ISO in 2020: Navigating through the new normal

In 2020, the Institute of Social Order (ISO) started the year crafting the work plan for 2020-2022. Each unit started to implement plans in the first quarter of the year until COVID-19 hit the Philippines, mid-March.

The pandemic forced many areas to undergo a strict lockdown putting a halt in the operations of the ISO in the office and on the field. A number of program officers were stranded in Manila, and faced difficulties coordinating project activities with partner People’s Organizations (POs). The staff had to adopt a work from home arrangement, which meant having to bear slow communication and information flow due to weak phone and internet signals.

The ISO was also unable to dodge the economic hit of the pandemic, and experienced a sharp decline in finances. The facilities and services which mostly depended on conferences and gatherings had to reduce its operations and the competition for grants continues to be tough.

Despite these setbacks, the ISO took on the challenge of braving through the pandemic. The Services Division started to sell garden plants. The ISO offered health care workers a place to stay in the Residence Hall. The ISO started to ‘manualize’ the Institute’s STAGE strategies as a means to capacitate its partners even if the ISO’s presence in the area is limited. Moreover, the ISO is also exploring how to conduct capacity building activities for partners through online platforms.

The ISO continues to grow and adapt even during this difficult period so that they could continue their work of promoting faith that does justice.

Article written by: Jose Benigno D. Sayon, Technical Assistant

2020 ISO Annual Report prepared by: Jose Benigno D. Sayon, Technical Assistant and Anna Fatima N. Joven, ISD Coordinator

Published by isoisd1947


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