COVID-19 Notable Resources and EWMI Program Responses

The ongoing 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID – 19) pandemic is having profound global health, societal and economic impacts. During this difficult time, EWMI’s top priority is the wellbeing of our staff, implementing partners, grantees, and the communities we serve. Although we have adjusted our operations to ensure the safety of the EWMI community, we remain committed to our mission and will continue to work to strengthen democratic societies around the world. On this page, EWMI is sharing a collection of Rule of LawCivil Society, and Health Disparities and Social Inequality resources that we hope will be useful to our counterparts and colleagues around the world as they navigate the new challenges this pandemic presents. To learn more about what EWMI is doing on the ground please read the EWMI Program Responses section of this page.

The links below are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by East-West Management Institute. EWMI bears no responsibility for the content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. 

COVID-19: Rule of Law Resources

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the rule of law around the world. In an effort to share ideas, approaches, and issues with our counterparts and colleagues around the world, EWMI has compiled a collection of articles, webpages, and resources that provide guidance and information on how various aspects of justice systems in the United States and in other countries are responding to the pandemic. The materials, which by no means are intended to be exhaustive, cover how the pandemic is affecting courts, prisons, and access to justice, among other issues. We hope that you find this information useful. Our goal will be to post periodic updates for as long as the information is helpful and relevant. If you are aware of additional articles, materials, or training opportunities that you would like to see added to this resource, please submit them to Remi Vespi, Senior Program Manager – Legal Programs, at

Court Operations


Frequent updates on how state courts are responding to the pandemic
Interactive map showing actions taken by state and local courts in response to the pandemic
A compilation of resources and article hosted by the UK-based Society for Computers and Law
Interactive map showing EU court closures, as well as list of court closure-related updates by country with brief descriptions
Justice Management Institute page providing information on the response to COVID-19 by criminal justice systems, including information about responses and guidance by practice area
Provides guidance for state court judges and administrators on how to prepare for and respond to a pandemic
Provides updates and articles on the status of practices of courts around the world.
A report on measures taken by judges and courts in different countries aimed at suspending judicial activity during the ongoing pandemic.
A resource page from the UK judiciary containing the latest advice and guidance in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.
A webpage from National Center for State Courts with information, articles, and guidance on the functioning of courts during the pandemic.

Court Operations in Hardest Hit US Jurisdictions

New York

Provides information on the status and response of courts in New York

New Jersey

Provides up-to-date information on courts in New Jersey


Provides up-to-date information on the status of courts in California


Provides updates and news related to the status of courts in Michigan


Provides information and updates on the actions of the Florida courts


Provides up-to-date information about the COVID-19 response of Massachusetts courts


Provides updated information on the COVID-19 response of Washington courts

Training Opportunities

Provides access to webcasts provided by the National Judicial College on relevant topics, such as the challenges faced by treatment courts during the pandemic, how judges should operate in times of societal crisis, and civil mediation in the time of social distancing.
Provides information about upcoming courses from the National Judicial College, such as a constitutional examination of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An online bulletin board that includes webinars, trainings, tips, and updates related to court access and the operation of courts during the ongoing pandemic.

Media Coverage

The Jerusalem Post, October 30, 2020
Times of India, September 3, 2020
The Brookings Institution, August 6, 2020
Government of Ontario Newsroom, June 30, 2020
Access To Justice


A guide that provides a breakdown of legal resources for individuals during a pandemic, a glossary of legal terms related to pandemics, answers to FAQ's from business owners during these times, and information on looking towards the future, such as how legal professionals can prepare during and after a pandemic.
The Get Help page of the City Bar Justice Center demonstrates how the organization has adapted to provide affordable legal services during the pandemic.
Provides a space for community discussions among grassroots justice groups to ask questions, share advice, or explore ideas about adapting and responding to the ongoing pandemic
Outlines concrete actions legal aid providers should take related to detention facilities and prisons during the coronavirus pandemic
Includes discussions for court practitioners focused on relevant topics, including challenges due to the closure of family courts and alternatives to help participants maintain sobriety while courts and treatment programs are closed
A series of fact sheets created by the Vera Institute of Justice and Community Oriented Correctional Health Services to guide actors in the criminal and immigration legal systems due to the unique and critical role they play in the coronavirus response.
Provides information about the responses of state courts, law enforcement, correctional facilities, juvenile justice actors, and other topics.
A webpage from Fair Trials meant to provide information on how criminal justice systems around the world are being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and responses to it.
A live and open repository set up by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that will be updated with information and evidence on the use of access to justice initiatives that have been developed in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
A paper by the USAID DRG Center to help inform USAID strategies and programming from a DRG perspective. The paper outlines technical issues related to DRG and COVID-19 and details potential sector-specific and cross-sectoral USAID responses, including in the areas of rule of law and human rights.
A page managed by the Global Network for Public Interest Law providing legal resources related to the coronavirus pandemic, including information sharing, grant opportunities, organization management, operation solutions, and other relevant topics. Individuals or organizations can also share resources to be added to the webpage.
A brief update from the Special Rapporteur on Independence of Justice and Lawyers meant to draw attention to critical issues related to functioning and independent justice.
A collection of websites, court orders, news items, legislation, and other resources that have been collected by the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense for the access to justice community.
Advice on what the UK Legal Aid Agency is doing to help providers continue legal aid services during the coronavirus outbreak.
A briefing from The Elders that discusses the most pressing priorities that the public health emergency poses for justice leaders and proposes areas for urgent action.
Contains videos by in-country scholars meant to share information on the constitutional/legal responses of governments around the world to the Covid-19 pandemic in order to better learn how frameworks for emergency response function in a global pandemic, as well as build a network of scholars to engage in comparative discussions at the academic and international policy advocacy levels.
A paper from Justice for All and Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies that offers recommendations for policymakers, donors, and multilateral institutions on how to finance and protect grassroots justice defenders during and after the pandemic.
A report from the Engine Room and the Open Society Justice Initiative focused on how legal empowerment actors worldwide are using technology to give people information about the law, connect them with legal advice, and provide them with legal services.
A rapid assessment developed by UN Women, IDLO, UNDP, UNODC, World Bank, and Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies that examines how the impacts of COVID-19 are threatening women’s ability to access justice and documents major threats to women’s lives and livelihoods associated with COVID-19 – namely, curtailed access to justice institutions, rising intimate partner violence, threats to women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, growing injustice for workers, discriminatory laws and lack of legal identity, as well as repercussions on forcibly displaced women and those deprived of their liberty.
A report by UNDP that highlights some considerations and strategic entry points for practitioners in ensuring access to justice for all in the context of COVID-19, with an emphasis on the importance of upholding the rule of law, protecting and respecting international human rights standards and basic principles of legality, including the rights to equality before the courts and to a fair trial, as part of preparation, response, and recovery efforts on COVID-19.
A preliminary investigation by the Global Access to Justice Project focused on the current impact of COVID-19 on justice and legal aid systems based on quantitative and qualitative data collected from 51 countries in April 2020.
A report from the Georgetown University Institute for Women, Peace and Security that documents the major challenges to women’s access to justice in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and puts forth recommendations to accelerate action and push back against threats to progress.
This is a space for advocates to share resources and find policy developments affecting the delivery of legal services and access to justice, which NLADA is developing in coordination with an array of experts in both the delivery of legal services and access to justice, as well as experts in specific practice areas and leaders in providing civil legal aid and public defense. This page will be updated and expanded as the pandemic and its collateral consequences continue to develop. 
A video discussion and podcast from the Duke University Bolch Judicial Institute and the American Law Institute with federal and state court judges focused on ensuring access to justice during and after the pandemic.
A project by the Brennan Center for Justice that involves research and creating policy solutions to promote equitable access to the courts, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A briefing paper by the International Commission of Jurists outlining measures affecting the court system and access to justice which have been introduced in response to COVID-19 in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
A brief overview of some of the legal issues resulting from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic by Concord Law School, including the legality of quarantine and stay-at-home orders, criminal law, employment law, and family law.
A webpage from PILnet with COVID-19-related guidance and legal resources on a variety of topics for organizations around the world.
An article to be published in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal that provides a preliminary assessment of the extent to which Canada’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have prioritized the safety of women and children, with a focus on the courts and women’s access to justice. 
A report from UNICEF providing a look at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on children’s access to justice based on data from UNICEF’s Socioeconomic Impact Survey of COVID-19 Response.
A report from the Center for Reproductive Rights discussing human rights and access to justice and providing recommendations to permit courts to safely and successfully operate during the pandemic.

