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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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 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 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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ISTR President Welcome

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 6, 2020

As President of ISTR I have been given the privilege of opening this forum, an initiative that we hope will become a lively source of discussion, debate, dialogue and information. Now that most of us are practically glued to our home computers, this seems like a good time to begin online communications and discussions. Given that our conference plans for Montreal have gone the way of all events in the coming months, please imagine this as one stream of alternative communication between and for you and your fellow ISTR members.

Because it is a global issue and we are all touched by the massive changes going on in response to it I thought I might offer some thoughts about the coronavirus pandemic.

For researchers and scholars this is is a time of overwhelming complexities, multilayered effects and an unknown future. For the third sector, predominantly organisations concerned with human services and human rights, it is a time of great challenge. Across the world, governments have really struggled to respond to every aspect of social need and protection. The messages people have been getting have been confusing and, in some cases, confusing and insufficient. There are also the huge threats emerging to democracy and human rights as those in power begin to possibly overstep their powers and exercise ideological agendas under the auspices of ‘protective measures’.

The obvious ways we can measure and understand the impact of the coronavirus is though data and personal stories and how the media reports the details. What is evident is that with the varied messages and measures about and for isolation, marginalised people, usually cared for or supported by third sector organisations and volunteers are largely excluded from national strategies. People who are homeless, people at home in dangerous or precarious safety situations, people on temporary visas and refugees and people with uncertain legal status mostly cannot benefit from the many efforts by governments to address the widespread health needs, unemployment and other economic consequences of stopping usual services and community activities. Therefore, the many organisations that generally provided services to marginalised groups also need to be part of economic and social strategies. More that ever community based and international NGOs should be included in national and local strategies for minimising the health, social and economic impact of the pandemic. It would be good to pass on examples, from around the world, of how the third sector has stepped up and made itself heard during this crisis.

For example, here, in Australia, third sector organisations were listened to and responded to after they began to get lots of calls from women now trapped at home and at risk of domestic violence (DV) - with no capacity to escape a situation exacerbated by restriction of movement, their partner losing work and becoming unemployed, a rise in alcohol abuse and other factors of control creating extra risks to their safety. The Australian government has made a large funding allocation to increase the capacity of DV Support services to assist in this time of crisis. This is on the back of reports that came out of China indicating a dramatic rise of DV due to home isolation strategies to limit the pandemic.

So I invite you to contribute to this blog and keep us thinking and engaging!

Ruth Phillips

ISTR President



Tags:  Australia  member 

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The false idea of a "risk group" and the new coronavirus

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A falsa ideia de "grupo de risco" e o novo coronavírus, by ISTR Board Member Mario Aquino Alves, FGV São Paulo School of Business Administration, Brazil.  



Tags:  Brazil  Member 

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