Accountability and Pandemics: Lessons from COVID 19

By October 20, 2020 CSO Standard, News, NMedia

The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) and Accountable Now are pleased to announce their collaboration to work on a new issue of AIDMI’s publication.

The next special issue will take a particular focus on the role of accountability during times of COVID-19 and how humanitarian and development organisations have overcome pandemic challenges to continue using accountability as a tool to identify needs and provide support to the people they work for and with during the pandemic.


Focus of the issue:

Since 1995, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) has been leading local humanitarian action, disaster risk reduction activities, and climate change initiatives in India and around the region. By piloting collaborative action, co- creating knowledge, and building mutual capacities, AIDMI puts women, children, minorities, ethnic groups, casual labour, and missing voices on the agenda of accountability.

Accountable Now encourages its members and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to embed a more dynamic approach to accountability as a driver for ensuring that people ́s needs and priorities are at the core of the decision-making process of any organisation. To do so, organisations need to have proper feedback mechanisms, engage continuously with all their stakeholders, think about the well-being of staff and volunteers, commit to safeguarding processes, build partnerships and transparency, among others. However, the overwhelming effects of COVID-19 have put unprecedented pressure on CSOs. Not only do they have to adapt to a rapidly changing environment but this new context also poses challenges to the continued advancement of CSO accountability.

Over the last couple of years we have seen great progress in how CSOs are embedding dynamic accountability principles into their work, but:

● What has happened to this progress now that we are all facing a new reality for the foreseeable future?

●  How are ICSOs adapting their partnerships and approach to stakeholder engagement ?

●  How are donors ensuring transparency and building on their approach to community engagement and ‘beneficiary feedback’ to ensure downward accountability becomes the mainstream? And how are CSOS reaching local communities in an inclusive and responsive way?

●  As spaces become increasingly restricted and normal ways of working are halted, how can CSOs ensure engagement—direct or virtual or any other—with the people they work for and with and guarantee that, despite rapidly changing contexts, their needs and priorities remain a primary focus?

These are some of the questions that this issue will address with article contributions from key and missing voices from around the world, working in different organisations; from local CSOs, ICSOs, United Nations agencies, authorities to donors. This special issue will aim to understand the challenges the sector is facing during the COVID-19 pandemic and how dynamic accountability practices are enabling organisations to better respond to the needs of the people organisations work for and with.

About the Publication contributes towards advancing the National Disaster Management Plan objectives of the government of India in a regional and global context. The unique communication proposition of include:

A. comprehensive coverage of all the four priorities of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

B. comprehensive coverage of over 20 disasters including this pandemic in Asia and the Pacific

C. leadership in key national and international policy discourse as informed views.

D. diversity of contributors and articles in terms of themes, gender, sectors, minorities, and expertise and;

E. timely collaborations with leading national and international organizations to capture and disseminate current debates around disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and now the COVID- 19 pandemic. is only of its kind local publication promoting cutting edge local knowledge and leading insights from and about the region. Inclusion of all views, diversity of ideas, and multi-cultural approaches are valued when they lead to reducing vulnerability of the poor people.

Target audience:

●  ICSOs

●  National and community-level CSOs

●  Donors

●  International institutions working on development and humanitarian issues

●  UN agencies


●  20 x articles of approximately +/- 400 words

●  Articles consist of an introduction, briefly outlining the position/topic of the article, a main body and a conclusion.

●  Articles can centre around concrete examples and experiences. Story- telling often has more impact than reflection pieces.

●  References must be included using footnotes

●  Images and graphs can be included, with copyright permission


●  End-August/beginning of September: reach out to potential contributors to confirm their interest

●  Mid-October: receive first drafts

●  End October: drafts reviewed and sent back to contributors

●  Mid-November: final drafts received

●  End-November: all articles compiled and sent to AIDMI

Get in touch with to express your interest!

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