Training Opportunities

CLE webinars and on-demand products from the American Bar Association addressing the legal implications of the coronavirus pandemic and providing answers to some questions on the effects of the outbreak.

Media Coverage

Harvard Law Today, December 4, 2020
The Law Society Gazette, October 1, 2020
Los Angeles Times, September 11, 2020
New York Review of Books, September 2, 2020
The Marshall Project, June 20, 2020
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, June 22, 2020
The Hindu, June 19, 2020
Brennan Center for Justice, May 29, 2020
World Justice Project, May 4, 2020
The Marshall Project, April 17, 2020


A map of the U.S. tracking the response of state prisons
Bureau of Prisons COVID-19-dedicated page providing details on the Bureau’s emergency response, collaboration efforts, etc.
A document from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative meant to assist governments, prison departments, judiciaries, legal services institutions, and other stakeholders with undertaking effective measures to ensure the protection of all prisoners, prison administrators and staff, prison visitors, and all persons associated with prisons.
Report by the American Civil Liberties Union and researchers from Washington State University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Tennessee calling for reductions in prison populations based on the findings of a new epidemiological model.
A regularly updated list of news articles, guidance, and other resources from around the world on COVID-19 and prisons that is managed by the World Prison Brief, the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research, and Birkbeck, University of London.
A Marshall Project effort to collect data on the prevalence of COVID-19 among prisoners and prison staff.
An analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that provides the first documentation of the number of reported laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in correctional and detention facilities in the United States.
Tips from the Marshall Project for incarcerated people and those who work with them on how to protect yourself from the virus within the limits of prison or jail.
A report by the American Civil Liberties Union and Prison Policy Initiative that evaluates the actions each state has taken to save incarcerated people and facility staff from COVID-19. 
A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts focused on the impact of COVID-19 on people in prisons and nearby communities.
A resource from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the provides information and guidance for preparing for, preventing, and responding to COVID-19 in correctional and detention facilities.
A report by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice that draws on jail data being collected by New York University's Public Safety Lab to assess how jail populations, admissions, releases, and the characteristics of those released changed during the pandemic, relative to the pre-pandemic period.
A report by the National Campaign against Torture that provides an in-depth look at the current status of Indian prisons and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Media Coverage

Atlanta Journal-Constitutional, December 30, 2020
The Marshall Project, December 21, 2020
The Marshall Project, December 18, 2020
The Marshall Project, December 13, 2020
The New York Times, November 21, 2020
Human Rights Watch, August 26, 2020
The Appeal, August 19, 2020
The Appeal, August 12, 2020
The Chicago Maroon, July 29, 2020
Human Rights Watch, July 20, 2020
The Marshall Project, July 16, 2020
The Appeal, July 8, 2020
Stanford Social Innovation Review, June 9, 2020
The Marshall Project, May 13, 2020
The Marshall Project, May 1, 2020
Human Rights Watch, April 6, 2020
Human Rights Watch, April 6, 2020


Provides relevant and useful resources for immigrants and refugees, as well as resources for lawyers and representatives, including webinars and other programs
Provides an overview of refugees and displaced people in different regions in relation to COVID-19 and offers recommendations for how best to respond to the current pandemic.
Up-to-date webpage that contains all of the coronavirus-related research and analysis generated by the Migration Policy Institute and Migration Policy Institute Europe, including commentaries, webinars, fact sheets, and articles.
A platform that aims to survey all detaining countries to report on official action or inaction and report calls by independent monitoring bodies, NGOs, and human rights institutions demanding that authorities implement measures to safeguard the wellbeing of migrants and asylum seekers in official custody and release people from detention.
A regularly updated UNHCR resource page with reports and information related coronavirus impacts on refugees and vulnerable populations by region and country.
Fragomen’s regularly updated COVID-19 Pandemic Immigration Situation Overview, which summarizes the restrictions, requirements, and concessions currently in place in over 150 jurisdictions.
A webpage providing access to immigration-related updates, government-related announcements and alerts, correspondence and advocacy resources, and document samples and templates, as well as other information.
A briefing from the United Nations Network on Migration that provides practical guidance to States and other stakeholders for an improved common understanding of safe and inclusive access to services for migrants, and makes the case for enhanced access to services for migrants in the context of COVID-19 preparedness, prevention, and response
A webpage from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center providing guidance that may be helpful to immigrants and those who represent immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recommendations from the Women’s Refugee Commission, Freedom for Immigrants, and Physicians for Human Rights for all stakeholders, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), sponsoring family members or friends, and organizations offering post-release stabilization services, on steps to take to prepare for an individual’s or a family’s release from immigration detention during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An IRC page providing information and resources on the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and refugee camps.
An OECD policy brief that provides evidence on how the pandemic has affected immigrants and their children in terms of health, jobs, education, language training and other integration measures, and public opinion, and describes host countries’ policy responses.

Media Coverage

Deutsche Welle, January 27, 2021
The New Humanitarian, January 7, 2021
Voice of America, December 19, 2020
Atlantic Council, December 11, 2020
The New Humanitarian, July 14, 2020
The Atlantic, April 2, 2020
Human Rights and International Law


