ISSI, Covid and Online Work
Coping with the challenges of COVID-19 has been a learning process for all of us. While the need for social distancing brought behavioral changes, it has also forced many organizations to carry on their work and adapt to the new norms of completing their tasks.
For think tanks like the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), adapting to online completion of assignments and holding interactive events and in-house meetings has now become relatively smooth with the use of technology and software like ZOOM, Microsoft Teams, Webex, Blue Jeans, Join.me, Amazon Chime, Nextiva, and many others that have made virtual interaction productive and interactive while maintaining the social distance required between colleagues. To say the least, such software has made interaction much more interactive.
Once over the birth pangs of learning to use technology to our advantage, ISSI has successfully adapted to the new normal of online work. Far from becoming slack, this has in fact increased our productivity both in terms of research including articles, issue briefs, reports and outreach. People, both at home and abroad, who may in the past, have found the excuse of long commute or other logistical issues, to keep themselves away, are now much more accessible in the knowledge that they can participate through the comfort of their laptops.
ISSI has now ensured complete security of the software being used for its virtual meetings by comprehensive checks and balances against ‘virtual disrupters’. This has helped us in putting together some very useful online events on important issues of concern for Pakistan, the region and international community. Ever since the lockdown in mid-March, ISSI has held over 25 virtual events including in-house meetings. These events have not only brought together experts and officials from Pakistan; they have included participation by our partners abroad with whom we have formal understanding on academic cooperation. Many of these international partners, who had to postpone their visits to ISSI because of the pandemic, are now scheduled to hold online bilateral discussions, as well as talks. For all those who are interested, a complete record of our activities, including those organized online, can be found on our website: www.issi.org.pk