Community-led Crisis Response: New Report by BuzzingCities Lab

Covid-19 has killed more than two million people worldwide and the consequences of the pandemic have left scars in countries around the globe. In a webinar series by BuzzingCities Lab, international experts explored how vulnerable communities are particularly affected by the pandemic – and how they respond to the crisis and build resilience.

The spread of the virus has slowed down and reshaped commercial, educational and social life – and the social and economical long-term impact has yet to be evaluated.

However, it is already evident that the crisis has further exacerbated social inequalities around the world. Covid-19 mortality rates are higher in socially disadvantaged populations – their access to health care is severely limited in many regions, and they are hit harder by the social and economic effects.

Preventive measures like social distancing are impossible in environments like prisons or refugee camps, but also in densely populated informal settlements like the favelas in Brazil or South African townships where people live in close contact with each other. Such places turn into breeding grounds for the virus to spread particularly quickly, while those affected often lack the means to sufficiently protect themselves.

Most people‘s lives and work have been affected by the pandemic. While men are affected by higher Covid-19 fatality rates, lockdowns have greater social and economic consequences for women in general. Domestic violence has also risen during the crisis, while victims of aggression are less able to get help than before. Journalists and social movements that draw attention to grievances must also adapt their activities and security protocols in the pandemic.

The top-down crisis responses of governments around the world often fail to address the specific vulnerabilities, needs and demands of at-risk com- munities. To analyse local strategies to counter the crisis, BuzzingCities Lab organised the webinar series “Community-led Crisis Response. Covid-19 Resilience Tools, Strategies and Lessons from the Pandemic” that took place within the Bosch Alumni Network between September and November 2020.

In five digital debates, international experts, practitioners and participants with diverse backgrounds explored how vulnerable communities are particularly affected by the pandemic and developed crisis response tools and tactics to alleviate the social, economic and health impact on the ground. Our new report highlights insights and recommendations.

Download the Report here (PDF) and follow BuzzingCities Lab for updates.

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