Together with my technical assistance colleagues Sara Simon and Sergio Rodriguez Prieto from the Policy Forum on Development (PFD) we presented a poster on the impacts of COVID-19 on development work during the virtual COVID-19 Conference on 10 and 11 July 2020, organised by the International Aids Society.
The data presented was based on a consultation amongst 360 PFD member networks and their constituencies in March and April 2020 which analysed how the coronavirus had impacted the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the enabling environment of civil society organisations and local authorities as well as the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships.
The main results of the analysis confirm that development work around the world has slowed down due to the pandemic which led to changing priorities, a decrease in funding and more restrictive work environments. The most immediate impact that the PFD members felt concerned job loss or an increase in economic insecurity, food insecurity and domestic violence; a growing digital divide as well as the overall exacerbation of inequalities, especially for the most vulnerable populations.
There is a strong need for multiple actors to work together and “build back better” across different sectors or levels and PFD members recommend keeping the focus on SDG implementation without compromising environmental and climate commitments. They also urge international donors to continue supporting CSOs and LAs with financial and technical assistance.
The poster presentation was imbedded in the overall virtual COVID-19 conference which brought together a series of renowned international speakers such as Bill Gates, Co-chair, Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation; Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Jane Goodall, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace; and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland.
All the speeches, presentations and posters are publicly available here.
You can also access a detailed summary paper on the survey as well as additional background information in the research section of the Policy Forum on Development Page on Capacity4Dev.