Research/Networking Covid-19 and Third Sector
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ISTR's new research and networking forum is designed to provide an active and engaging space for our members to share new research being carried out on Covid-19 and the Third Sector. Use this space to share research ideas, identify research partners/collaborators, seek feedback and support on work-in-progress, and solicit and discuss research ideas and methods. Also use this space to publicize relevant reports, op-eds, papers, etc. you have published that might be of interest to your peers and provide links to collections of research being compiled by other organizations that represent third sector sub-fields (philanthropy, volunteerism, governance, legal studies, etc.) or global regions (Asia, LAC, Africa, Europe, etc.) to facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas. We will cross post these on our static resources page: This forum is open to all, though you must be logged in to an ISTR account to post. To post, click on "Add new post" below.


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Top tags: covid-19  Philanthropy  Member  Africa  Canada  civil society  nonprofit leadership  Brazil  Nepal  NGO  survey  Volunteering  Australia  Authoritarianism  Bangladesh  citizen participation  corporate volunteering  DEI  Diversity  Domestic Violence  donors  emotions  Equity  essay  Europe  Grantmaking  Inclusion  India  Latin America  nonprofits 

Authoritarian Weaknesses and the Pandemic

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Authoritarian Weaknesses and the Pandemic

By Thomas Carothers and David Wong

August 11, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been a trigger for many autocrats to step up repressive measures. But the poor handling of the pandemic by many non-democratic governments, as well as the longer term economic fallout, spells longer-term political trouble for them.  Read the full article here.

Tags:  Authoritarianism 

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The Third sector in West Africa - Maimed by COVID-19

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Nana Asantewa Afadzinu

Executive Director, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)


One sector in West Africa that has found itself crippled on many levels by COVID 19 is the third sector and specifically non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community based organisations (CBOs). The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on March 11 that the Corona Virus emergency had now become a full blown global pandemic and many organisations have found themselves in dire circumstances as this crisis hit without warning. Their plight has been compounded by the measures deployed by governments across West Africa to respond to the pandemic, including lockdowns, border closures, social distancing and bans on public gatherings (OECD Country Tracker, 2020). Read more here.

Originally published in the ISTR African Network Newsletter

Tags:  Africa  civil society  covid-19  Member 

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COVID 19 and responses in Africa

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Bhekinkosi Moyo

Director, Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI), South Africa


COVID 19 has caused a lot of damage to societies across the world. As of Thursday 21 May, there were over 5 million confirmed cases, close to 2 million recoveries and more than 238 172 deaths globally. In Africa, the virus started slowly but has since been on the increase in several countries. However compared to most European countries and the United States of America, Africa’s numbers are still very low. Africa has a population of 1,216 billion and as of the 21st May 2020, Africa’s confirmed COVID 19 cases was 95 058, with 38 115 recoveries and 2 995 deaths. South Africa has the biggest numbers (18 003 confirmed cases, 7 950 recoveries and 339 deaths), followed by Egypt (14 229 confirmed cases, 3950 recoveries and 680 deaths). Other countries with high numbers include Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Tunisia, Senegal and Cameroon. Only Lesotho has zero infections at the time of writing. This raises a number of questions. Is this due to the measures that Lesotho might have taken ahead of time to make sure there are no infections. How long will this continue for? Is there a possibility that this is because of poor testing especially given the close proximity between Lesotho and South Africa.  Read more here

Originally published in the ISTR Africa Network Newsletter

Tags:  Africa  civil society  covid-19  Philanthropy 

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COVID-19 and Domestic Violence in Uganda

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Dr. Julius Omona, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

On 30th January 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the Corona Virus a Public Emergency of International concern. Uganda’s President reacted fast by declaring a two weeks national lockdown on 30th March with several measures that restricted movements and promoted social distancing. Uganda confirmed its first case of the virus on March 22, and since then, 89 people have been infected, fifty-two of these recovered and the rest active but no deaths. On 14th April, a three weeks lockdown was again imposed, followed by the most recent- an extension on 5th May for another two weeks. However, the lockdown and the ensuing restrictions have had unprecedented impact on the livelihoods of Ugandans. This is a case of domestic violence in Uganda as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here

Originally published in the ISTR African Network Newsletter 

Tags:  Africa  covid-19  Domestic Violence  Member  Uganda 

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The PhiLanthropic Year Journal - COVID-19 Special Edition

Posted By Katherine MacDonald, Monday, May 25, 2020

The PhiLanthropic Year COVID-19 Special Edition

The PhiLanthropic Year is a bilingual journal that specializes in the transmission of scientific and professional knowledge within the philanthropic sector, and more specifically, grantmaking philanthropy. The journal meets the need of rendering available, in French and English, knowledge mainly produced by or highlighted by the scientific activities that take place within the Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network (PhiLab).

