acknowledging those nations require more resources than are currently available, the institution’s president says.

                                2. Strategic

                                Biodiversity and Climate Change

                                  Cities and Urbanisation

                                  Data and Digital

                                  • Artificial Intelligence and the Fight Against COVID-19 (Nesta)
                                    AI could play a powerful role in tackling the pandemic, from helping to discover new drugs and vaccines to testing and predicting the spread of infection. But new Nesta analysis of the quality of AI research has found some significant limitations in how it is currently being applied.

                                    Futures

                                    • A post-pandemic world is unlikely to focus on meeting need over human greed (The Conversation)
                                      Political and economic power-holders will strive for a return to pre-pandemic ‘normality’.
                                    • Exploring the impact of COVID-19 in Africa: A scenario analysis to 2030 (Institute of Security Studies)
                                      This new study assesses the likely impact of COVID-19 on Africa over the next decade. Comparing three scenarios on growth and mortality with the continent’s pre-pandemic development projections, it examines impacts on average incomes, poverty levels and SDG targets, and how to reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience.
                                    • Martin Wolf – The World After the Pandemic (Podcast) (How To Academy)
                                      The world after 2020 will be very different from the world we left. But how? Will the pandemic lead to the greatest upheaval in the social contract since the second world war, the end of globalisation, the beginning of the Asian century? Will it lead to tax rises, inflation, further austerity? Hear from the world’s preeminent financial journalist.
                                    • Navigating the transition to sustainability amidst new forces, positive and negative (Forum for the Future)
                                      Caroline Ashley, Global Director of System Change Programmes at Forum for the Future, examines the emergent positive and negative forces actively shaping the post-COVID-19 reality and reasserts the need for a just transition.
                                    • Optimistic or pessimistic about Covid-19? No need to choose (From Poverty to Power FP2P)
                                      Jordi Vaquer, Director for Global Foresight and Analysis at the Open Society Foundations, argues this is a time when defenders of open society can neither afford to sit comfortably upon the vindication of their analysis by events, nor to simply spring into action following their mood, their gut and their time-tested handbook. It is the moment to be bold, imaginative and thorough in our thinking about the future.
                                    • Rethink: The edge of change (Podcast) (BBC World Service)
                                      How the coronavirus pandemic has created new opportunities to change our world.
                                    • The Long Shadow Of The Future (Noema)
                                      The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how valuable it is for governments to have operational expertise, plan for the long-term and socialise certain risks.

                                      Multilateralism and international cooperation

                                      • Humanitarian Financing Is Failing the COVID-19 Frontlines (Centre for Global Development)
                                        Longstanding weaknesses in the humanitarian business model are undermining the COVID-19 response in fragile and conflict affected states.Now should be an opportunity for international NGOs to rethink their role in humanitarian delivery entering into subcontracting relationship for operational delivery.

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

                                           3. Policy

                                      • And now some questions for China’s TikTok (EU Observer)
                                        The EU named China as responsible for targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns around COVID-19. Given the questions about the extent to which TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, propagates censorship, TikTok’s membership in the EU Code of Practice risks prematurely legitimising the platform as a responsible information space actor.
                                      • Can the AU protect citizens against COVID-19 abuses? (Institute for Security Studies)
                                        The African Peer Review Mechanism’s pandemic governance guidelines are useful, but do they go far enough?
                                      • COVID-19 & the Risks to Children in Urban Contexts (Policy Brief) (World Vision)
                                        Residents of urban slums, informal settlements and low-income neighbourhoods endure living conditions that make it challenging to protect against COVID-19. This policy brief looks at how World Vision is responding to anticipate and experience the impacts in urban areas and assess the needs of the most vulnerable. It provides recommendations for what governments, the UN and other NGOs can do to lessen their suffering.
                                      • Left out & Unaccounted for: How COVID-19 is exposing inequalities in cities (World Vision)
                                        At World Vision, we are responding to COVID-19 in over 253 cities across all regions in both stable and fragile contexts. COVID-19 is currently a trending global challenge, but for urban hotspots, it is one of many. Now more than ever, the international community must amplify its voice in calling for accelerated actions to alleviate poverty and inequality in urban areas, making cities “inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (SDG 11).
                                      • Survey: Advocacy in the Time of COVID-19 (Africa) (Advocacy Accelerator )
                                        The Advocacy Accelerator is keen to take the pulse of how change-makers within the advocacy ecosystem in Africa are being impacted by and responding to the current global pandemic COVID-19. The results of this survey will be shared with all who participate (organised by country) in order to inform your advocacy programme planning.