A Council of Europe paper designed to provide governments with a toolkit for dealing with the present unprecedented and massive scale sanitary crisis in a way that respects the fundamental values of democracy, rule of law and human rights.
Provides access to the American Society of International Law’s pandemic-related publications to aid with research and learning.
A piece by Human Rights Watch covering applicable human rights law and discussing some of the concerns, such as protection of freedom of expression and access to critical information, the right to education, protecting people in custody, and ensuring quarantines/lockdowns/travel bans comply with relevant norms.
An Amnesty International review of the human rights concerns and challenges that often emerge as states respond to epidemics, and summaries of states’ human rights obligations and the key human rights laws, standards, and principles that must be reflected in their responses to the current pandemic.
A brief overview of human rights-related issues during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as guidance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on a people-centered COVID-19 response.
Resource page from OHCHR providing guidance on human rights and access to statements, op-eds, the actions and statements of UN special procedures and treaty bodies, and other materials.
A page providing information on the New York City Human Rights Law in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.
A paper by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law that provides an overview of international human rights law in light of current issues and disputes and then evaluates those issues and disputes under other regimes of international law, such as human rights, trade law, peace and security law, and the law of development finance.
This document is a compilation of extracts taken from reports/studies adopted by the Venice Commission on emergency powers and states of emergency and of country-specific opinions on relevant constitutional provisions and/or (draft) emergency laws and is intended to serve as a source of reference for drafters of constitutions and of legislations on the judiciary, researchers, as well as the Venice Commission’s members, who are requested to prepare comments and opinions concerning legislation dealing with such issues.
A webpage from the International Justice Resource Center that collects resolutions, press releases, and other statements from human rights bodies and their parent intergovernmental organizations on States’ obligations to respect human rights in mitigating COVID-19.
A Council of Europe webpage providing access to reports, videos, and news related to the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on human rights and the rule of law.
A resource from the International Justice Resource Center providing updated information on the status and responses of human rights bodies, including UN human rights treaty bodies, the Human Rights Council, and regional bodies and courts.
The Global Monitor of COVID-19’s Impact on Democracy and Human Rights is a qualitative monitor and a “one-stop-shop” online global monitoring tool/of the democracy and human rights implications of measures adopted by governments around the world in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, specifically in the 162 countries included in International IDEA’s Global State of Democracy Indices. It is aimed to be a user-friendly tool for policy-makers, civil society organizations, journalists, and the general public to easily access in one place all democracy and human rights-related information on COVID-19 measures, by country, by region and globally.  
The COVID-19 Law Lab initiative, a joint project between UNDP, WHO, UNAIDS, and the Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, gathers and shares legal documents from over 190 countries across the world to help states establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the pandemic. The goal is to ensure that laws protect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities and that they adhere to international human rights standards.
Report by Amnesty International that discuss attacks on human rights defenders since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides recommendations for states to better adapt to the need to protect human rights during a pandemic.
A toolkit from OHCHR that takes treaty law perspectives and jurisprudence and translates them into an operational contribution to strengthen the human rights-based approach to both UN and States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a thorough and analytical overview of the relevant treaty provisions, their interpretation, and the jurisprudence of treaty bodies, the toolkit provides the legal references needed to use the authority of treaty bodies to reinforce country-specific analysis and advocacy for a COVID-19 pandemic response consistent with international human rights treaties.
A report/toolkit developed by UNAIDS that identifies key learnings from the HIV response that are critical in ensuring an evidence-informed and effective response to an epidemic.
An article from the Emory International Law Review that considers whether countries have obligations under public international law to prevent and contain disease and to help other countries during pandemics.

Media Coverage

American Society of International Law, April 20, 2020
Asia Times, April 21, 2020
A look at the potential long-term damage to democratic values in Asia
Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, 4/17/2020
EJIL: Talk!, March 17, 2020
Discusses the defense of force majeure
EJIL: Talk!, March 17, 2020
Focuses on the defense of necessity/distress
American Society of International Law, February 21, 2020

COVID-19: Civil Society Resources

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten our health and to disrupt our political, economic, social, and cultural lives. As civil society actors, we also need to continue doing our work by providing information and services to the groups we serve, defending human rights and democratic institutions and practices, and monitoring the governments’ actions to address the pandemic and beyond. In an effort to share ideas, approaches, and concerns with our counterparts and colleagues around the world, EWMI has compiled the following collection of articles, webpages, and resources that provide guidance and information on approaches, tactics, and tools that civil society actors in the United States and other countries are using or could use to respond to the pandemic. These materials, which by no means are intended to be exhaustive, cover issues related to: the operating environment for civil society organizations (CSOs), CSOs’ role in addressing COVID-19 pandemic and in monitoring governments’ service delivery during the pandemic, potential threats to civil liberties and democracy, freedom of information and the right to information, disinformation, funding sources for CSOs, use of big data, digital and other resources available to CSOs. We hope that you find this information useful. Our goal is to post periodic updates for as long as the information is helpful and relevant. If you are aware of additional articles, materials or training opportunities that you would like to see added to this resource, please submit them to Alexandra Zenoff, Senior Program Manager,

