COVID-19, Press Releases

Covid-19 CID update March 23

Posted on 23 March 2020

To all CID members

As we move into Level 4 in 48 hours, there has been an increased financial subsidy for all employers. If in any doubt, the minister of finance, Grant Roberson confirmed just now that the wage subsidy (and extended leave entitlements) DO apply to Not-For-Profit employers (who meet the eligibility criteria). Also, more information on COVID-19 for registered charities is available here

Covid-19 update

 For the latest from the government.

CID members update 

Global Development Group

Global Development Group has temporarily ceased all non-essential travel – both international and domestic – and all our project administrators and volunteers have cancelled their trips, returned home, or are in the process of returning home to then enjoy two weeks of self-isolation ‘holidays’. 

Our volunteer staff are continuing to work from home, with connectivity through normal work email, and with back office support from our Australian office.



VSA has temporarily paused all overseas programmes and is in the process of bringing all volunteers back to NZ. Most have now returned and are being placed in self-isolation. 

A full working from home trial was undertaken, and the Wellington office is moving to reduced staffing from next week with a number of staff working remotely. All have connectivity through normal work e-mail.



The Tearfund team will prepare from this Monday to Wednesday to close the office from Thursday 26 March and staff will work from home.

“We will spend the next three day preparing to run all Tearfund’s services to supporters largely without the office from Thursday,” says CEO Ian McInnes



Everyone is now working from home and our offices are closed.  

"We are working on how we can support social enterprises to be resilient at this time and looking at how we can pivot our immediate priorities towards solutions that keep New Zealand's growing social & community enterprise sector strong,” says CEO Louise Aitkin.



Cancelled their twice-yearly National Council face to face meeting over this weekend, but held it very successfully on Google Hangouts with 23 attendees from Prague to Christchurch. The office is closed and President Peter Nichols is working remotely from home.


Save the Children

The Save the Children team tested working from home on Friday and will work from home until further notice.

"My main goal is to keep staff safe, support our donors in this time, and provide resources for parents (and government) through our website,” says CEO Heidi Coetzee.



Most of the Childfund team are now working from home and by tomorrow the physical office will be closed until further notice. Staff will work from home, and remain in close contact with their partners, in particular their team in Kiribati, and they are preparing for any response in Tarawa.

“We’re striving to maintain business as usual. It’s important we remain flexible and resilient including supporting our people (partners, staff, donors, communities) as much as we can.  Our purpose and mission are unchanged.  Our compassion for each other will get us through this uncertain time,” says CEO Paul Brown.



CBM will trial 2 days this week of staff working from home (with some compulsory due to recent travel or medical preconditions). Aim to have no more than 25% of staff present at any one time. The office is not closing. Calls will be redirected to staff phones. Priorities are (1) Staying on top of Covid-19 preparedness (2) finishing submissions for Manaaki and starting other projects (3) fundraising and major donor work before the end of FY.



WWF will be closing their office at the end of today, and all working for home thereafter. Luckily they had instigated a trial 'work from home Fridays' since November last year, with the following  platforms up and running to communicate with each other:

- Zoom

- Slack

- Asana

From now on they will have a 15 minute morning check-in meeting at 9 am for the whole organisation. And also set up fun Zoom sessions around lunchtimes, eg what to cook, how to play the guitar, meditate or filet a fish!



Staff are working from home now.


Habitat for Humanity

Habitat have developed contingency plans, devised systems that will allow our staff to work from home, and halted all overseas travel arrangements for now. 

“We have made the difficult decision to cancel all Global Village builds until June and continue to support our regional offices with information and resources,” says CEO Alan Thorpe.



Hagar staff will be working from home after this week, and programmes have changed to cease person to person contact, and shift to phone and social media contact. 


Working from home support  

COVID-19 Plan - a template from Akina to share with the sector (with thanks): 

"We have a Covid-19 policy that we have been sharing, and happy if you wanted to share it further. It can be found here 


Advice from a seasoned humanitarian worker:

UK aid worker, Imogen Wall has posted some great advice on her own lessons learnt from working in humanitarian crises where a lockdown was sometimes necessary to stay alive. She wants to help everybody working from home or on lockdown now, and finding it strange.

  • DON'T PANIC - easier said than done but it doesn't help.
  • REACTIONS: everyone reacts differently to emergencies. Some people information-seek like mad, some get angry, some pick fights (in real life or on social media), some panic, some make a LOT of jokes.
  • RIGHT NOW IS ONE OF THE WORST BITS: the worst bit of crises is that moment when everyone collectively realises the severity of what we are facing and goes, oh shit.
  • THERE WILL BE GOOD BITS. I always struggle to explain why I loved working in crises, but it basically boils down to the fact that when the chips are down, people are just incredible at looking after each other.  

