Opinions and analyses on initiatives against COVID-19 published in the media, or disseminated by social movements or NGOs themselves.

Against the pandemic: how is the struggle of the street walkers in the face of the crisis of Covid-19?

The theme of the struggles of the street walkers during the pandemic was the theme of live promoted by the Gaspar Garcia Center for Human Rights. Access the video recording here.

COVID-19 from the Margins

The site “COVID-19 from the margins” is an initiative of researchers from the Big Data From the South Project. The site – which accepts texts in several languages – brings together publications that give visibility to the narratives of the Global South about the pandemic.

Paraisópolis has better control of the pandemic than the municipality of São Paulo

Analysis by the Pólis Institute, part of a study that indicates the territories most vulnerable to the disease, shows how coping strategies implemented by the community of Paraisópolis were more effective to contain the impacts of the pandemic on the territory than those carried out in the city of São Paulo as a whole.

The favela is not in home office

Analysis published in the DW presents the considerations of leaders of several favelas that point to concerns about the rise of cases of Covid-19 in the communities added to the increase in hunger. These are reflections of the gulf that exists between the reality of these territories and what is observed by the government and society in general, deepened by the economic crisis and the difficulty in receiving emergency aid from the government.

The effects on social groups and vulnerable territories of measures to cope with the health crisis of Covid-19

In a technical note published by IPEA, Roberto Pires identifies the main effects of preventive measures for the most vulnerable groups and territories. The author states, however, that it is not an evaluation of the measures themselves, but rather aims to understand limitations and adverse effects that are consequences of these measures to cope with the crisis.

Solidarity is key, but it is not enough

In an analysis published in the ufrgs newspaper, Professor Marcelo Kunrath shows several civil society initiatives that are having a fundamental role in confronting COVID-19. However, he points out that, although laudable, these initiatives have a short term. It argues that governments need to assume, in fact, their role in this conjuncture presented more qualified public policies. For which there is no shortage of good proposals exemplified by universities and civil society.

Causes to Observe in 2020

THE CAUSE Brazil Consultancy has prepared a report composed of topics that, according to the agency, will occupy even more space and importance in life in society, during and after the pandemic. There are 11 themes divided into thematic blocks. The document can be read in full at this link.

Peripheries and Slums against Coronavirus

The Center for The Study of Bureaucracy (NEB-FGV EAESP) wrote about urban inequality and solidarity networks in times of pandemic, and especially how people in situations of social vulnerability are affected in different ways. The article, published in Estadão, can be read through the link.

Right to housing in Belo Horizonte

The professors and coordinators of the PRAXIS-EA group at UFMG, Daniel Medeiros de Freitas and Denise Morado, synthesize and analyze the mobilizations on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte and the search to demand responses from the state in the face of the pandemic. Find the article here.

In Santo André, residents use WhatsApp and videos to inform about Covid-19 in the favelas

The Communities Committee is a WhatsApp group that seeks to bring more information about coronavirus to peripheral neighborhoods in the municipality of Santo André, in São Paulo. The initiative was created by the MDDF (Movement for the Defense of the Favelados) with the objective of organizing a virtual network with residents and community leaders representing the favelas of the municipality, in addition to tracing themes discussed in the group. The full story can be accessed via the link.

"We're not in the same boat"

The collective Desenrola e Não Enrole made an article showing several initiatives that are being carried out in the outskirts of São Paulo in the fight against COVID-19. The actions began in view of the lack of support from the government for communities that cannot meet the “stay at home”. The proposal of the groups is to make a communication focused on the peripheries, with a change of narratives and instructions that meet their reality to provide information and awareness to the residents of the peripheries.

Brazil's favelas, neglected by the government, organize their own coronavirus fight

The American newspaper “The Washington Post” published an article written by the correspondent in Brazil, Marina Lopes, dealing with the reality and creative actions carried out in the Brazilian favelas to combat coronavirus. The article explains several initiatives of the favelas of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which act in the absence of a concrete government policy (municipal, state or federal) for these communities. The author highlights the importance of grassroots actions in these contexts and how the most vulnerable areas of the countries of the global north can learn from these experiences.

The Basic Income We Want

Technical note of the Basic Income We Want campaign, signed by 162 organizations and movements, presents a list of 20 obstacles to the proper implementation of the Basic Emergency Income. See the note here.

