FEATURE: Voices from the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing more than health impacts. It is also causing social and economic impacts – across diverse communities in developing countries of Asia and the Pacific, Africa and Latin America. However, these dynamics are neither well reported nor well understood.
What is more, COVID-19 is reaching communities that are already dealing with multiple shocks and stresses from other causes. Low-income communities in developing countries face poverty and also other public health crises (e.g. linked to insecure housing, unsafe water and lack of sanitation) and both the slow- and rapid-onset impacts of climate change.
In response, communities are self-organising to cope with COVID-19, as well as these other intersecting risks; and often with delayed or limited government assistance.
CDKN and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Dhaka, Bangladesh are reaching out through networks of civil society organisations and local groups to commission interviews with community pioneers at the frontlines of devising localised solutions to COVID-19.
The result is the interview series, ‘Voices from the frontline of COVID-19’ which ICCCAD and CDKN have been publishing weekly, since early June 2020.
These stories aim to document learning from community practices, and to disseminate the learning widely, to foster more effective responses to future crises, and greater resilience.
The ‘Voices from the Frontline’ stories, to date, are:
- ‘Lockdown slum style’ – An interview with Sheela Patel of Slum Dwellers International (June 2020)
- Bangladeshi farmers respond to COVID-19 with innovation (June 2020)
- Women’s group boosts resilience in the face of crisis (June 2020)
- Fiji community voices highlight lessons and opportunities for resilience (June 2020)
- Rafiq Nagar, Mumbai – Residents confront COVID-19 on top of existing health threats (July 2020)
- Dhaka, Bangladesh – How one woman’s idea unleashed a community’s spirit (July 2020)
- Solomon Islands – How the Barana Community is preparing for COVID-19 (July 2020)
- How Zimbabwean youth are leading the way in tackling COVID-19 (July 2020)
- Coping with COVID-19 by mobilising local capacities in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (August 2020)
- Kathmandu, Nepal – Young people lead innovative initiatives during COVID-19 pandemic (August 2020)
- In India, women community leaders aid migrants during pandemic (August 2020)
- Kenya: Indigenous women overcome discrimination to lead community responses to COVID-19 (August 2020)
- Community savings groups play crucial role in Bangladesh during COVID-19 crisis (August 2020)
- Video: Voices from the frontline’ highlights lessons for community resilience – Paris Committee on Capacity Building (August 2020)
- Kunni Kharka, Nepal: The plight of Dalit communities during an unprecedented crisis (September 2020)
- Isiolo County, Kenya: Local radio stations create awareness of COVID-19, gender-based violence (September 2020)
- Satkhira, Bangladesh: Multiple initiatives from female-led organisation to tackle extreme events, COVID (September 2020)
- Satkhira, Bangladesh: Young people demonstrate initiative during crises (October 2020)
- Dhavari, India: Local women help where government agencies will not, in country’s largest slum (October 2020)
If you would like to contribute your community’s story, please reach out to us at:
For more information about the project’s aims and to browse emerging headlines, please see the short presentation below from series editor Ms Maheen Khan of ICCCAD:
Image: Dhaka Bangladesh, IFPRI Images