Co-Impact Launches Systems Response Fund to Strengthen Systems Around the World

Monday, April 6, 2020

Co-Impact Launches Systems Response Fund to Strengthen Systems Around the World

At Co-Impact – as in every organization and community – we continue to reflect on the current situation around COVID-19. Here, we share our evolving approach and the launch of our Systems Response Fund, for funders seeking to support some of the critical work being done to respond to the pandemic and strengthen systems around the world.

All over the world, health systems – and others – are being tested to their limits.  It is more important than ever that we keep a focus on strengthening underlying systems so that those systems are able respond to this emergency and recover for the future, while continuing to deliver essential public services in the here and now.

Health systems are on the front lines, but the effects on education and economic opportunity are also severe. More than 1.5 billion children are now out of school. As the global economy slows down and unemployment begins to soar, people’s livelihoods are placed in jeopardy. And while all societies are being affected by this, it is weaker systems that will be most affected – and within those systems, the most disadvantaged, including women.

In light of the above, we are working closely with all of our program partners, guided by the following five principles:

  1. Active listening – Throughout, we listen more than we talk. This is about what partners would find helpful, rather than about what we can do.
  2. Showing empathy – We acknowledge that this time will be difficult, in terms of work and personally, and that we understand. We empathize. We ask how is it affecting them, and how they doing.
  3. Being supportive – We ask how can we be supportive? We make ourselves available but do not impose, recognizing that some people want to talk, others want to be left alone.
  4. Being flexible – We offer to be flexible in terms of plans, reporting, etc. We are open to discussing how partners need to pivot. We assure them that our agreed funding will not be threatened by this.
  5. Supporting fundraising – Where requested, we connect partners to potential additional funding opportunities, and we advocate that funding be provided in a way that is simple, not burdensome, and supports our partners’ core systems work.

We know we are not alone in thinking about how we can best support our partners at this time – and that we need to come together as a global funding community – to advocate jointly, share insights, and learn from one another and from our partners. To date, we have signed two pledges committing to providing flexibility to program partners, and to holding ourselves, as funders, accountable to that commitment:

Systems Response Fund

Two of our program partners are working on health systems, and have been called upon by relevant governments to take a leading role in responding to COVID-19. To meet this demand, Liberia’s National Community Health Assistant Program and Project ECHO are in need of additional flexible funding to respond to the crisis. To facilitate this process and allow for funds to reach these initiatives quickly and effectively, we have launched the Co-Impact Systems Response Fund – please see here for more details.