Operating Environment
Nature, July 6, 2020
An examination of how COVID-19 threatens progress towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), May 2020
Summary of CDC initiatives, activities, and tools to support COVID-19 response and “reopening” of the United States
Latest information and resources that nonprofits can use to prepare and respond from the National Council of Nonprofits.
March 23, 2020
Opinion on how organizations must adopt new strategies to advocate and leverage digital communication for virtual advocacy
(March 12, 2020)
How charities are looking to work from home in the face of COVID-19
Fingerprint for Success
A curated list of 50 tips to promote a healthy work-life balance while working from home.
Fingerprint for Success
A look at the effects of more workers beginning to work remotely due to the pandemic and some predictions for the future.
Fingerprint for Success
Examining factors related to remote work burnout and providing advice on how to combat burnout for people working remotely.
Role for Civil Society
World Bank Blogs, February 4, 2021
Among the top recommendations for reducing corruption during the pandemic is the importance of supporting civil society organizations that are already working to hold governments accountable.
Forbes, January 6, 2021
An article highlighting some of the female non-profit leaders who have contributed to the pandemic response in the western balkans.
Open Access Government, December 15, 2020
Looking ahead to the significant role of civil society in shaping the post-pandemic european union.
World Health Organization, December 10, 2020
civil society representatives report on their workshops to discuss and commit to actions to mitigate dangerous effects of the covid-19 infodemic and future infodemics.
November 19, 2020
An open letter signed by over 100 civil society organizations was sent to the European Parliament demanding that the European Parliament and national parliaments of EU member states support the proposal for a temporary waiver from certain intellectual property provisions under the Agreements on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for COVID-19 medical technologies.
International Rescue committee via relief web, October 15, 2020
A report on how the pandemic has impacted women and girls in emergency contexts and to what extenT the humanitarn response to the pandemic has (or has not) prioritized the safety of women and girls.
UNICEF via Relief Web, September 15, 2020
In a report on unicef’s most recent covid-19 response work, unicef notes that 46% of funds received from the unicef covid-19 global appeal were transferred to civil society organizations.
Global fund community foundations website: Reports published by CivSource Africa
The series of reports Examines where civil society and philantrhopy have intersected in Uganda during the pandemic.
Mongabay, August 31, 2020
Without the usual presence of international conservation ngos—temporarily forced out due to covid-19 restrictions—the keo seima wildlife sanctuary in cambodia is more vulnerable to logging.
Brookings, August 11, 2020
A discussion of how to meaningfully support, engage with, and empower civil society actors in order to combat the global fragility that the covid-19 pandemic has heightened.
UNFPA, July 31, 2020
Updates on the COVID-19 in the region and UNFPA's response work, including working in partnership with civil society.
The Conversation, July 3, 2020
As the pandemic continues on, CIvil Society must prioritize where to focus limited resources while community needs are growing and diversifying.
UN Secretary-general shared by Relief web, June 26, 2020
UN Secretary-general calls on civil society to help uphold human rights and combat racism during the pandemic.
UN Women assessment shared by Relief web, June 24, 2020
Un women’s assessment on the impact of covid-19 on the work of women’s cSOs in asia and the pacific.
Open Democracy, June 24, 2020
The pandemic has provided some civil society groups around the world with an opportunity increase their activism.
The New Humanitarian, June 11, 2020
How COVID-19 has disrupted aid efforts around the world.
Relief Web, June 10, 2020
The Livelihoods and Food Security Fund (LIFT), managed by UNOPS, reports on civil society response to the covid-19 pandemic in mynamar.
ReliefWeb sharing report by Care international, June 9, 2020
A look at why there should be more women in leadership roles in covid-19 response efforts, including in those led by civil society organizations.
Covid-19 Health Systems Response Monitor, June 5, 2020
A Summary analysis of the value of civil society responses to COVID-19 across the countries.
World Economic Forum, May 29, 2020
Civil society has a crucial role to play in global recovery from the pandemic.
The United Nations is collecting stories from civil society organizations about how they are responding to COVID-19. Read stories from other CSOs and/or submit your own story.
Oxfam Blogs: From Poverty to Power, April 23, 2020
The pandemic is disrupting the work of civil society around the world, but it is also catalyzing new forms of civic engagement.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April 21, 2020
Although pandemic response efforts are disrupting civil society across the world, the situation is catalyzing new forms of civic mobilization and activism.
April 1, 2020, Transparency International Ukraine
Transparency International Ukraine reports on simplified procurement procedure for items procured in connection with COVID-19
March 25, 2020
Examines from three perspectives: That of the people CSOs serve; CSOs’ staff’s wellbeing and morale;CSOs’ health and resilience
March 24, 2020
Perspectives from China, India, South Africa, Slovakia, Colombia, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the US, the UK
March 10, 2020
Harvard Kennedy School experts discuss the critical and difficult roles the public sector must play in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
Compilation of examples of current citizen-led community responses, participatory disaster response strategies, building trust between government and citizens, transparency over forecasting models and data that inform government strategies, digital platforms or apps that keep citizens informed, digital and/or crowdsources provision of public and government services, and protecting data rights and privacy as corporation help lead the response in some countries.
Role of CSOs in Monitoring Delivery of Services During COVID-19
Article 19, May 2020
The right to information is important in combating COVID-19.
List by country of laws, decrees, and formal policy statements that temporarily alter or suspend RTI obligations due to COVID-19
April 1, 2020
Transparency International Ukraine reports on simplified procurement procedure for items procured in connection with COVID-19
Threat to Civil Liberties and Democracy
The Solidarity Center, April 10, 2020
A garment factory in Yangon fired union workers, citing a decrease in demand due to COVID-19, while keeping on non-union workers
Transparency International, April 3, 3030
Assessing the corruption risks of coronavirus and approaches on how to prevent the abuse of power during a global health pandemic.
The Solidarity Center, April 2 2020
The scale of the COVID-19 pandemic offers to possibility to build more resilient economies and societies
March 20, 2020
The European Digital Rights (EDRi) outlines guidelines for protection of human rights in response to Covid-19.
Human Rights Watch, March 19, 2020
Human Rights Watch provides an overview of human rights concerns posed by the coronavirus outbreak, drawing on examples of government responses to date, and recommends ways governments and other actors can respect human rights in their response.
March 17, 2020
Government restrictions limiting civil liberties and historical lessons on judicial decisions and coercive measures in the US that impacted civil liberties in the name of public health
March 16, 2020
Discussion of the implications for civil liberties of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19
March 10, 2020
Notes threats to rights during the current pandemic and provides recommendations for governments respecting rights during a public health emergency
Human Rights Journal, March 1, 2020
Amid growing public fears, confusion, and misinformation it is critical to set out some key human rights principles and the guidance they provide.
Brennan Center for Justice (ongoing)
Articles and resources addressing issues related to the test posed by COVID-19 to democracy on: Elections; Overreach of powers during emergencies; Incarceration
Interactive map and database of significant antigovernment protests since 2017 compiled by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Digital Surveillance
Asia Sentinel, April 16, 2020
The app may enable the Indian Government to track and share data outside the scope of its stated purpose.
LawFare, April 15, 2020
Assessing and evaluating the efficacy of geotracking tools and applications to combat COVID-19.
Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2020
Surveillance technology used to curb the spread of COVID-19 raises concerns about government overreach
Internet Freedom Foundation, April 13, 2020
An analysis of how the use and publication of health data as well as specific surveillance, tracking, and contact tracing technologies and apps are impacting individual privacy in India during the pandemic.
Global tracking of COVID-19 response in relation to data and information, quarantine enforcement, apps and smartphone as well as telecommunications tracking.
Digital Reach Asia, April 2, 2020
A critical evaluation of the TraceTogether app developed by the Singapore government.
April 2, 2020
Signed by dozens of organizations, the statement urges government to consider human rights before increasing digital surveillance
April 1, 2020
The app is designed to be downloaded by individuals with COVID-19 to allow government to track their movements. In addition to the app, there was a leak that a new system using QR codes specific to each individual would be used to track people when they went outside of their homes
April 1, 2020
- Germany has developed a voluntary app to track the spread of the coronavirus - Users are intended to remain completely anonymous - In order for the app to work as intended, at least 60% of the population would need to use it and keep it on their person wherever they go
Centre for International Governance Innovation, March 30, 2020
Investigates the dangers of using a digital response to the COVID-19 outbreak in light of new technologies used for in the context of: contact tracing; testing and responder capacity; early warning and surveillance; quarantine and social control; and research and cure.
March 28, 2020
Describes examples around the world of various government methods of surveillance using cellphones during the current pandemic
March 27, 2020
NHS is expected to announce its collaboration with Microsoft, Amazon, and Palantir to predict demands on hospital capacity. This article proposes: - Data partnerships should put the interests of the NHS patients and the public first - Data partnerships should be transparent and accountable about how data will be shared, accessed, and used and by whom - Data partnerships should consider and account for health inequities
March 27, 2020
A geolocation tracking system is currently being used to track at least 700,000 smartphones to identify where lockdown rules are being followed
CNet March 25, 2020
Exploitation of social media to enforce quarantine lockdowns across Italy and other parts of the world are being evaluated as governments try to enforce social distancing as a response to the pandemic.
Law Fare, March 25, 2020
Mobile surveillance using location data sourced from devices need to be evaluated for their efficacy. The article explores the limitations of using location data to counter covid-19.
March 23, 2020
Normally a privacy activist, this author argues the pandemic does warrant releasing cellphone data already being collected and stored by the private sector to relevant public authorities in order to enhance contract tracing
Center for Global Development, March 20, 2020
Increased reliance on digital tools to monitor the spread of disease raises serious questions about how to prevent governments from using those same tools to track individuals for other purposes after a health crisis has subsided.
March 19, 2020
The Israeli government is tracking individuals who have the virus and texting those who may have been exposed
Freedom of Information / Right to Information
Wired, April 12, 2020
Blind spots in location-tracking data can threaten both public health and human rights. Big data can obscure or misrepresent complex social realities, with dangerous consequences for both public health and human rights. The impulse to harness data for good should not be a license to conduct risky experiments that sacrifice privacy and civil liberties without any clear payoff–harmful results that could persist well after the crisis is over.
April 1, 2020
Civil society must urge governments to be transparent and not to accept the excuse that transparency slows government action
April 1, 2020
The B.C. government in Canada issued a ministerial order to allow for broader use of communication tools for healthcare workers and other government employees in order to better respond to the COVID-19 outbreak
March 27, 2020
Report on how different US agencies are changing how they process Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests during the current pandemic
March 30, 2020
Hawaiian governor suspended the state’s public records and open meeting laws
Article 19
Article 19 monitors and reporting on government overreach, and urging governments and other actors to ensure human rights, including the right to free expression, are fully protected in efforts to combat the virus.
March 4, 2020
Different countries have applied very different approaches to controlling or sharing information during the COVID-19 pandemic
March 26, 2020
Describes the role censorship during early days of the outbreak played in the pandemic and warns of overreaching surveillance, lack of transparency, and censorship in countries all across the world as a threat to rights
cNet, March 25, 2020
A research group examines more than 500,000 Instagram profiles in Italy to see if people are abiding by the quarantine.
March 17, 2020
It is crucial to address the COVID-19 infodemic, which the WHO defines as “an overabundance of information—some accurate and some not—that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance.”
February 12, 2020
Thanks to social media, information and misinformation has been shared around the world at unprecedented speeds, fueling panic and racism but also hope.
BBC News, February 13, 2020
WHO asks tech companies to take stronger action against sharing false COVID-19 information
The Verge, February 3, 2020
Highlights the risks of using large big data that is unsubstantiated by evidence and the impacts of such decisions on people's livelihoods.
Funding Sources for CSOs
Lifeline is currently supporting CSOs pushing back against opportunistic civil space restrictions accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic.
Council of Europe, April 6, 2020
European Youth Foundation (EYF) announces a call for local or national youth organizations to apply for funding to respond to local needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 30, 2020
In the first three months of 2020, governments, bilateral donors, multilateral institutions, philanthropic donors, NGOs, and the private sector have pledged a combined more than $4.6 trillion; The Devex Interactive Dashboard allows users to search the funding opportunities announced between January 1 and March 24, 2020 with filters such as donor type, funders, geographic footprint, and focus areas
March 27, 2020
A total of EUR 600,000 will be allocated for granting proposals in healthcare and telemedicine, education and e-learning/distance learning, and support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. All public and private entities, NGOS based and registered in CEI Member States, and international/regional organizations are eligible to apply for up to EUR 40,000 with a deadline of April 9, 2020.
Funding opportunities will be posted on and Potential partners may also submit unsolicited proposals to
List of funding available with a focus on US-based foundations that serve nonprofits
Resources for CSOs
Complication of courses, tools, webinars and workshops, and other resources for nonprofits
Freedom House, June 2020
A guide to encourage new ideas about conducting advocacy in difficult contexts.
Articles and resources on digital rights in the COVID-19 fight, including topics such as: - Transparency reporting - Government surveillance - Fighting disinformation and misinformation Subscribe through the following link to receive updated COVID-19 articles and resources by email:
Email newsletter with a variety of resources and volunteer opportunities for interested individuals during the pandemic
Comprehensive list of digital initiatives currently being developed in response to COVID-19 pandemic
Another inventory list of civil tech group’s working to ensure data protection and security within COVID-19 response applications.
A live list of global responses to COVID-19 broken down by region as well as resources including; data challenges and calls for proposals and requests for data experts.
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), 2020
There are important lessons that can be learned from the many Indigenous communities in Asia that have been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in both traditional and creative ways.
Racial Equity Tools. Compilation of analysis, resources and tools, healing and community care, organizing and solidarity, resource building & rapid response, virtual work and online engagement, and list of lists.
Maps, datasets, applications, and other resources related to COVID-19
Index mapped by US census tract, county, and state that identifies communities that may need the most support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 and Environment
March 19, 2020
As habitat and biodiversity loss increase globally, the coronavirus outbreak may be just the beginning of mass pandemics.

