CIC and COVID–19: A Message from the Director

The NYU Center on International Cooperation, like our partners and colleagues around the world, is adapting our work to cope with the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic and contribute within our own area of expertise. Our work on peace, justice, inclusion, and reducing inequalities—and strengthening multilateral support for these issues—will continue. We will also strive to provide practical analysis of the connections of these areas with COVID-19.

A customer wearing a mask looks at almost empty shelves in a store in New York City during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (UN Photo/Evan Schneider).

The urgency and magnitude of this crisis are becoming clearer every day, and we are drawing on the experience and expertise of CIC’s team and fellows to contribute in whatever small way we can to the global conversation about how governments, multilateral institutions, and civil society can respond to COVID–19. Today, I shared a reflection on how we can use insights from conflict and disaster recovery to think ahead about "building back better" after COVID–19. CIC fellow Ben Oppenheim and I published a piece earlier this month on how the multilateral system will be tested by the crisis. Afghanistan-Pakistan Research Project (APRP) director Barnett Rubin wrote a widely shared Twitter analysis of how the coronavirus might impact the Afghan peace process, which was also adapted for our website and other outlets. Last week, Liv Tørres, the new director of the Pathfinders, published a blog post about the importance of foregrounding the commitment to building more peaceful, just and inclusive societies as the world navigates this crisis. CIC senior fellows David Steven and Alex Evans contributed an article on planning for the world after the coronavirus pandemic to the World Politics Review.
Through these and other pieces forthcoming, we are committed to continuing our core mission while making a contribution to thinking on the current crisis.
In our offices, our team has shifted to working remotely, connecting through virtual meetings and working through local partners where possible, while foregrounding research and analysis while travel is restricted and meetings are postponed due to the spread of the virus. Our regular work goes on: last week the Congo Research Group launched a new report on South Africa’s involvement in the Inga III hydroelectric project, while APRP published an analysis of the hurdles ahead for the peace process in Afghanistan. With local partners, we are working on triple nexus approaches in Bangladesh and polling in Ethiopia.
We will continue to be in touch, and please follow us @nyuCIC and @SDG16Plus on Twitter for real time updates. We are looking ahead not only to the duration of the crisis, but to its aftermath, in order to see how we can work to advance effective multilateral action to build peace, justice, and inclusion as the world recovers and rebuilds.
In solidarity,
Sarah Cliffe
NYU Center on International Cooperation