                                           4. Operational

                                      • The Safe People + Data Initiative (Dobility)
                                        This new initiative provides methodologies and resources for safer data collection, in response to COVID-19 and the growing need for safety-focused innovation. It offers tools and insights to support safer methods of in-person data collection and alternative methods of reducing in-person interactions and collecting data remotely.
                                      • Dynamic Accountability and COVID-19 (Global Standard for CSO Accountability)
                                        Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many countries have imposed restrictive measures to ensure that the spread of the disease can be contained. In this new reality, Dynamic Accountability is taking a different shape. This post suggests some key takeaways and tips for organisations who wish to practice dynamic accountability during this difficult time.
                                      • What does Accountability Look Like During Times of Disruption? (Restless Development)
                                        The disruption caused by COVID19 is a chance to forge new ways of working, that put accountability practices and decentralised organisation at their heart, says Katie Fuhs.
                                      ,

                                      Communications Student Assistant

                                      International Civil Society Centre


                                      COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #11

                                      17th June 2020 by Robert Vysoudil

                                      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

                                            • Aggravating circumstances: How coronavirus impacts human trafficking (Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime)
                                              Poverty, lack of social or economic opportunity and limited labour protections are the main root causes and drivers that render people vulnerable or cause them to fall victim to human trafficking. This unprecedented crisis will likely exacerbate all of those factors and result in developments that must be noted by anti-human-trafficking communities and stakeholders.
                                            • Coronavirus and the right to online political participation (Open Global Rights)
                                              Making access to the internet a human right can address inequalities in access to public discourse, especially where free speech is limited.
                                            • COVID-19 and the politics of the year of the nurse (The South African Institute of International Affairs)
                                              The challenges critical medical personnel are currently facing all lead back to a central question of care. There are three main challenges these critical workers face: insufficient supply of necessary protective equipment on a global scale; growing hostility towards them; and difficulties with access to childcare.
                                            • Southern Africa: Persons with albinism especially vulnerable in the face of COVID-19 (Amnesty International )
                                              This article argues that South African governments must ensure the protection and well-being of persons with albinism, who are increasingly vulnerable amid the COVID-19 crisis as lockdowns across the region hinder access to healthcare facilities and skin cancer clinics as well as vital sunscreen.
                                            • Will COVID-19 increase religious hostilities and discrimination? (Open Global Rights )
                                              COVID-19 and its impacts may hit some religious minorities disproportionately hard, exacerbating economic inequalities, social hostilities and discrimination.

                                            Data and Digital

                                            Economic

                                            • OECD Economic Outlook: The world economy on a tightrope (OECD)
                                              COVID-19 has triggered the most severe economic recession in nearly a century and is causing enormous damage to people’s health, jobs and well-being. The Outlook focuses on two equally probable scenarios – one in which a second wave of infections, with renewed lock-downs, hits before the end of 2020, and one in which another major outbreak is avoided.

                                            Education

                                            • Future shock: 25 Education trends post COVID-19 (Foresight for Development)
                                              School closures carry high social and economic costs for people across communities, with a particularly severe for the most vulnerable and marginalised families. The resulting disruptions exacerbate already existing disparities within the education system but also in other aspects of their lives. This blog summarises 25 related trends from UNESCO analysis.

                                            Food security

                                            • COVID-19 recovery is a chance to improve the African food system (The Conversation)
                                              What we see happening as a result of actions to contain COVID-19 is like a global natural disaster. It’s also an opportunity for a different kind of recovery. Going back to “business as usual” investments in agriculture and food systems could reproduce those systems’ inequities. Instead, recovery efforts should be geared towards creating a better future.

