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Virtual meeting discusses sustainability of civil society organisations amid pandemic

By JT - Feb 09,2021 - Last updated at Feb 09,2021

AMMAN — The Information and Research Centre – King Hussein Foundation (IRCKHF) has held a virtual two-day expert panel meeting to discuss and evaluate the situation and sustainability of civil society organisations (CSOs) in 2020, in particular, the impact of COVID-19 on the development sector in Jordan.  

The experts’ panel represented a wide array of backgrounds and technical expertise from various types of organisations, including Jordanian non-governmental and community-based organisations, international non-governmental organisations, trade unions, embassies, and the public and private sectors, according to a statement from the centre.

The panel also included organisations and actors who work with and represent women, people with disabilities, youth, refugees, workers’ rights and other human rights issues.

The assessment is based on seven interrelated dimensions including CSOs’ institutional capacity, their financial viability, sectoral infrastructure, public image, service provision, advocacy, and the legal environment, and takes place in seven other Arab countries in addition to Jordan. 

 “The existence of an assessment of the sustainability of the civil society organisations is considered one of the important achievements that help in improving the work environment and ensuring practices and implementation in accordance with the obligations that respect fundamental rights and freedoms. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the fragility in understanding the framework of CSOs and their diversity, including the lack of opportunity for them to carry out their work and even benefit from privileges that did not take into account the level of equality between all sectors, which prevented CSOs from fulfilling their mission in an adequate manner,” Kamal Mashreqi, human rights expert, said.

Aida Essaid, director of IRCKHF, reminded the expert participants that according to their assessment, the financial viability was further impeded in 2019 in comparison with 2018, as limited foreign funding and economic challenges led to greater competition among CSOs for available funding. For this reason, Essaid emphasised the significance of the discussion on CSO sustainability in 2020, seeing that the challenges and implications are still ongoing, the statement said.

The CSO Sustainability Index Project in Jordan is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through a grant from the Civil Society Organisation Sustainability Index project implemented by FHI360. 

The project has been implemented annually in Jordan by the Information and Research Centre - King Hussein Foundation since 2011, according to the statement


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