Covid-19’s effect on NGOs
Covid-19 has disrupted the world as we know it and while many people have been forced to change their way of life or adapt to what is called a new normal, many others have used the opportunity to excel in their business ventures. It is no secret that Covid-19 has had the worst effect on some of the less fortunate people in society.
What this means for NGOs is that they will have their work cut out for them. Much like government organizations, funding has been disrupted, while it all went for Covid-19 and now billions of dollars are pumped into a vaccine. However, in this article, we aim to look at how NGOs will function after Covid-19 has been contained.
The Post Covid-19 World And Its Effects On NGOs
Whilst funding is limited, the priorities of NGOs will also sway more towards the less fortunate communities and helping local communities reestablish themselves post-pandemic. It can be a tedious task and an uphill battle, but the following effects are what we suspect will come to fruition once Covid-19 is contained.
Fighting Covid-19 At A Local Level
In January 2020 during an address to the General Assembly, UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres mentioned that he was convinced NGOs will play a fundamental role in fighting Covid-19 at a local level. While most NGOs have different priorities, it is worth noting that the importance of fighting the pandemic is taking center stage.
Much like government organizations, it is expected that NGOs will derail some of their plans to combat other aspects or problems. The biggest focus in the world is on the Covid-19 Pandemic and even after the pandemic is passed, many NGOs will continue to assist the communities in preventing a resurgence of the pandemic.
How to make it work: NGOs will have to shift their focus to local organizations and be more effective at curbing the spread of Covid-19. Some of the original projects might need to be trimmed down to account for Covid-19.
Focusing On Human Rights
Much like focusing on the pandemic, many NGOs will need to change their approach and be more inclined to fight Human Rights Violations. In a world where money determines whether you have food or not, many people are severely constrained from an income. Unfortunately, society has a mentality of survival of the fittest, which means someone needs to step in to feed the needy.
NGOs will also find that more human rights violations are committed, as people try to fend for themselves when they have power. While NGOs will inevitably sway their focus to protecting the needy in society, they will also have a role to play in rooting out corruption, which has also taken center stage during the Covid-19 pandemic.
How to make it work: Since many people will be taking advantage of the needy, NGOs will need to be the mediator. They will have to stand up for the needy in these times. By slightly shifting focus, it should be easier for them to plan for these situations.
More Economic Constraints
Almost all NGOs are dependent on funding coming from institutional or individual donors that support their cause. However, the Covid-19 Pandemic has put NGOs in direct competition with government funding schemes that also require funding. This could lead to severe financial constraints as many people look for Covid-19 related schemes to fund.
Most NGOs will need to look outside the box if they are to find any other support. There are many different funding schemes that we have discussed in various articles that could help NGOs remain afloat during these times.
How to make it work: It might take some careful planning from the NGO, but doing a complete financial reset will allow them to find more funds from existing donors. Marketing schemes can be diverted to focusing on the pandemic, while some of the funds can still be used for the original cause.
As you might have seen, there are many regulations in place during the Covid-19 Pandemic. These regulations are in place to protect people from one another and keep the virus from spreading. It has put a halt on a lot of projects which were being run by NGOs pre-COVID. Many experts claim that a lot of progress made on SDGs will be reversed because of the effects of COVID19.
However, government regulations in the future could be in the way of NGOs making real progress to achieve their goals. It might require some careful planning and stretching of resources to ensure that you still complete your goal. NGOs that can adapt to the regulations the best will inevitably be the ones that stay afloat for longer during these times.
How to make it work: Not every country has the same regulations, but WHO regulations and recommendations should not be taken lightly. Organizations might need to reduce working staff or divert them to different portfolios to adhere to social distancing and avoid crowds.
Stigmatization By Human Rights Defenders
The world has many problems and it is hard for an NGO to tackle all the issues that are rampant around the world. Unfortunately, NGOs will come under a lot of scrutiny from Human Rights Defenders that believe the main goal of society should be to help those infected or affected by Covid-19. These issues can make it hard for NGOs to pursue their real goals, for example, environmental issues.
How to make it work: NGOs will need to find the perfect balance to ensure that everyone remains happy while still focusing on their main goals. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done and generally requires a lot of funding.
Formal Impact Measurement will become more important
Donors and foundations have been calling for a need for proper Impact Measurement and Management for some years now. As funds become scarce due to economic impact and need to funnel a high amount of funds to COVID19 related issues, the need for NGOs to show the impact they create per dollar spent will be even more important in order to get continued support from donors.As funds become scarce due to economic impact and need to funnel a high amount of funds to COVID19 related issues, the need for NGOs to show the impact they create per dollar spent will be even more important in order to get… Click To Tweet
How to make it work: A complete revamp of the mission or SWOT-analysis of the NGO is in order. It enables the organization to target the right avenues and focus on areas that are more lucrative. After all, more funds will lead to more potential projects and enable the NGO to reach its goals more efficiently.
While it doesn’t seem like the Covid-19 pandemic is going away anytime soon, we must do our best to support NGOs dealing with numerous socio-economic issues. In the end, it will be the NGOs that have best adapted to the “new normal” & can show the “impact” created in a transparent manner that will stay alive and continue receiving funds from large donors.