This communication comes in the wake of the arrival of coronavirus (Covid-19) on South Africa’s shores, and in the context of the already high cost that the virus has exacted globally. On Sunday 15 March, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national state of disaster in light of the growing number of infections in the country. It is quite possible that a restriction on movement will follow.

This brings into question how we will continue our work in this new global reality. OneWorld CEO, Belynda Petrie, has been in contact with some of our clients, partners and associates, regarding the way forward in terms of work and specific projects currently underway, and those still on the horizon. At the same time, we are taking proactive steps to both limit risk of exposure for staff and stakeholders,  and ensure that we continue to deliver high-quality disciplinary research and technical advisory services on all our projects. OneWorld has curtailed travel to affected countries and regions globally as we finetune an approach to working safely and positively with our stakeholders, clients and partners.

Travel restrictions and the necessity to protect all those involved in our projects, makes it essential that we develop a robust alternative platform to face-to-face engagements. OneWorld began working on such a model in mid-2019, well before Covid-19 hit China. This has become an obvious avenue, given the rich offerings that online learning platforms provide, as we learnt during our project with the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, amongst many others. With stakeholder engagement and participatory analysis at the heart of almost every project that we carry out, we are already working towards building a community of practice, establishing an innovative model and robust framework that will underpin many aspects of our work and stakeholder engagement, going forward.

The pandemic highlights the importance of broad resilience, in our society, economy and communities,  as a crosscutting measure of the ability of any system and its inhabitants, to survive and grow through all shocks and chronic stresses, while still positively adapting and transforming towards sustainability. OneWorld will continue to work with the international development community to strengthen resilience in all its forms, across the world.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Visit the SA Covid-19 resource portal here. 

Achieving an equitable and sustainable African future
Working in a Crisis: OneWorld Policy & Guideline