                                            Futures

                                                  Gender Equality

                                                  • COVID-19: “Who is Skilled and Who is Unskilled in this Pandemic Moment?” (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)
                                                    In this article, Cynthia Enloe realises that there are so many times in life when one finds one lacks the relevant skills to make sense of, and to grapple effectively with a pressing condition. That repeated realisation has made her think about skills – and what “counts” as a skill, and who gets to do the “counting.”
                                                  • COVID-19: Making our Recovery Green and Feminist (Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom)
                                                    This article explores the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the environment and advises that the recovery from the pandemic should be feminist and green in nature.
                                                  • Rape cases spike in South Sudan as girls and women left vulnerable during COVID-19 (Plan International)
                                                    A spate of rape cases in South Sudan has exposed the extreme risks girls and women have been left to face in COVID-19 pandemic, warns Plan International.

                                                  Humanitarian

                                                  • This global pandemic could transform humanitarianism forever. Here’s how (The New Humanitarian)
                                                    As the crisis born of this global pandemic has evolved, some of the promises of deep transformation in a humanitarian aid sector that has long resisted reform have proven overly optimistic – at least so far. Here are 13 ways the pandemic may change the future of humanitarianism – and the forces of resistance that may get in the way.

                                                  Multilateralism and international cooperation

                                                  • COVID-19 responses expose gaps in global governance (The South African Institute of International Affairs)
                                                    This report analyses the effectiveness of the WHO and explores the ways in which the pandemic has exposed not only how far the world is from effective and unified global governance, but also a crisis of confidence in the institutions expected to guide international action and cooperation.
                                                  • Tackling COVID-19 as a Grand Challenge (Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society)
                                                    How does the COVID-19 crisis relate to other grand challenges and how should we deal with, such as climate change?

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

                                                  • Epidemics and Social Observation: Why Africa Needs a Different Approach to COVID-19 (African Arguments)
                                                    In the absence of a vaccine, the main tool for control of COVID-19 is human behavioural change. Social scientists are not fully agreed on what determines behavioural change, but there is a broad consensus that individual agency is influenced by social factors. It matters what your family, friends and neighbours think.
                                                  • Will Patents stop COVID drugs from saving lives? (From Poverty to Power)
                                                    The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a global race of public- and private-led research to develop vaccines and treatments. Will patents hinder access to the products it generates? Comparison with HIV/AIDS indicated access problems may mainly affect middle-income countries facing higher prices. Low-income countries will likely receive drugs at discounted prices, and with governments and philanthropic donors covering the costs.
                                                  • Youth or consequences: Put youth at the center of COVID-19 recovery (Brookings Institution)
                                                    This article argues that to head off the worst repercussions of this youth unemployment challenge in the wake of the coronavirus, we must act now, focusing on three critical issues, education, engagement and employment.

                                                  Politics & Governance

                                                  • 6 experts on how capitalism will emerge after COVID-19 (Fast Company)
                                                    We have an unprecedented opportunity to rein in capitalism’s excesses and reshape our democracy. Here’s how business leaders and experts from MIT, Harvard, and more would tackle the biggest problems. What’s been lost—and what could be gained—in the new world order?

                                                       3. Policy

                                                       4. Operational

                                                  ,

                                                  Communications Student Assistant

                                                  International Civil Society Centre


                                                  COVID-19 Resources for Civil Society #10

                                                  4th June 2020 by Thomas Howie and

                                                  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

                                                      Cities and Urbanisation

                                                      • COVID-19 and Shared Mobility: A New Normal (Urban Mobility Daily)
                                                        The article lists external effects of COVID-19 on urban mobility as well as specific examples of urban design as opportunities to address the near term public health challenges and ensure a more environmentally sustainable future.
                                                      • The Ecological Roots of Pandemics (Council n Foreign Relations)
                                                        Even as politicians promote conspiracy theories on COVID-19’s emergence, its most likely origins lie in their longstanding negligence of environmental health especially with regards to rapid urbanisation.

