The advent of COVID-19 in Ghana from 27 March 2020 created palpable fear and panic among citizens on the nation's ability to manage this novel virus. In response, STAR Ghana Foundation in partnership with eight civil society organisations (CSOs), from April to August 2020, rolled out a CSOs COVID-19 Response Project (CRP) to support government's effort to prevent, manage and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the country. The project fostered key engagement with the media and other state actors.
Using a qualitative approach, this paper presents the key highlights of the outcomes, impact and lessons learned from CSOs' responses to COVID-19 in Ghana. This paper provides a repository of information on CSOs' responses to COVID-19 in Ghana for civil society in Ghana and other countries to learn from to ensure effective responses to crisis. It also seeks to increase the visibility and reach of civil society responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The paper reveals that, CSOs' actions on COVID-19 in Ghana has increased citizens' access to information on COVID-19; improved citizens' behavioural change around COVID-19 and adherence to the safety protocols; reduced the negative socio-economic effects of the pandemic on citizens; increased transparency and responsiveness on state response measures to marginalised and vulnerable groups; and improved documentation of the CSO response actions. The paper principally recommends that civil society, government and other stakeholders need to work in a collaborative and coordinated manner in responding to crisis such as COVID-19.