Impacts of the Pandemic on Civil Society

The Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) made a technical note about the impacts of the pandemic on civil society organizations, thinking about their challenges and perspectives. The text also points out some alternatives and reflections, in an effort of contextualization from mappings and descriptions of profiles of organizations in activities in the country.

The effects on vulnerable groups and territories of measures to cope with the health crisis

The Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) made a technical note regarding the impacts of coronavirus coping measures on the most vulnerable social groups in the country. The purpose of the note is to perceive the adverse effects and the gaps of the current measures to cope with the crisis, which does not mean, they affirm, that they are contrary to prevention measures. 

Territorial Context and Collective Action

Article written by authors linked to the Pólis Institute, a civil society organization that acts in the defense of the right to the city, shows how collective action can help reduce the impact of the virus. Go here.

The Pandemic and the State We Want

Rebecca Abers and Marisa von Bülow in El Pais: “The absence of a unified front of political parties and leaders on the best path to face the crisis only contributes to further hindering state action, despite the efforts of many local authorities. The result is an erratic and inconsistent state, unable to protect much of the population from the disease and the economic effects of the pandemic.” Keep reading here.

Southern Academics Talk About Civil Society Initiatives


The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Civic Activism Network, made up of academics from several countries in the Global South, published a video talking about the challenges facing civil society and changes in the ways of participating in the pandemic context.

Communication produced in the territories faces network of misinformation about coronavirus

An article by Laércio Portela presents several initiatives of popular communication and mobilization in the outskirts of Pernambuco: “The proliferation of disinformation in social networks has been one of the main problems faced by those who are at the tip, in the territories, making direct communication with communities”. Keep reading on the Ground Zero website, here.

Civil society and the coronavirus: dynamism despite disruption

Saskia Brechenmacher, Tom Carothers and Richard Youngs, 4/21/2020: “Foreboding though this picture is, the crisis is also catalyzing new forms of civic mobilization. Civil society actors in many countries, democratic and nondemocratic alike, are rising to the pandemic challenge in myriad small and large ways. They are filling in gaps left by governments to provide essential services, spread information about the virus, and protect marginalized groups.” See full article here.

Activism and Public Policy during the Pandemic

Camila Penna (Professor of the Department of Sociology at UFRGS): “As or more powerful than a change of government, the external shock caused by the pandemic can lead to a realignment of political and social forces, constituting a window of political opportunity for themes and actors who were, in recent years, in a frank process of defeat in the dispute for political hegemony. Although ephemerally, while the pandemic situation lasts, the perception that the State plays a fundamental role in guaranteeing basic social rights gains legitimacy, and activism for these rights gains legitimacy.” Keep reading here.

Lessons from Brazil's Poor to Fight the Coronavirus

Marisa von Bülow: “As Brazilian politicians argue over how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, civil society organizations from the country’s slums have come together to educate and advocate for their communities. But they cannot do it alone”. Read the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace blog.

Social movements in times of Covid-19: another world is needed

Text originally published on OpenDemocracy

"Those who only saw the favela by violence began to see it from the coronavirus"

Eliana Sousa Silva, founder and director of the NGO Redes da Maré.

“Since coronavirus landed in Brazil, several civil society organizations, activists and community leaders have been mobilizing to work in the favelas and protect the most vulnerable people from the pandemic. Eliana Sousa Silva, founder of the NGO Redes da Maré, which has been working for decades in complexo de Favelas da Maré, especially in the areas of Education and Public Security, is one of these leaders who has been structuring actions to combat the coronavirus.”

"The 600 reais resource needs to arrive today." Interview with Sonia Fleury

“The 600 reais coronavoucher for the formal, autonomous and intermittent workers, as the payment of the emergency aid that will be made by the federal government became known, “can reach the people of the communities, but to be operationalized, it requires a bureaucracy that can delay the receipt and maybe it is too late”, warns the political scientist Sonia Fleury. For her, the best way to meet the financial needs of these workers is through a minimum income that can be guaranteed immediately.”

Much more than pot: social resistances in coronavirus time

“The strengthening of social ties and community ties is another potential for resistance in times of coronavirus.” Read it here.

The Damned on Earth: The Poorest mobilize in the face of the pandemic

Act of solidarity of the most vulnerable population in Cairo,

“The first victim of coronavirus in Rio de Janeiro was a maid, contaminated by her missus, who had recently arrived from abroad and did not self-de-know. The maid, who suffered from high blood pressure and a heed but could not afford to lose her job, could not resist; the missus is well.” Read it here.