COVID-19: Health Disparities and Social Inequality Resources

As in other historical and existing public health crises, vulnerable groups are disproportionately shouldering the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, underlying inequalities are often exacerbated in emergencies, and the current pandemic is no different in that respect. For both of these reasons, inequalities must be taken into consideration in designing prevention and response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to share ideas, approaches, and concerns with our counterparts and colleagues around the world, EWMI has compiled the following collection of articles, webpages, and resources that provide guidance and information on approaches, tactics, and tools that civil society actors in the United States and other countries are using or could use to respond to the pandemic. These materials, which by no means are intended to be exhaustive, cover issues related to the effects of social inequality, race, racism, and xenophobia during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that you find this information useful. Our goal is to post periodic updates for as long as the information is helpful and relevant. If you are aware of additional articles, materials or training opportunities that you would like to see added to this resource, please submit them to Alexandra Zenoff, Senior Program Manager,

Social Inequality
Social Europe, September 21, 2021
The pandemic has barely increased global income inequality—but it has made other inequalities worse.
New York Times, July 27, 2021
A report describing the impact of the coronavirus on the education of Black youth also provides recommendations as schools reopen.
The Baltimore Sun, July 23, 2021
Disparities in pandemic-related layoffs, on top of existing disparities in average incomes and household wealth, necessitating action on the part of the federal government.
New York Times, May 7, 2021
In tracking COIVD-19 vaccine rollout, most states in the U.S. are not collecting information on sexual orientation or gender identity; if this information was tracked, it could increase the visibility of disparities and support allocation of resources to support addressing the gaps.
New York Times, May 5, 2021
A reflection on the vastly unequal global vaccine distribution and some of its ramifications.
Nature, April 29, 2021
Disparities in vaccine rollout, both within and among countries, is a threat to bringing the pandemic under control.
New York Times, March 9, 2021
An interactive article illustrating the role of employment levels as one aspect of the unequal economic recovery in the US.
Devex, February 26, 2021
LGBTQ youth are among the marginalized groups who face even greater risks of poverty, exploitation, and abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.
McKinsey & Company COVID Response Center (Data as of January 31, 2021)
An interactive page that illustrates how American unemployment inequality across gender, race, ethnicity, and other demographics has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Bloomberg, January 28, 2021
Unequal access across countries to effective vaccines in a timely manner will both increase global disparities in pandemic recovery and also increase the opportunities of mutations to occur.
UN News, January 18, 2021
The actions of some wealthy nations threaten global equitable access to the vaccine.
New York Times, Published December 25, 2020/Updated December 31, 2020
The unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world will worsen disparities in the recovery of the global economy.
Washington Post, December 17, 2020
An examination of the many factors that are contributing to the disparities in vaccination timelines across countries.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
The long-term economic consequences of the pandemic will disproportionately fall on those already most vulnerable unless policy actions are taken to support a more inclusive economic recovery.
VOX EU, November 3, 2020
An examination of the link between deforestation and COVID-19 transmission to Indigenous peoples.
Global Voices, October 22, 2020
Communities of indigenous peoples in Russia—many of whom already had been facing social inequalities and health disparities, lacking reliable access to appropriate medical care, and battling food security concerns—are being disproportionately burdened by the pandemic.
World Economic Forum, October 9, 2020
An examination of how the pandemic is increasing inequality and who is most affected by the rising inequality.
Merco Press, September 5, 2020
In response to the disproportionate burden of the pandemic on Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, an app called “Covid-19 Indigenous Alert” was created to provide information to Indigenous Peoples on areas with high infection rates.
UNDP’s overview of how the consequences of the pandemic are and will continue be most harmful to the world’s most vulnerable.
The Conversation, August 18, 2020
An overview of increasing inequality during the pandemic, with a focus on jobs, the digital divide, the gender gap, rising protectionism, and access to the vaccine.
Business Insider, August 3, 2020
The article provides an examination of the factors that have led to some billionaires getting richer during the pandemic while many Americans are facing increased financial difficulty and unemployment and provides some suggestions of how to reduce income inequality moving forward.
Thomson Reuters Foundation News, July 18, 2020
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on leaders to address the inequality highlighted by the pandemic, beginning with inequality in global institutions.
Thomson Reuters Foundation News, July 9, 2020
Latin America’s indigenous and Afro-descendant women disproportionately bear the burden of the inequality, discrimination, and socioeconomic exclusion that are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Racial Equity Tools. Compilation of analysis, resources and tools, healing and community care, organizing and solidarity, resource building & rapid response, virtual work and online engagement, and list of lists.
New York Times, June 11, 2020
Interactive piece highlighting key coronavirus disparities across New York City based on census data.
Resource Library for COVID-19 and Gender references.
Center for Global Development, May 27, 2020
Policy paper examining challenges faced during school closures, especially by girls, and what frontline organizations are doing to provide support during the pandemic.
CARE International, May 19, 2020
In West Africa, women are disproportionately burdened with both caring for their families and simultaneously leading prevention and adaptation efforts in their communities.
Outlook India, May 16, 2020
In India, more female employees than male employees have been laid off.
Business Insider, May 13, 2020
Those with lower incomes are disproportionately represented among the many Americans who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.
The New Humanitarian, May 6, 2020
Internally displaced women in South Sudan express concerns about being more vulnerable to abusive partners and less able to access support during the pandemic.
The New York Times Magazine, May 5, 2020
Community health centers serving vulnerable populations are stretched to the limit during the pandemic.
The New Yorker, May 1, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted in the American medical system the serious problems of fragmented care, unequal access, and social inequities.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, May 2020
The economic consequences of the pandemic are disproportionately hurting low-skilled, low-wage workers.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, May 2020
Unless action is taken, the pandemic threatens to worsen inequality for generations to come.
Reliefweb, April 22, 2020
Examining how to plan for the potential of multiple challenges faced at the same time in Cambodia, which will have the biggest impact on those already vulnerable.
The New Yorker, April 21, 2020
The burdens of the pandemic may be falling disproportionately on single mothers, many of whom were already in challenging situations.
Harvard Business Review, April 20, 2020
The trends indicate that women and people of color in the United States are losing jobs due to the pandemic and pandemic responses at disproportionate rates.
Medium, April 20, 2020
A data-driven, epidemiological approach to combatting COVID-19 excludes vulnerable groups that are often not identified or counted. This blog post explores many of the ways this will affect marginalized populations living in Lower Mekong Countries (LMC).
Thomson Reuters Foundations News, April 20, 2020
Indigenous communities must be involved in the response to the pandemic, and governments must respect the rights of indigenous peoples to govern and protect their territories.
Web Foundation, April 15, 2020
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, having access to adequate internet at home plays an important role in providing information to keep individuals safe, helping them virtually connect with others, and in some cases allowing them to stay engaged in work and school.
Quartz, April 14, 2020
A global look at how the pandemic and response efforts affect low wage workers.
The Guardian, April 13, 2020
Lack of adequate (or any) internet at home is putting underserved communities further at risk during the pandemic
Relief Web, April 9, 2020
Actions must be taken in preparedness and response planning in order to address the gendered impacts of the pandemic, including through: community engagement and consultations; access to reliable information; women’s leadership, decision-making, and engagement in prevention/response plans; and isolation and shielding.
United Nations, April 9, 2020
Medium, April 7, 2020
The social and economic consequences of COVID-19 may disproportionately affect women long after the pandemic is over unless targeted action is taken.
New York Times, April 5, 2020
