Featured image for “Voices from the pandemic frontlines: Health worker protests and proposals from 84 countries”

Voices from the pandemic frontlines: Health worker protests and proposals from 84 countries

October 20, 2020
Guest post by Jennifer Johnson for the Accountability Research Center The COVID-19 pandemic has put unprecedented strain on health care systems around the world. Frontline health workers have faced great risks, from lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) to discrimination and harassment. Some face repercussions for whistleblowing or walkouts. This evolving situation has given rise to a new wave of
Featured image for “Civic Freedoms and The Covid-19 Pandemic: A Snapshot of Restrictions and Attacks”

Civic Freedoms and The Covid-19 Pandemic: A Snapshot of Restrictions and Attacks

October 14, 2020
Civicus, the international network of Civil Society Organizations, has just put out a brief on the impact of the pandemic on protest and activism around the world. Some highlights (my summary in square brackets) [Civic activism hasn’t entirely stopped, but it has moved from mass mobilization to a greater emphasis on symbolism and imagination] ‘2019 was a historic year for
Featured image for “Power and the Pandemic: Observing COVID-19 in Africa through a Public Authorities Lens”

Power and the Pandemic: Observing COVID-19 in Africa through a Public Authorities Lens

October 9, 2020
This post went up yesterday on the LSE Africa Centre blog, plugging a new paper I co-edited with Tom Kirk Most discussion of Africa’s response to COVID-19 takes place at the national level, focussing on the role of formal state authorities. However, less is known about the role of ‘public authorities’: traditional chiefs, self-help groups, kinship networks, professional associations, faith-based

Feminist solidarity networks have multiplied since the COVID-19 outbreak in Mexico

September 24, 2020
Last up in this short series of ’emergent agency’ case studies from the Interface Journal. María Jose Ventura Alfaro describes how independent feminist collectives in Mexico have created solidarity networks across the country to tackle the gravest socioeconomic consequences of the virus at the local level: shortages of food, medicine, and other essential products and an upsurge in domestic and

‘Anti-domestic violence little vaccine’: A Wuhan-based feminist activist campaign during COVID-19

September 23, 2020
Hongwei Bao argues that rather than seeing the pandemic as an obstacle to social movements, it can be a good opportunity to experiment with flexible and creative modes of social and political activism. This piece is a shortened version of a paper in the Interface Journal. From January to April, many Chinese cities including Wuhan were locked down in a

From communal violence to lockdown hunger – Emergency responses by civil society networks in Delhi

September 22, 2020
We’ve had an amazing response to our launch of the project on ‘Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid‘, and are now processing all the contacts and info we’ve received. For those wanting examples of the kinds of experiences we are interested in, I’ll be posting some examples over the next few days. First up, Sobhi Mohanty argues that the

Launching a new Research and Action programme on ‘Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid’. Want to join us?

September 9, 2020
Mutual aid groups morphing into long term citizens’ organizations; women’s organizations forming to address the surge in domestic violence during lockdown; small producers switching to producing protective equipment for health and care workers. Across the world, people are responding to the pandemic at a local level by acting, organizing and learning. What kinds of patterns can be identified in this

Making COVID Social Protection Accountable to India’s Vulnerable Citizens

August 26, 2020
Suchi Pande is a scholar in residence at the Accountability Research Center, Washington DC This post discusses two development policies that sound technical, but which are really important. Social protection is the set of services that help protect people against economic shocks or disasters, and from the ups-and-downs all people face in their life-cycle. Social audits are organized by citizens
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Covid-19 in Africa: How Youth are Stepping Up

July 2, 2020
This is a shortened and slightly updated version of a post by Alcinda Honwana and Nyeleti Honwana, which first appeared on the SSRC’s Kujenga Amani blog The African continent has, thus far, fared comparatively well in the pandemic, with just under 400,000 confirmed infections and about 10,000 fatalities at the end of June 2020. Even so, the heavy economic, social, and emotional

Social movements in and beyond the COVID-19 crisis

April 28, 2020
Interface Journal are putting together brilliant compilations of readings by/on social movements and how they are dealing with the current Coronavirus pandemic. We will be republishing these compilations as they are rolled out, to join efforts in amplifying the voices of activists and those organizing communities through the crisis. They have a call for submissions below, please write in! And

Voices from the Ground: Stories of Community Resilience & Entrepreneurship in the Pandemic

April 24, 2020
Guest post by Yogesh Ghore and Farouk Jiwa, of the Coady International Institute For the last 60 years the Coady Institute has been working with community leaders and organisations supporting leadership and knowledge building at the grassroots level. Many of our 9,000 graduates from over 133 countries, and partners across the world, are on the frontlines in the fight against