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CDKN session at the Climate-Red Summit: Learning from community brokers at the frontline of the COVID-19 response

10 September 2020

The ‘Voices from the Frontline’ interview series captures stories of community resilience during the global COVID pandemic, in real-time. The International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Dhaka, Bangladesh and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), have been 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.

In the session you will be able to hear from representatives from the networks and organisations working on the frontline, and learn about the critical role that grassroots and community leaders are playing as brokers of valuable information, know-how and resources. Acting as intermediaries between low-income communities, local and national government actors, and NGOs and practitioner organisations, these leaders operate both vertically and horizontally to disseminate, interpret, provide feedback on and amplify relevant information. Through creative use of diverse technologies, they link community groups to resources (including medicines, food supplies, protective equipment) and ensure that up-to-date, granular, trusted information about marginalised communities is made available to decision makers and those with resources.

A panel discussion will explore:
-Grassroots leaders’ different types of brokering approaches (horizontal and vertical), exploring success factors as well as challenges which prevent their effectiveness.
-The role of external actors, such as local government bodies and NGOs, in providing help and different types of support to strengthen the brokering role of these community leaders.

Throughout the session, participants will also be involved by helping to identify factors that enable or constrain successful brokering of resources and information, to help set the stage for what is needed for more resilient realities.

If you have any questions regarding the session kindly email Lucia Scodanibbio ( or Lisa McNamara (

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