The role and protagonism of civil society in the facing of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil

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This study examines the path trailed by civil society and Brazilian philanthropy since the 1980s, which is crucial to the understanding of the dynamics and trends that support one of the theses developed throughout this work: civil society as a strategic element in the consolidation process of Brazilian democracy.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) faced, in recent years, numerous reputation attacks and challenges concerning their political and financial sustainability. Faced with the COVID-19 crisis, they sought not only to oppose the prevailing denial and necropolitics through the construction of political agendas and networking, but also to produce responses based on the development of a set of practices and experiences founded on self-management and community organization. From a study of multiple cases, conducted with institutions selected according to the established criteria, it was determined that the CSOs were capable of building agendas, narratives, languages and forms of production and organization based on self-management, experiences based on a social dynamic where work and politics tend to coincide, as part of a process involving, at the same time, the organization of activism and production. They found independent ways to provide
innovative responses to the crisis, coordinating actors, territories and communities, initiatives and resources, and searching for solutions involving everything from the distribution of food baskets to conducting information and humanitarian aid campaigns, in addition to conceiving innovative activism and resistance strategies, in the face of an adverse scenario.

Authors: Graciela Hopstein and Milena Pires, Brazilian Philanthropy Network for Social Justice

Published: August 2021

Published by: Group of Institutes, Foundations and Enterprises (GIFE)

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