Recovery, Renewal, Resilience

Lessons for Resilience

Consider good practice examples of community participation during COVID-19
Community participation

TMB Issue 38 discussed the importance of community involvement in tackling disease outbreaks and presented the recommendations set out by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. This briefing offers examples of good practice in community participation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider:

  • Tanzania: local government co-produced infection control measures with business leaders based in markets to integrate leaders’ understanding & knowledge of the challenges of implementing such measures
  • Nigeria: the “community informer model” was employed by local authorities for COVID “surveillance, tracing and monitoring” – community informers are key trusted individuals in a community (e.g. faith leaders)
  • Pakistan: community volunteers “set up quarantine wards, manufactured and provided free protective suits for medics”, and distributed food to vulnerable people
  • India: Community volunteers came together to investigate and identify unknown (“hidden”) COVID-19 fatalities. The volunteer group comprised of expert physicians and data analysts who developed comparisons of official health data and other reports. This encouraged a review of the national death audit process and resulted in improvements in the process so that COVID-19 deaths were accurate and transparent
  • USA: Volunteers built a public “Testing Site Locator” app which visualized the geographical location of testing centres to support collection of testing centre-related information and dissemination at the national level. This supported people to locate the nearest available testing centres and also the “health system to plan and distribute centres more effectively”

The pandemic, and previous disasters, have evidenced that communities play a crucial role when preparing for, responding to and recovering from, crisis. Communities and civil societies should be “partners early on in the design, planning, implementation, and assessment of preparedness and response efforts on all levels”, particularly at the local level. We have covered community participation and co-production with communities in various briefings, see TMB Issue 38; Issue 34; Issue 33.

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