Times of crisis require intelligence, strength, agility, and decisive, collective action. As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, NetHope is focused on how we can help our 57 members respond during this rapidly changing event. In addition to monitoring its effects and the impact on the work of our members, we are taking several actions:
Identifying needs and sharing best practices. NetHope convened its members today to share best practices from several of our organizations and to identify their needs. We learned that:
- HIAS: As an organization addressing the needs of refugees, HIAS is trying to address the health and safety needs of staff and clients spread over 79 offices and 16 countries. They have created several guidelines for staff/client interactions as well as resources and protocols for staff including virtual working, client and staff meeting guidelines,
Ultimately, with these safeguards in place, HIAS’ major concern is to keep clients and staff as safe as possible while trying to maintain regular services, including negating effects of politicization of COVID-19 on refugees.
- Direct Relief: Involved in distributing masks for the Australian wildfires, DR had to quickly pivot when COVID-19 began to hit China in January. It chiefly had to deal with supply chain logistic issues as the masks and other equipment were manufactured in China and the difficulties of rerouting already stretched supplies to affected areas in China and then dealing with more global disruptions and shortages for this worldwide pandemic. They are now modeling supply chain scenarios for all aspects of this crisis, particularly medical supplies, testing kits, and personal protective equipment for fast distribution and urgent scaling up to get these to a variety of public health outlets globally.
It was discussed how vital the need is to manage the volume of information coming in from a variety of sources, track where best practices are creating improvements that can be shared across the sector, and distributing clear information in concise, condensed, and actionable bits across the community.
Sharing resources and helping each other. NetHope is aggregating and curating resources from and for our member organizations that may be relevant to them as they deliver various programs and projects in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources range from providing virtual workspaces, links to vital, breaking news from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and upcoming webinars and workshops relevant to this topic. We invite our members and partners to contribute resources that may be of assistance to other organizations. Our webpage content creates a collaborative environment to keep us all up-to-date on best practices for global nonprofits during a time of deep disruption.
Working Virtually. As an organization that has worked virtually for nearly 19 years, NetHope understands the nuances of running a distributed and diverse organization. Many of our members have this experience as well. If you would like more information on providing virtual workspaces, please reach out. Don’t forget also that there are free WebEx services and NetHope negotiated discounts with Zoom? NetHope is cancelling all in-person, NetHope-initiated events and will rely on meeting virtually.
Engaging Partners. As we identify our members’ needs, we will enlist the help of tech and funding partners to leverage technology to support NetHope’s ability to advance our members’ missions in this challenging time.
NetHope wishes for the health and safety of all our members and partners, and the communities they serve, as we collectively face the challenges of this pandemic together. By coordinating efforts, sharing information, and enlisting the help of our tech and funding partners, we can all benefit and help maintain calm during the uncertainty of the times.
Please visit the COVID Resource Guide for NGOs and stay healthy.