This is a short article to update our members on Dóchas' response to recent developments in relation to COVID-19.
Naturally, our priority is the safety of the team, their families, and the wider community. While Dóchas will remain open, we have gone “virtual” as much as possible.
We have postponed all face to face events and meetings until at least 19 April. However, we will be carrying out meetings virtually where appropriate, as we do also recognise the importance of connection at this difficult time.
We have also attended stakeholder briefings with the Department of Health and will continue to monitor and share their advice. We are conscious that the current emergency poses a range of particular challenges for organisations working in international development, and it’ll be important for the relevant Departments to hear that perspective.
All of our members have been working hard to put in place an appropriate response. May we encourage you to adhere to HSE Instructions on how best to avoid COVID-19 at home and at work. We have also identified some useful resources. In particular, see the Business Continuity Spreadsheet developed by The Wheel. Other references include:
Implications for the sector
Naturally, the speed of recent closure measures has meant that organisations are prioritising the immediate concerns of their staff and organisations. Over the next few weeks however, we will need to begin to think through the medium to long-term implications for your programmes. In that regard, we hope Dóchas can play a role in opening up a channel of communications with Irish Aid to raise the shared concerns of our members. Please get in touch if you have any specific concerns and challenges.
Given the different resource levels of our member organisations, we would also encourage members to share relevant resources or information.
We will set up a Dóchas COVID-19 Google Group and if you are interested in participating please contact membershipengagement(at)dochas.ie
Naturally, we will continue to do everything we can to support each other during this challenging and uncertain time. Please feel free to get in touch if there are other ideas or opportunities for us to support you.