Social support provided by non-governmental organisations during COVID-19

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


COVID-19 brought about social, economic and political change in the world. Social problems such as unemployment, substance abuse and poverty faced by members of society called for immediate intervention. The research was conducted with the aim to study the social support provided by NGOs in the conditions of COVID-19, when the first state of emergency was declared in Latvia from March 12 to June 9 2020, which included a series of restrictions affecting various sectors. During the research, 10 semi-structured interviews were conducted with non-governmental organisations that have acquired the status of an association or foundation and initiatives that implement social goals. The interviewed organisations provide a number of social services: day care centre, group apartment, specialised workshops, crisis centre, HIV prevention and psychosocial services for drug users, provide the operation of creative centres, diverse assistance for people in difficulty, as well as provide activities to reduce loneliness, which has been reinforced by the conditions created by COVID-19. The data obtained in the interviews have been grouped in several thematic blocks: access to information, supply and use of protective equipment, cooperation with other institutions, remote work, work with clients on-site and remotely, good practice and innovations, recommendations. The organisation of the work of the institutions during the state of emergency varied depending on the specific nature of the target group and the support provided. The staff of the institutions continued to work both on-site and, as far as possible, remotely. Client understanding of the risks posed by COVID-19 and their cooperation in the use of protective equipment were influenced by objective circumstances. Targeted support measures had to be provided both for clients to address their social problems and for social workers to avoid burn-out. New social services had to be developed when new target groups that need support were identified.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021
Conference number: 8


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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