Working Together against Corona

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January 13, 2021

COVID-19 is straining social dynamics around the world, so we are working in several conflict-affected countries—from Kenya to Yemen to Nigeria—to fight mis/disinformation and build more cohesive communities.

Around the world, COVID-19 has tested the ties that bind our societies together, exacerbating divisions in all societies and testing our capacities for collaboration and compassion. Especially in conflict-affected, divided, and fragile contexts, the lack of trust between authorities and communities, the stigmatization of some vulnerable groups, weak health systems, and the obstacles to mobilizing a collaborative response have reduced the ability of governments and communities to respond quickly and effectively to this unprecedented global crisis.

Recognizing the important role of peacebuilders in supporting and facilitating responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and its secondary impacts, Search for Common Ground is implementing an innovative cross-regional 15-month programme funded through the European Union’s Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace.

Launched in July 2020, the “Working Together against Corona” programme aims to ensure an effective and conflict-sensitive response to COVID-19, fighting mis-/disinformation and preserving social cohesion in fragile and conflict-affected countries. With this programme, we also want to ensure that the COVID-19 crisis is not only seen as a threat aggravating existing conflict dynamics, but also recognized as the kind of shared challenge that can open new opportunities for peace, bringing people together across dividing lines, building resilience, and reducing tensions and divisions in the communities we serve.

Key Interventions

Our teams are working at local and national level in Kenya, Nigeria, Palestine, Tanzania, Uganda, and Yemen, and also coordinating a regional media campaign in the Middle East and an innovative learning platform at the global level. These interventions focus on promoting access to reliable and trustworthy information about the pandemic, strengthening social cohesion and collaboration to address the COVID-19 crisis and its long-term consequences, and increasing shared learning among peacebuilders, public health experts, and decision-makers on how to respond to global health crises in conflict-affected settings.

Interventions include:

  • Broadcasting of audio spots with COVID-19 preventive measures;
  • Production of radio dramas and interactive radio talk shows to discuss the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 crisis (on education, mental health, violence against women, and other important issues);
  • Social media campaigns to strengthen social cohesion during the pandemic;
  • Training and coaching of media professionals and local influencers on conflict sensitivity, gender, and COVID-19 rumor management.

In several countries, we are also launching arts and culture competitions with young people and establishing virtual dialogue platforms and early warning systems to increase collaboration in the local response to the pandemic. We are supporting collaboration (online and in-person) between health officials from opposing sides in some highly tense conflict settings.

Much of our work across these different countries is done together with local partners and media actors. Through our work on the Ebola crisis, we learned that the messenger can count as much as the message when fighting rumors and disinformation—which is why we are working closely with social influencers, religious leaders, artists, and others to achieve broad reach that includes some of the most vulnerable groups, including religious minorities and displaced people.

To inform effective and conflict-sensitive responses to the current and future pandemics, we are also conducting and disseminating research on how COVID-19 is impacting conflict dynamics.

Stories




Final Evaluation


Enabling Effective and Conflict-Sensitive Responses to COVID-19 to Protect Social Cohesion in Fragile Contexts

Research

To inform effective and conflict-sensitive responses to the current and future pandemics, we are also conducting and disseminating research on how COVID-19 is impacting conflict dynamics.

Global trends


Trust: the golden ticket to successful COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in conflict settings

English Version
French Version
Arabic Version


A story of resilience and fragilities: the impact of COVID-19 on horizontal cohesion in conflict-affected countries

English Version
French Version
Arabic Version


Understanding the Gendered Impact of COVID-19 on Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected and Fragile Contexts

English Version
French Version
Arabic Version

Country Scans


Kenya – December 2020
Kenya – April 2021
Kenya – July 2021
Kenya – May 2022

Nigeria – December 2020
Nigeria – April 2021
Nigeria – September 2021
Nigeria – May 2022

Uganda – December 2020
Uganda – May 2021
Uganda – September 2021
Uganda – February 2022

Palestine – December 2020
Palestine – May 2021
Palestine – December 2021
Palestine – December 2022

Tanzania – December 2020
Tanzania – April 2021
Tanzania – November 2021
Tanzania – June 2022

Yemen – December 2020
Yemen – April 2021
Yemen – November 2021
Yemen – March 2022
ConnexUs Logo

Too often we focus on what divides us; it’s time to find out what ConnexUs. As part of Working Together against Corona, Search has launched a new online global platform, ConnexUs, to bring together peacebuilding, humanitarian, development, and public health practitioners, academics, influencers, and activists at the local and global levels. ConnexUs promotes knowledge sharing, communication, and collaboration between aid practitioners on how COVID-19 is affecting different contexts and communities, and how communities are responding to the pandemic in conflict and post-conflict contexts. ConnexUs will also host a dedicated section for online influencers who are engaged in promoting positive social messages around COVID-19 to connect with each other, showcase their work, and access small grants.

Discover the ConnexUs Platform

 

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