A new report from the global civil society alliance CIVICUS has highlighted the critical role that activists, NGOs, and grassroots organisations have played during the Covid-19 pandemic. Titled ‘Solidarity in the Time of COVID-19’, the report calls on states to work with civil society on mitigating the impacts of Covid-19 and creating a better post-pandemic world.
Drawing on interviews with civil society activists and leaders, CIVICUS’s report outlines the many ways civil society has responded to the crisis including providing essential services when there were gaps in healthcare provision and psychological support. Civil society also stepped in when official communication channels failed to give people accurate information about how to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19, the report found.
‘Often civil society responded when others failed to act, working to fill gaps left by states and businesses. In country after country, a diverse range of civil society groups scrambled to meet the needs of communities most affected by the crisis,’ said Mandeep Tiwana, Chief Programmes Officer at CIVICUS.
In places where states partnered with civil society, or when governments created an enabling environment for the work of CSOs, the response to the spread of Covid-19 was much more effective, found CIVIUS.
‘Lessons need to be learnt from how governments managed the first wave of COVID-19. As many countries prepare for the second wave, one thing is clear: in all future responses states should recognise the value of civil society, and work to enable and partner with it. Doing so will lead to more joined-up and effective responses that respect rights,’ said Tiwana.
To read or download the report, click here.