Civil society in sub-Saharan Africa suffered severe setbacks in 2020. While the causes included political, economic, security, and climate-related factors, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced new and unusual complications. Although sub-Saharan Africa was initially less affected than other parts of the world, by the end of the year, the virus had had a profound effect on CSO sectors throughout the region.
Most troubling was the weakening of CSOs’ organizational capacity and financial viability and the increasingly constrained legal environments in many countries. At the same time, CSOs’ advocacy efforts, service provision, public image, and the sectoral infrastructure often proved resistant to the debilitating effects of the pandemic and, in some countries, even improved as organizations tackled the challenges of the pandemic with energy and confidence.
As the 2020 CSO Sustainability Index for Sub-Saharan Africa shows, the pandemic served as a litmus test for civil society, confirming its ability to withstand extreme stress in some areas while exposing acute vulnerabilities in others.
Read the full report here (19MB PDF)
Source: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition