The economic and social life in Jordan has been impacted adversely by the COVID-19 crisis as vulnerabilities deepened and compounded. Furthermore, while the residents of Jordan became more in need of humanitarian aid and assistance, the COVID-19 crisis made delivering aid more difficult due to stoppages, breakdowns of supply chains, and the sudden and immediate upsurge in demand for aid.
The Jordanian government was praised early on for seemingly managing the crisis effectively. However, this was short lived as economic and social hardships grew, and delivery hinged upon, among other things, accessing the most vulnerable, learning their whereabouts, dire necessities, and, ultimately, reaching them.
The role of civil society came to the forefront in terms of access to vulnerable communities, and due to civil society’s specific and local knowledge, and its awareness of the needs of vulnerable individuals and communities. Consequently, the government, which responded exclusively during the first two weeks of closure, adapted its response plan to allow some civil society organizations to help through predefined channels and measures. The Jordan National NGO Forum (JONAF), which has been participating in the humanitarian response during the COVID-19 crisis, was among the first responders.
JONAF was established in 2016 by a group of local civil society organizations (CSOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other entities with the aim of coordinating and leading the national humanitarian response and development efforts in Jordan. Currently, JONAF includes 50 member organizations from across the Kingdom, including four CSOs that have observer status.
Due to the significant role that JONAF played during the first phase of the crisis, the need for assessing the overall capabilities of JONAF members’ responses throughout all the phases of the COVID-19 was apparent. During August-September 2020, the Arab Renaissance for Democracy & Development (ARDD), in coordination with the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) Secretariat, commissioned an assessment of JONAF’s response plan to the COVID-19 crisis. The assessment is conducted as part of the project “Strengthening in-country NGO Fora to promote enhanced NGO collective action at field level during the COVID-19 response”. The objective of the assessment is to assess JONAF’s response to the COVID-19 crisis by evaluating and documenting the main experiences, available capacities, gaps and achievements, as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of its COVID-19 response and the collaboration of the forum.
The assessment consists of four key sections: the first section presents the methodology; the second describes the sample; the third delineates the findings (basic functioning and structure, forum decision making, collaboration and partnerships, reputation and visibility, ability to learn and improve, and sustainability); and the last section provides the recommendations of the study.