The Elmhurst neighborhood in Queens, New York City has been dubbed the “epicenter of the epicenter” within the United States. An emergency medicine doctor at Elmhurst Hospital Center reflects on the social inequities that contribute to the situation in Elmhurst and other neighborhoods with similar demographics: -Rates of residents living in poverty -Immigration status -Jobs that do not offer health insurance or other benefits and do not allow for working from home -Crowded housing conditions that do not allow for sufficient social distancing or isolating -Queens has 1.5 hospital beds per 1,000 people while Manhattan has 5.3 hospital beds per 1,000 people -Elmhurst Hospital beds and intensive care units were often full before the pandemic, so it is not surprising that the hospital would be overwhelmed now with the influx of COVID-19 patients
The New Yorker, April 1, 2020
COVID-19 response policies kept some partners from attending childbirths.
March 15, 2020
There is a feedback loop exacerbated by economic inequality Those with lower economic status seem more likely to catch COVID-19, more likely to die from it, more likely to have reduced income or healthcare during restrictive measures such as quarantines Research on flu epidemics suggests that poverty and inequality increase rates of transmission and mortality Lower socioeconomic status is linked to higher prevalence of chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease
March 9, 2020
Dr. Diana Hernández, Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, reflects on the ways the pandemic will differ across socioeconomic status: Social distancing may be more difficult for many lower-income workers and those living in high-density conditions Buying extra food and supplies as a preparedness measure will be too expensive for many people living paycheck to paycheck Historically, low-income and other marginalized groups have often suffered worse health outcomes due to preexisting conditions or delayed healthcare HIV/AIDS has highlighted disparities both in the US and globally The current pandemic is an opportunity to demand an improvement to structural inequities
United Nations, March 2020
Report from the UN on social, economic, and multidimensional impacts of the pandemic and sustainable solutions to cope with these impacts.
Data2x, March 2020
Information about gender data trackers, calls to action, and other resources related to gender data and COVID-19.
Race and Health Outcomes
Amazonia Real, March 19, 2020
A look at the voluntary quarantine of the people in Xingu National Park will attempt to protect the community against COVID-19, especially in light of immunological and health care vulnerabilities.
NPR, April 12, 2021
The CDC released two studies examining racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits in 2020.
BMJ, January 15, 2021
An analysis that examines how disparities in COVID-19 follow the larger trend of worse health outcomes among marginalized ethnic groups.
New York Times, December 9, 2020
Studies show that Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 than white Americans because of social and environmental factors.
The Washington Post, September 15, 2020
In the US, over 75% of child COVID-19 deaths are among Hispanic, Black, and Native American children.
CNN, September 1, 2020
In yet another way the pandemic is exposing the deep inequalities that lead to health disparities, the majority of children affected by Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) are Black and Latino.
New York Times, July 30, 2020
Gaps in COVID-19 race and ethnicity data hinder proper resource allocation to Native Americans.
New York Times, July 5, 2020
Although it had already been clear that Black and Latino people in the US were being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, newly available data from the CDC highlights just how pervasive the disparities are across geographical areas and age groups.
Salon, July 3, 2020
An examination of some of the many structural factors that have contributed to the Navajo Nation’s high COVID-19 death rate, which is higher than the COVID-19 death rate of any state in the U.S.
NBC News, June 21, 2020
The environmental pollution that, due to systemic racism, disproportionally affects Black communities in the US contributes to the higher COVID-19 death rate among Black Americans.
Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine. June 19, 2020
Q&A with Dr. Lisa A. Cooper, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity, about why the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting African American communities.
NBC News, June 21, 2020
The environmental pollution that, due to systemic racism, disproportionally affects Black communities in the US contributes to the higher COVID-19 death rate among Black Americans.
Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine, June 19, 2020
Q&A with Dr. Lisa A. Cooper, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity, about why the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting African American communities.
New York Times, June 7, 2020
Black Americans are bearing the burden of three crises at once: the COVID-19 pandemic, high unemployment, and policy violence.
This resource has real-time data tracking about the availability of racial and ethnic data on COVID-19 in the US, compiled in collaboration between the Antiracist Research and Policy Center and the COVID Tracking Project.
The CDC highlights factors that influence racial and ethnic minority group health in the US due to systemic racism.
New York Times, May 25, 2020
The difference in obesity rates among Americans across racial groups does not explain the racial disparity in COVID-19 health outcomes.
New York Times, May 21, 2020
Homes with a significant number of black and Latino residents have been twice as likely to be hit by the coronavirus as those where the population is overwhelmingly white.
Medium, May 14, 2020
Structural racism in the United States has caused the social and economic inequalities that result in the health disparities among different race and ethnic groups in the United States—both in the COVID-19 pandemic and more generally.
The New Yorker, May 7, 2020
Chair of Harvard University’s Department of the History of Science, Dr. Evelynn Hammonds, describes the historical context of African Americans and public health in the US.
USA Today, April 10, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the extent to which health care access and health outcomes in the US are tied to employment and income.
The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, April 9, 2020
COVID-19 is worsening the racial discrimination, criminalization, and stereotyping that Indigenous Peoples face
April 7, 2020
A breakdown of fatalities by race shows that as of April 7, 2020, 70.48% of COVID-19 deaths in Louisiana have been among its black residents Note: According to the US Census data, only 32.7% of Louisiana’s population is black (
Des Moines Register, April 7, 2020
Despite the fact that black Americans are dying of coronavirus at higher rates in some major cities, most federal and state officials are not tracking and/or releasing racial data.
April 6, 2020
Although only 30% of Chicago’s population is black, black residents account for 52% of cases and 72% of deaths related to COVID-19 complications at the time of this article Public health professionals point to the fact that historically, residents of Chicago’s South and West sides are more likely to have worse access to health care, higher poverty rates, and jobs that do not allow for remote work Chicago’s public health commissioner ordered all healthcare providers to collect information on race and ethnicity of COVID-19 patients as a step in addressing the disparities Similar trends are occurring in other American cities and states The group Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law called for more transparency on patients’ race and ethnicity in federal and state reporting on COVID-19 testing, cases, and health outcomes
Caravan Magazine, April 3, 2020
Coronavirus has led to racism against Indians from the northeast
April 4, 2020
Michigan’s population is only 12% black, yet black residents account for approximately 40% of COVID-19 related deaths Experts say social inequities contribute to the different health outcomes and also warn that although anyone can be infected by the virus, the trends among which groups are experiencing higher rates of infection puts those groups at risk of stigma and discrimination
Racism and Xenophobia
AP, August 12, 2021
Stop AAPI Hate received 9,081 reports of anti-Asian incidents between March 19, 2020 and June 2021.
Stop AAPI Hate, March 16, 2021
Report covering 3,795 incidents received by Stop AAPI Hate from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021.
Devex, June 19, 2020
COVID-19 research and response efforts are highlighting and exacerbating existing colonial approaches to international development and global health.
United Nations, May 11, 2020
Recommendations for countering COVID-19-related hate-speech.
CNN, May 1, 2020
In New York, Asian American workers have seen the largest percentage increase in filing for employment (as compared to the same period last year) compared to any other single racial or ethnic group.
April 5, 2020
Both in-person and online anti-Asian racism have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic Racist terms and slang used to talk about COVID-19 both promotes stigma and discrimination and also contributes to the spread of misinformation about the virus
March 17, 2020
Experts describe historical disease outbreaks from the bubonic plague of the 14th century to SARS and associated stigma, ethnic bias, racism, and xenophobia Such discrimination is not only problematic but also counterproductive as a response to public health emergencies
March 17, 2020
Dr. Ho-Fung Hung, Johns Hopkins University professor of Political Economy in the Sociology Department and at the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), writes in the Journal of Political Risk about the important distinction between fighting the harmful xenophobic racism sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic and holding the Chinese government accountable for their response to the outbreak, particularly in the early days
March 16, 2020
Nellie Mae Foundation has announced a rapid response grant fund to support community-based organizations in the New England region of the United States to respond to hate crimes and bias against Asian American communities as a result of COVID-19

