Between March 27-April 1, 2020 Pact Belarus carried out an online survey of Belarusian civil society organizations and informal groups to better understand the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on NGOs’ activities, plans and needs. The survey was carried out under the USAID/BRAMA activity.
The results presented below are based on 94 valid survey responses that were received from formal and informal groups across Belarus representing a whole range of civil society sectors.
- The majority of Belarusian civil society groups have been affected, in one or another way, by the COVID-19 pandemic. Having faced challenges of organizing offline public events, declining outreach to constituencies and limited access to financial resources, most NGOs are in the process of adapting their operations and activities. Working remotely, rescheduling or moving management and programmatic activities online are most popular types of immediate response measures.
- Further adaptation and future planning are complicated by the insufficiency of information about the development of the situation with COVID-19. Access to reliable information is among top needs of Belarusian NGOs.
- Aside from challenges, a large majority of NGOs see in the pandemic an opportunity to go digital, experiment with new offline formats and better coordinate with each other. Most civil society groups would benefit from assistance to develop their digital competencies, while donors are expected to be flexible in terms of project work plans and timelines.