The COVID-19 pandemic led us to publish the first Special Edition Edition, including 24 articles that cover a diversity of angles, perspectives and locations.

Click here for a flip-through version of the whole journal



Tags:  canada  covid-19  Grantmaking  Philanthropy 

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The Pandemic: The Greatest Challenge Of Civil Society And The Third Sector A Philosophical Investigation

Posted By Oscar Alfredo Piccolo, Friday, May 22, 2020

Life on our planet has taken a drastic and dramatic turn, plagued by the covid-19 pandemic, which has no end in sight, the truth is that it changed the social and economic fabric of the world. In train to envision these changes, there are some who do not raise doubts, we already know that the pandemic will have a catastrophic effect on the world economy,it only remains to know its dimension. Many others we must predict, perhaps, we are going to a more closed world more nationalistic less globalized, we have seen that each nation, apply its own strategy, leaving in the background that we are facing a planetary problem. Another factor to consider is that in an emergency, security prevails over freedom, and that is the breeding ground where governments seem to fall "too much" in love with a certain political authoritarianism, to the detriment of liberties and democratic institutions. Read more here

Tags:  civil society  essay  philosophical research 

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The COVID-19 Outbreak: A Testing Time for NGOs in Bangladesh

Posted By Mokbul Morshed Ahmad, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, Friday, May 22, 2020

One of the few good things Bangladesh is known for around the world is NGOs and their work. About fifty years ago, when the country became independent, the oldest NGOs started their work by providing relief to the people affected by the war of independence by helping to rebuilding their livelihoods. In the last few decades NGOs in Bangladesh have traveled a long way: reaching the remote areas, mobilizing the poor into groups for making them aware about health, education, running schools, providing loans to start their small businesses. With the improvements in Bangladesh’s social indicators and its economic condition, the fortunes of the NGOs have also changed.

Broadly, two developments have affected NGOs in Bangledesh. (read more here)


Tags:  Bangladesh  covid-19  Member  NGO 

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Philanthropy and the COVID-19 Response in India

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 21, 2020

Philanthropy and the COVID-19 Response in India By Pritha Venkatachalam, Donald Yeh, and Niloufer Memon May 18, 2020, The Bridgespan Group

Tags:  India  Philanthropy 

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Coronavirus volunteers aren’t just a source of free labour – don’t take advantage of them

Posted By Matt Baillie Smith, Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Article in The Conversation, May 19, 2020

Coronavirus volunteers aren’t just a source of free labour – don’t take advantage of them

, Professor of International Development, Northumbria University, Newcastle

"The diverse groups of volunteers responding to COVID-19 around the world are a source of positivity and hope.

But volunteers are not simply a source of free labour. Volunteering is both political and influenced by social and cultural factors. Keeping volunteers safe and well demands investment, and how they are engaged and by whom has consequences during and beyond a crisis." more.


Tags:  covid-19  Volunteering 

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Giving Tuesday Research Priorities

Posted By Woodrow Rosenbaum, Chief Data Officer, Giving Tuesday, Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The GivingTuesday Data Commons is a global collaboration of research partners including more than 150 organizations, donation platform, and researchers in the US, as well as teams in 47 other countries. Together, we are working to understand giving behavior and how to motivate increased generosity. I wanted to share with you an update on our work and priorities right now. Things are moving very quickly and we want to stay connected to our network and maximize opportunities for collaboration.  

There is new urgency behind our data efforts as we work with our partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Fidelity Charitable to help address the current crisis and emerging threats around the world. We are leveraging our data, findings, collaborative research, and network in a number of ways. These include, identifying opportunities and challenges for sector resilience, measuring and understanding individual behavior in response to crisis, identifying and scaling best practices for mitigation, and understanding how to leverage emergent generosity action for longer term culture shifts.

We want to help the social and charitable sectors to realize the opportunities for a positive legacy of this crisis.

Our Research Priorities

We are implementing measurement processes right now to answer this need:

  • Meta-analysis of research on the impact of economic shocks to the social sector and distilling findings for actionable insights.
  • Analyzing 990 and our unique transactional datasets to uncover deeper insights and identify key indicators. We’re using tools we developed with our collaborators and making the code and data open for others.
  • Global social and media listening to measure the conversation, test interventions, and connect engagement to action. We’ll use this to identify the opportunities for scalability, mitigation and recovery.
  • Fielding survey research in global markets to establish baseline attitudes, values and self-report behavior. We’ll run a second round after GTNow to measure impact.
  • Developing values and behavior dashboards to track longer term trends and forecast.
  • Coordinating our network of 47 global teams and US working groups to gather data, collaborate on research and share findings and best practice.
  • Working with our platform partners to collect and analyze transaction data to identify current and emerging trends and forecast opportunities and risks.

Tags:  Philanthropy 

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