COVID-19: EWMI Program Responses

EWMI is making every effort to keep everyone safe and healthy during this pandemic and has asked our global offices to comply with all local and national laws, declarations, and efforts to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Our programs have adjusted operations to ensure safety, but continue to serve their communities during this time of need. This section highlights the ways in which our programs have adapted their activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albania   —    USAID Justice for All (JfA)

The COVID-19 pandemic has made EWMI’s support of Albania’s only fact-checking service, Faktoje, even more urgent and important. With support from EWMI through its Justice for All (JfA) project funded by USAID, Faktoje will be producing an awareness raising video on countering disinformation related to COVID-19, building a database with reliable information on COVID-19, and working with local journalists to report accurate information on COVID-19 in their communities. Track developments at: EWMI is also supporting its counterparts in the Albanian judiciary by sharing information on how other judiciaries are responding to the pandemic and facilitating remote meetings of the country’s High Judicial Council (HJC).

Azerbaijan   —    Socio-Economic Development Activity in Azerbaijan (SEDA)

EWMI SEDA staff is producing and sharing public health awareness videos and posts through the Community Development House Facebook page. The Community Development House was established by SEDA in January 2020 to serve as a resource center for the communities the SEDA supports. To learn more about their work please visit:

On March 30th, the Government of Azerbaijan issued a resolution imposing an enhanced stay-at-home regime in the country from April 1 to May 31, 2020. The stay-at-home regime required total lock down for four major cities – Baku, Ganja, Lankaran, and Sumgait, prohibited travel to and from these four cities, while allowing for meetings of up to 10 people in other places. In response to the resolution, SEDA began using online platforms to organize roundtable discussions and provide training for the 20 Community Development Councils (CDCs) established during January – March 2020 with SEDA support. Online training session topics included Community Mobilization, Needs Assessment, Leadership, and Community Funds. Prior to starting the online capacity building activities for CDCs, SEDA developed and posted instructions for CDC members on how to participate in online training and roundtables using Zoom and WhatsApp on the Community Development House (CDH) Facebook page (see SEDA recorded the online training sessions and posted them on the CDH Facebook page, so that CDCs and other can access and refer to them, as needed. By May 15, 2020, SEDA completed 95 training sessions. 753 people, including 322 women, 91 youth, and 14 municipality and local ExCom representatives, attended the training sessions and the roundtables.

EWMI SEDA staff has also prepared and posted on CDH’s Facebook page video presentations on various topics related to community development including: Gender Equality, Youth in Community Development, Agrotourism and Community, Public Private Partnership, Solid Waste Management, and E-government.


Cambodia   —    USAID Cambodian Civil Society Strengthening (CCSS)

In Cambodia, the USAID-funded CCSS program is supporting grantees as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Publicizing data on COVID-19: Open Development Cambodia (ODC) published a dataset and map layer on COVID-19 cases in Cambodia. For access to the map click link and to the dataset click link.

Fact-checking claims about COVID-19: Women’s Media Center of Cambodia (WMC) is fact-checking four stories on (1) ‘drinking more water kills the coronavirus,’ (2) ‘people with AB blood are more vulnerable to the coronavirus, whereas people with type O blood are less infected,’ (3) ‘old people are more likely to die than children if they are infected by coronavirus,’ and (4) ‘living close to a telephone antenna and using a cell phone affects your health.’

Youth volunteers help prevent COVID-19: On March 30, YCC youth groups joined local authorities in Sangkat Preaek Lieb in a series of public awareness events aimed at prevention among returning migrants in 3 communes (Beng, Kouk Mon and Batey Ampil) in Oddor Meanchey province. A total of 15 (6 females) people participated, including youth group members, district officials, commune councilors, health center officials and village chiefs.

