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:
- 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)
- Women’s group boosts resilience in the face of crisis (June 2020)
- Kenya: Indigenous women overcome discrimination to lead community responses to COVID-19 (August 2020)
- Isiolo County, Kenya: Local radio stations create awareness of COVID-19, gender-based violence (September 2020)
- Mozambique: How one agribusiness has made itself resilient to multiple shocks (November 2020)
- Korogocho, Kenya: The power of art during crisis (November 2020)
- Cape Town, South Africa: Urban farming on the rise to boost people’s food security (December 2020).
- Keta, Ghana: Agribusiness offers women and youth greater food security during pandemic (December 2020).
- ‘Lockdown slum style’ – An interview with Sheela Patel of Slum Dwellers International (June 2020)
- Bangladeshi farmers respond to COVID-19 with innovation (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)
- Kathmandu, Nepal – Young people lead innovative initiatives during COVID-19 pandemic (August 2020)
- In India, women community leaders aid migrants during pandemic (August 2020)
- Community savings groups play crucial role in Bangladesh during COVID-19 crisis (August 2020)
- Kunni Kharka, Nepal: The plight of Dalit communities during an unprecedented crisis (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)
- Nepal: Managing misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic (October 2020)
- Bangladesh: Radical change needed to ensure justice for hijra (transgender) communities at all times (November 2020)
- Guwahati, India: How informal settlers are building resilience in the face of compounding shocks (November 2020)
- Kathmandu, Nepal: The plight of construction workers during the global pandemic (December 2020).
- Calaco, Philippines: Fisher folks are braving complex crises (January 2020).
- Fiji community voices highlight lessons and opportunities for resilience (June 2020)
- Solomon Islands – How the Barana Community is preparing for COVID-19 (July 2020)
- Colombia: Waste pickers fight for their rights and keep streets clean during COVID-10 (November 2020)
- Video: Voices from the frontline’ highlights lessons for community resilience – Paris Committee on Capacity Building (August 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