Bangalore, Karnataka, India: COVIDActionCollab has successfully delivered over 17 lakh services over the past year to support vulnerable communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially starting out as a collaborative focused on providing relief to the worst affected communities, the collective has since then evolved to implement recovery and resilience-building programs in order to strengthen these communities for future crises.
Set up in March 2020, the collaborative of 315 partners, comprising organizations and networks, provided around 4 lakh individuals with access to social protection schemes by mobilising over INR 3.5 Crores, to meet the emerging needs of vulnerable communities in India throughout various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVIDActionCollab was founded by the Catalyst Group of organisations along with partners such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Skoll Foundation. Working with state governments and local institutions, the partner organizations of the collaborative, provide high-impact relief packages supporting livelihoods, enhancing social protection, and providing COVID-19 risk prevention and mitigation. These relief packages help vulnerable communities recover from the adverse effects on health and loss of livelihood caused by the pandemic and help build long term resilience.
The COVIDActionCollab has rolled out multiple programs in the area of improved access to primary care, increased community level testing and sewage testing in particular areas. The collaborative has protected the livelihoods of impacted communities by creating jobs through initiatives such as Sanitization and Hygiene Entrepreneurs (SHE) that provide on-demand sanitization of public and private spaces in gram panchayats. Other initiatives include addressing the critical environmental issues, such as initiatives around recycling and reducing plastic waste generated from the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and related plastic and their effect on the environment.
With the COVIDActionCollab completing its first year, the partner organisations are meeting online on April 10, 2021 to celebrate the collaborative’s achievements and impact so far and vision forward. A few partners and resource organisations are also going to share their experience and how they have benefitted from being part of this collaborative.
Shiv Kumar, the Chief Integrator, COVIDActionCollab said, “When we started the collaborative standing up to a global humanitarian crisis, there were no statutes or predecessors to follow. It was the first time that so many organisations came together, focusing on a single outcome. Together we developed an agile and impactful framework spread across all 36 states and union territories. We have reached out to the most vulnerable communities, providing high-impact services and helping them build resilience for their future.”
Sangita Patel, Director USAID Health Office at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said, “The CovidActionCollab provides an excellent opportunity for industry and partners from the United States and India to work together to reinforce COVID-19 mitigation efforts and provide care and services to neglected and vulnerable populations. USAID’s support to the collaborative is strengthening the capacity of local organizations, governments, and associations of healthcare providers, small retailers, and street vendors and linking them with government and private sector resources. Through this two-year partnership, we aim to reach more than 10 million people in India affected by COVID-19.”
Lucien Chan, Managing Director, the Skoll Foundation, said, “As the pandemic hit last year, we wanted to find the most effective way to respond to it. We knew that collaboration was crucial for scaling impact that had any chance for sustainable change. Our network and diligence confirmed how great the Catalyst Group are at linking networks together to create change. The COVIDActionCollab has taken up the opportunity and has truly impacted the lives of so many diverse communities. The collaborative holds enormous potential for producing real impact, and we look forward to what we shall achieve together.”
This collaborative is not limited to the COVID-19 pandemic alone. As a people-driven platform, it has the potential to be implemented during any future humanitarian crisis. It would easily be able to reach out to the most vulnerable population when the need arises.
About The COVIDActionCollab: The collaborative consists of Organizations and Networks working together to support these communities during the period of crisis and enable them to secure their future. The 309 partners strong collaborative has delivered 17 lakh services with 2000 volunteers and mobilizing 20 million USD in resources to date. The Collaborative envisions a world where vulnerable communities are empowered to survive and thrive during a humanitarian crisis. CAC aims to achieve synergy among its partners at multiple levels in order to accelerate impact, in keeping with the needs of these communities.
Catalyst Group, the incubator is facilitating the formation and operation of the collaborative driving its success along with eminent partners such as USAID and Skoll Foundation. Website: covidactioncollab.org.