The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is developing a pan-African database on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human rights and democratic governance in African countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed peculiar challenges to the protection and promotion of human rights globally, including the African region. The direct impact on health, health systems and livelihoods is the most apparent. However, beyond the direct casualties in deaths, disease and economic consequences of lockdowns and other mitigating measures, the pandemic has been instrumental in revealing the underlying systemic human rights and governance issues in African states.

The Centre for Human Rights seeks to enhance the collection of evidence on measures taken by African countries in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those affecting democratic governance and human rights. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic challenges health provision and infrastructure, thus necessitating comprehensive medical responses, it also challenges democratic governance and human rights. There is therefore the need to explore these issues in-depth, and from a comparative African perspective, to inform advocacy and accountability of African countries during the pandemic, and beyond.

Objectives of the database

The specific objectives of the database are to:

  1. Document the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on human rights and democratic governance in African countries
  2. Inform engagement with specific duty bearers in the course of the pandemic
  3. Support accountability efforts post-pandemic
  4. Facilitate learning on responses to emergencies in the future


Each country researcher will deliver a comprehensive report (or update an existing report) detailing: the nature of emergency responses; democracy related issues arising from COVID-19 pandemic; activities of the executive, legislature and judiciary; transparency issues arising from COVID-19 pandemic. The report will also highlight human rights issues arising from COVID-19 pandemic including: rights to health, housing, water and sanitation, food & nutrition, employment and social security, women’s rights, children’s rights, disability rights, LGBTIQ+ rights, migrant rights, rights of persons deprived of their liberty, right to life, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, freedom of expression, access to information, privacy and digital rights and police brutalities. The information in the report should cover the period from March 2020-December 2021. The country researchers will be provided with a template for the report.

Selected countries

Country researchers are required to prepare new reports for the following countries:

  • Ethiopia
  • Egypt
  • Senegal
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Benin
  • Mozambique
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Algeria
  • Tanzania
  • Cape Verde

Country researchers are required to update existing reports for the following countries:

  • Lesotho
  • Mauritius
  • Zimbabwe


The study will be based on desk research of relevant government websites, NGO websites, newspaper articles and academic articles.



Draft report - 31 January 2022
Comments and feedback - 28 February 2022
Final report - 31 March 2022



  • Postgraduate qualification or specialisation in human rights
  • In-depth background knowledge of legal & political system of relevant country
  • Excellence in written English
  • A proven record of research and publications


  • Experience in legal and/or policy analysis in Africa, whether at the regional level or in some African countries

Terms of payment

  • New reports: Each country researcher will be paid the sum of 1500, upon completion of the report to the satisfaction of the Centre for Human Rights.
  • Updated reports: Each country researcher will be paid the sum of 1000 upon updating an existing report to the satisfaction of the Centre for Human Rights.

Application information

Interested applicants should submit the following documents to foluso.adegalu@up.ac.za and copy michael.nyarko@up.ac.za and indicate “COVID-19 database country researcher” in the subject of the email, by 23 July 2021:

  • cover letter detailing the applicant’s suitability for the assignment, with reference to the required and desirable qualifications, skills and experience set out above, as well as current contact information, and two contactable referees on previous assignments;
  • detailed CV; and
  • short writing sample (published or unpublished article or research paper).

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

For information and enquiries, please contact:

Foluso Adegalu
Porogramme Manager: Litigation and Implementation Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3151
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743

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