A Call to Action for collaborative efforts to building resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 poses a serious challenge to Asia, home to nearly 4.6 billion people, more than two-thirds of the global population. We are facing a disaster like no other, one that will affect not just the poor and marginalised but every stratum of society. As governments work to contain the outbreak and stabilise the economy, there is an urgent need for social investors to step up to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable communities in Asia. This unique group of private sector funders and resource providers have the opportunity to contribute effectively to the response by mobilising their expertise, capabilities and resources.
Social Purpose Organisations have been particularly hard hit from the pandemic, with many facing a reduction in fundraising ability whilst experiencing increased demand for their products and services. These organisations have a huge part to play, both in responding to immediate needs of our local communities and in helping with recovery in the medium to longer term. Yet they are also vulnerable, as the predicted economic downturn will inevitably reduce future aid budgets and donations.
In response to this, AVPN is seeking to bring together social investors working across Asia for a commitment to a dual recovery, where vital long-term goals continue to be supported alongside short-term crisis management. Through AVPN’s COVID-19 platform, social investors can connect with a diverse range of peers across sectors and borders. Our shared aim with this Call to Action is to build on Pledges from across the globe, such as this one from the Council of Foundations and the HK NGO Letter to Funders, to better support organisations and communities during this difficult time and to drive better funding practices across the Asia-Pacific region in the future.
As the repercussions of COVID-19 continue to spread across the globe, the most vulnerable communities in Asia require a coordinated response. Throughout the long road ahead, AVPN remains committed to providing a powerful platform for connection and learning to support the recovery and continued momentum on key social and environmental issues that threaten our region. As part of that effort, we are urging our 600+ members and the wider social investment community to join us in this important commitment.
We as social investors pledge to support our investees through these four commitments:
- Flexibility: With this unprecedented crisis across the world, we understand that extensive changes to planned activities may occur as we all adapt to the quickly evolving situation. We would like to build mutual trust in our working relationship and support our partners and stakeholders by providing flexibility and loosening funding restrictions. This can include adapting deliverables, payment schedule, reducing or postponing reporting requirements, extending grant agreements and unrestricting funding to support core costs.
- Communication: We will listen to our grantees – as they, in turn, listen to their beneficiaries and the communities they serve – to understand fully what support is required during this difficult time and strengthen the feedback loop to foster the best solutions for all stakeholders. We will strive for openness and transparency in all communications to alleviate unnecessary confusion and delays.
- Technical Assistance & Capacity Building: To best support our partners and stakeholders, we will go beyond financial contributions to listen to and work with our grantees and, if needed, provide technical assistance and capacity building such as coaching and mentoring, impact measurement, legal support, marketing & communication and strategic advisory.
- Share: We are witnessing Asia’s social impact sector growing in resilience and know that our partners and stakeholders are hard at work to deliver on their missions despite new challenges. We will build on this learning and adaptation by helping to share best practices, foster partnerships and collaborations that can better improve practices and achieve more effective outcomes for the whole social sector in Asia.
Make a Commitment
We urge funders to join the pledge to mitigate the impacts from the COVID-19 crisis and to support individuals, organisations and communities across Asia.
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