…and more. Read the full post here. Please share your own advice too! Let us know if you’d like to put up a post on the CID website or Facebook to support your colleagues.


A webinar on how to present well online:  

A free 45-minute webinar on using online tools to present material, hold meetings or communicate well, is available to CID members  - and its free "Virtual Presenting: Communicating remotely with clarity, confidence and kindness" on Wednesday 25th March, 11 am NZT (9 am AEDT). 

Join The Pickering Group CEO Russell Pickering to get some good advice. 

"Remote presenting: the technological revolution none of us wanted. The lighting is weird, the camera adds ten kilos to your nose alone, and no one ever brings muffins. 

"With workplaces all over the world turning fast to virtual communication, we know many of you will find yourselves in the uncomfortable and unfamiliar position of not being able to communicate in person,” says Russell. 

The webinar will cover:

  • How to best use your technology when communicating virtually
  • Techniques and tools to keep your audience engaged and participating
  • How to maximise your vocal variety and body language to convey warmth and confidence
  • How to best structure your content for a virtual audience
  • The dos and don'ts of virtual presenting 

"There will be extra time at the end to answer any further questions you may have. All questions welcome: Do pyjamas count as home-office-casual?  Can my kids use half the screen to play Minecraft during the meeting? Must I wear pants? Feel free to send in your questions beforehand to 

Register here. 

Can't make it? Register anyway and they’ll send you a recording.


Latest in development 

The Pacific

We’re still waiting to see how the virus spreads in the Pacific and whether or not the small island states can keep the number of cases low. But the economic cost will be devastating. The island states import nearly everything. Moreover, tourism is the main earner for many, writes the Economist. 

CID will be linking up with our Pacific partners this week so we can get the latest from on the ground. More information to follow shortly.


Message from CIVICUS (international INGO umbrella group)

"We call on all donors and intermediaries to provide essential support for civil society by offering flexibility, certainty and stability towards grantees and partners. Here are five ways this can be done. Have more ideas to improve this list? Use this twitter post to let CIVICUS know.

  •   Listen to grantee partners and together explore how you can best help them face the crisis, trusting they know best what is needed in their own contexts.
  •   Encourage the re-design and re-scheduling of planned activities and deliverables and provide clear guidance on how to seek approval for these changes.
  •   Support new and creative ways of creating a culture of solidarity and interaction while adhering to the physical distancing and other precautionary measures. 
  •   Offer greater flexibility by reconsidering payment instalments based on actual needs, converting existing project grants into unrestricted funds, or adding extra funds to help build-up reserves or cover unexpected costs.
  •   Simplify reporting and application procedures and timeframes so that civil society groups can better focus their time, energy and resources in supporting the most vulnerable rather than on meeting heavy reporting and due diligence requirements.


Refugee camps in Greece in lockdown

"As of Wednesday, the camps have been locked down from 7 pm to 7 am. In the daytime, only one person is allowed out per family, and the police control their movements. Some camps, on the islands of Leros and Kos, have been closed entirely, reports the Guardian


From the doctor who helped defeat smallpox 

We know how to do this! 

Epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, who warned of the pandemic 2006, says we can beat the novel coronavirus—but first, we need lots more testing. 

"By slowing it down or flattening it, we're not going to decrease the total number of cases, we're going to postpone many cases until we get a vaccine—which we will because there's nothing in the virology that makes me frightened that we won’t get a vaccine in 12 to 18 months,” he says.


Job losses

Mike Naylor, Director of UnionAid has shared some data from the ILO on likely job losses globally as a result of COVID-19. 

There are up to 25 million people expected to lose their jobs with an additional 35 million more people likely to be in working poverty due to underemployment.  That’s a global figure not just developing countries but we can assume that the poverty figures in the long term will hit developing countries hard. 

At the moment, the ILO analysis is showing the bulk of expected job losses as well as underemployment to be felt in high-income countries, not lower-income countries.  This seems to be predicated on the virus not really hitting lower-income countries as it currently hasn’t.  It assumes some flow-on effect of recessions in high-income countries reducing exports and jobs in lower-income countries but nothing like the direct impact it will have on high-income countries.    

Of course, this could all change if we get information that the virus is spreading rapidly in low-income countries. At the moment, job losses and poverty impacts in developing countries are estimated to be relatively small. 3 million jobs lost and an extra 5 million in working poverty.    


Light relief

Sports commentary when there are no sports:

This sports commentator has no live sports to comment on, so he’s commenting on normal (or not so normal) life at the moment. It’s brilliant.