Re-designed Civil Society Innovation Portal to Map Coronavirus Adaptations

New York, NY: Rights CoLab and project partners are re-launching a portal devoted to Mapping Civil Society Innovation to Advance Human Rights. Along with improvements to functionality, the re-designed portal now highlights innovations generated in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The consortium of project partners – which was founded by the Social Innovations Advisory (SIA) and the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) along with Rights CoLab – has also expanded to include Argentine Network for International Cooperation (RACI) and the Social Innovators Network.

The portal is designed as a repository of information to support civil society innovation, providing geo-located case studies, resources and opportunities to share insights. The relaunched innovation map includes examples of civil society responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including efforts to address humanitarian needs, combat unnecessary restrictions on civic rights, counter misinformation, and overcome disruptions to CSO operations. 

The mapping initiative builds on prior work to highlight examples of innovative organizational structures and revenue models that are helping to sustain critical civil society efforts to further law-based human rights advocacy, increase social and political solidarity across borders, promote civic engagement and public participation, expand human capabilities through social development, and influence company behavior by leveraging social norms and values.

Where governments have severely restricted CSOs, alternative organizational forms — driven by growing trends in social entrepreneurship, impact investment, voluntarism & technological and generational change — can carry out some of the same functions. These new organizational forms, and the broader range of revenue models they encompass, also offer the promise of enhanced sustainability.

Each of the project partners is actively assisting civil society initiatives searching for new ways to contribute to society through the protection and promotion of human rights, support of democracy and civic engagement, sustainable development and response to corporate power.

The portal is intended to serve as a platform for enhancing the resilience and long-term sustainability of critically important civil society initiatives, and we welcome the participation of all who are experimenting with civil society innovation. Together, we hope to build a healthy and vigorous international community of innovators.


RACI is a network of CSOs from Argentina that works to strengthen civil society through advocacy, capacity strengthening, research and convening stakeholders to achieve sustainable development.

Rights CoLab advances human rights by fostering collaboration among experts across the fields of civil society, technology, business, and finance. Together we build new ways of organizing civic engagement and leveraging markets to improve the impact, resilience, and sustainability of human rights initiatives.

Social Innovations Advisory focuses on helping NGOs in China build resilience by diversifying their access to local resources and funding, and helping Chinese and international NGOs to address the challenges and risks posed by Chinese investment in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Social Innovators Network is a platform dedicated to initiatives emerging during crises. It is a 100% online program supporting community-based initiatives that bring on-the-ground solutions with a direct impact on communities and policies.

West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) strengthens civil society in West Africa to be responsive, collaborative, representative, resilient and influential through knowledge sharing, learning, connecting and influencing.


For more information, contact:


To view the project page, visit here.


Photo by Jenny Le on Unsplash