                                                      Civic Space and Human Rights

                                                      • How do we protect children caught up in war and a pandemic? (World Vision)
                                                        The COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone, it does not discriminate. It does, however, point out the impact of the failure of protecting civilians during the war. This article explains the vulnerability of children in these situations and what can be done to mitigate this.
                                                      • How have people with disabilities been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? (The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes)
                                                        Restrictions on human interactions have become mandatory in certain countries with imposed social distancing requirements. Many public services have become highly limited, if not completely halted; leaving persons with disabilities abandoned in terms of getting access to essential healthcare and social services.
                                                      • The Anxiety of the Twenty Twenties: The Quest For Relevance of Civil Society Organisations in a Digital World (International Civil Society Centre)
                                                        Global Angst plays into the hands of “Strong State” advocates. Even with limited room for manoeuvre, CSOs have to fight a disempowering gig economy and digital spaces where the individual is reduced to a consumer and/or worker with no attributes of a cyber citizen.

                                                      Data and Digital

                                                        Food security

                                                        • COVID-19 and food protectionism (Vox)
                                                          Although initial conditions in global food markets in the face of COVID-19 pandemic are good, disruptions across countries most affected could reduce global supplies of key staples. Escalating export restrictions would multiply the initial shock by a factor of three, with world food prices rising by up to 18% on average. Import food dependent countries would be most affected. Uncooperative trade policies could risk turning a health crisis into a food crisis.
                                                        • South Asia at highest risk of civil unrest as food insecurity bites (Verisk Maplecroft)
                                                          Asia experienced one of the world’s first COVID-induced food protests when residents of Manila took to the streets on 1 April. Food insecurity has since played a role in protests across the region, including in India and Bangladesh. We expect that these initial protests are a sign of much bigger problems to come.

                                                        Futures

                                                        • COVID-19 and systems change: some reflections from the field (School of System Change)
                                                          Four systemic practices are showing up in how systems change practitioners are deploying analysis and proposals around COVID-19: 1. working across multiple timescales, 2. engaging multiple perspectives, 3. experimenting, struggling, failing and learning, and 4. tuning into power.
                                                        • The Post-Corona Revolution (Robert Bosch Foundation)
                                                          In his essay, Daniel Hamilton analyses the impact of the pandemic taking into account the new stages of the ongoing global-scale revolutions, namely “the three fundamental kernels of our existence: the atom, the bit, and the gene”.
                                                        • World Order after COVID-19 (Center for Strategic & International Studies)
                                                          CSIS Risk and Foresight Group Director Sam Brannen asked four of his International Security Program colleagues to take the long view on how COVID-19 could affect geopolitics out to 2025-2030 and beyond.

                                                              Governance

                                                              • Systemic Governing – Applied systems thinking in practice (OECD Guest blog)
                                                                Seeing governance in systemic terms makes what might otherwise seem impossibly complicated understandable, able to be acted upon, and open to change. This blog looks at how systemic governing is needed to produce and enact a new model of governance.

                                                              Multilateralism and international cooperation

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

                                                              Populism and Authoritarianism

                                                              • The pandemic creates ideal conditions for the rise of populism (The South African Institute of International Affairs)
                                                                In moments of crises, populists make majorities feel like minorities under siege. COVID-19 has afforded populists a biological crisis with which to work and cement themselves onto the political landscape. This has left many asking: Will the coronavirus be populism’s next victim?

                                                                    3. Policy

                                                                • Advocating for Age in an Age of Uncertainty (Stabford Social Innovation Review)
                                                                  How the COVID-19 crisis is amplifying ageism, and how advocates can push back: 1. appeal to the value of justice, 2. define ageism and show people how to address it, and 3. create a sense of solidarity.
                                                                • Donors are ignoring hygiene in the fight against COVID-19 (WaterAid)
                                                                  Despite being critical in the fight against COVID-19, efforts to improve hygiene are mostly absent in donor commitments to tackle the coronavirus, according to WaterAid. Instead, the focus is on vaccines.

                                                                 

                                                                ,

                                                                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 #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.