COVID and Civil Society Organisations

Civil Society Organisations responding to COVID-19: A critical role and how to support it.

It is already becoming clear that, as in other disasters and crises, those hit hardest by COVID-19 are vulnerable local communities, and the long-term impacts of the pandemic will be felt hardest by them.

A discussion amongst local-level Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) posed the question “What part might CSOs, particularly those working closely with local communities, play in the long-term response to and recovery from COVID-19?”

 The focus of the discussion was on relatively small CSOs working at national or local level, who have a rich understanding of local contexts and needs as well as links to local and national government as well as other agencies and institutions.

Contributors including locally based development workers and members of local CSOs from countries in Asia and Africa discussed their experiences and those of the communities they work with during the pandemic and asked what steps would support effective recovery for those communities. They developed a set of findings and action points to promote among networks, agencies and governments.


A short summary of findings and recommendations has been prepared for wider circulation via networks and other channels. It can be accessed here

Full Report

The full report contains the background, the method used, the findings and recommendations, the ‘headlines’ from the discussions and summaries of the country data, including observations and short case studies. It can be accessed here


 A webinar, co-hosted with the Asian Disaster Response and Recovery Network, was conducted on Wednesday 17th March 2021 at 0900 hrs GMT/UTC.  It presented the draft of these findings and action points and invited contributions and insights to refining them, as well as recommendations for communicating them.  33 participants from 10 countries in Africa and Asia participated (only panelists appear on screen).


The powerpoint presentation given at the webinar can be accessed here

Add Your Voice

You can contribute to this consultation through a dedicated multi-language forum at