Georgia   —    Advancing CSO Capacities and Engaging Society for Sustainability (ACCESS)

Rapid Response Grants
In order to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in a timely manner, EWMI ACCESS promptly announced the Rapid Response Grants program for Georgian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), civil movements and citizen groups. The program deploys flexible resources to these groups to take civic action to minimize the spread of infection and address the crisis caused by the pandemic. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit their proposals according to detailed guidelines available HERE. Grants have already been awarded to several grantees. For example, Rapid Response Grantee Mirian Jugheli has built up a website cataloging different types of products and services available online in Georgia to ease adherence to the stay-at-home regulations. It also includes a section debunking disinformation about COVID-19 and pointing visitors to reliable information. Rapid Response Grantee Ajara Democratic Development Center launched its hotline for the Roma community living in the Ajara region to help inform them about the COVID-19 risks and prevention measures.

Post-Pandemic Recovery
On May 21, ACCESS organized a live discussion on Facebook focusing on post-pandemic recovery and the government’s anti-crisis plan. The discussion featured representatives from leading Georgian think tanks (ISET Policy Institute, PMCG, EPRC) and addressed COVID-19’s impact on the economy, the government’s transparency and accountability as well as its response, and recommendations for the future. 

EWMI ACCESS Partner, the Network of Centers for Civic Engagement (NCCE)
NCCE regional offices in ten different locations are organizing different on-line events/webinars/discussions/meetings on a daily basis to support their communities: webinars for school students on COVID-19 prevention measures; online discussions with school students, teachers, directors, and CSOs about the main problems faced by regional public schools with the introduction of online schooling; webinars titled COVID-19 Myths and Realities for local CSOs and civic activists to raise their awareness about the most widespread disinformation about the new virus and provide factual information; on-line discussion about the COVID-19-related threats and problems in the conflict zone villages; etc.

The NCCE also published a statement offering assistance to civil society organizations (CSOs) and government agencies in disseminating timely and credible information related to COVID-19 and related services/resources in regions. NCCE has a comprehensive and up-to-date database of nearly 15,000 people living in 10 regions of Georgia, disaggregated by different categories (e.g. farmers, teachers, entrepreneurs, the elderly, students, journalists). NCCE collected this data with the consent of its beneficiaries. Using the database, it will be able to reach those citizens who are left beyond the social networks. NCCE offers assistance in information distribution free of charge.

On May 22, NCCE launched a new initiative aimed at assisting citizens to receive unemployment benefits, agro-credits, tax reliefs and other forms of social assistance as outlined in the Georgian government anti-crisis plan. NCCE will collect questions from citizens and respond in detail with regard to eligibility and application requirements.  NCCE centers in Akhaltsaikhe and Marneuli are assisting ethnic minority citizens to register and apply for said social benefits.

Coping with Stress
Acknowledging that the infection outbreak has caused fear, stress, anxiety and grief among many, EWMI ACCESS has teamed with the Center for Training and Consultancy (CTC) to prepare and share info-videos and other materials to a wider Georgian audience. Featuring prominent psychologist Maya Tsiramua, the videos aim to reduce anxiety, addressing specific methods to manage stress and fear. The videos are available HERE.

Distance Learning Courses for Civil Society Representatives
Distance learning courses’ popularity is increasing with social distancing measures in place. Therefore, EWMI ACCESS and the Center for Training and Consultancy (CTC) have re-opened admission to online learning courses in the following subjects: 1) Project Logic. 2) Roadmap for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). 3) Leadership at a Civil Society Organization (CSO). Each module is equipped with additional learning material and quizzes, and each module’s pace can be customized by the participant according to their personal needs. Participants earn a certificate after successfully completing the course tests. 

EWMI ACCESS Public Policy and Accountability Grantee working on countering Russian and anti-western disinformation, StratCom Georgia, published a research article on Russia seizing the COVID-19 “opportunity” to strengthen anti-EU and NATO feelings and broadcast pro-Russian propaganda on social and state media. The article challenged Russia’s media coverage about the Russian anthem being played in the streets of Italy, EU flags being replaced with Russian flags, and other manipulations by Russian media outlets. StratCom Georgia also published a new research post to debunk a conspiracy theory linking 5G with COVID-19. This myth quickly gained traction on Georgian social media. StratCom Georgia prepared its post based on the New York Times article on this topic. StratCom Georgia published another post on its popular anti-propaganda Facebook page Information Defense Legion refuting a fake report that COVID-19 was created by an American scientist Charles Lieber, who then sold it to China.

For more information about EWMI ACCESS’s response in Georgia visit:

Georgia   —    Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia (PROLoG) Activity

Judicial Support:
EMWI PROLoG developed a document highlighting how US and EU courts are dealing with management of the justice sector during the crisis, and shared it with the High Council of Justice (HCOJ) and Georgian courts. The program also recommended that the HCOJ organize a task force of justice institutions to coordinate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other task force members include representatives from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the Supreme Court, the Prosecutors Office, the Legal Aid Service (LAS), and the Georgian Bar Association (GBA). In light of new social distancing rules, PROLoG assisted Georgia’s judicial training institute, the High School of Justice (HSOJ) increase its capacity to conduct online/distance trainings, workshops.

Support to the PDO, LAS and GBA:
EWMI PROLoG provided technical assistance to Legal Aid Service (LAS) to conduct their meetings, trainings and workshops in online/distance format and is engaging an international expert to provide online technical assistance and training to the Ombudsman’s Office (Public Defenders Office, or PDO). Read more about PROLoG's technical assistance HERE

Access to Justice and NGO support:
EMWI PROLoG is organizing online W-Talks (women talks) with leading women judges and NGOs leaders to discuss gender equality, in some cases reaching audiences of over 20,000. To learn more about W-Talks, click HERE. EWMI PROLoG is also providing support for online discussion/working meetings for the Coalition for a Transparent and Independent Judiciary and individual NGO. EMWI PROLoG has also implemented a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants program to rapidly deploy resources to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in Georgia, and ensure the rule of law and access to quality legal education and services. Grants have already been awarded to the Legal Aid Service and the Georigian Bar Association, read more HERE.

For more information about EMWI PROLoG’s response in Georgia, please visit:

Mekong Region   —    Open Development Initiative

As the Lower Mekong countries prepare to combat COVID-19, they face enormous challenges due to poor leadership, weak institutions and wide public mistrust that undermines progress towards democracy. The Open Development Mekong network, part of East-West Management Institute’s Open Development Initiative, is working towards distributing open datasets that help to provide reliable data and information to citizens. This has included the publication of data in Cambodia and Vietnam visualized in our interactive map explorer, which highlights hotspot areas at the provincial level. Additionally, Open Development Mekong is tracking and recording emergency laws and regulations that have been enacted as a response to COVID-19. These datasets and regulations, among other resources, can be found in our datahub

In a newly published article, COVID-19 in the Mekong Region, Open Development Mekong explores how vulnerable groups in the Mekong Region are being impact by the COVID-19 pandemic and response measures implemented to try to combat it. The article specifically explores how a focus on counting cases and individuals excludes groups that are typically uncounted, such as indigenous and ethnic minorities, refugees and internally displaced peoples, migrants, urban slum-dwellers, and people working in the formal sector. Missing the experiences and needs of these groups will exacerbate existing inequalities. Open Development Mekong will use a rights-based development perspective to examine the pandemic’s intersectional impacts in the Lower Mekong Countries (LMC). They will explore how open data platforms like those of Open Development Initiative (ODI) and civic tech might provide better solutions.

North Macedonia   —    USAID Civic Engagement Project in North Macedonia (CEP)

CEP is using its Facebook Page to help promote health safety measures. CEP COP, Goran Lazarevski has posted a video challenging North Macedonians to help #FlattenTheCurve. To learn more about how CEP is responding to the pandemic, please visit: and