Health Systems Strengthening

#COVIDactionCollab: Everything you’d like to know

Posted On
Monday, April 20, 2020


Shrirupa Sengupta

Manager, Communications

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global health and societal emergency. Yet, it has also provided humanity with an incredible opportunity to make our world a better place.

Humanitarian and outbreak response over the years have taught us that:

  1. Responses need to be people centric,localized and effective
  2. Resources –  People, Money and Materials – should flow to places required
  3. Information and coordination needs special attention

To respond to COVID-19, WE have come together as a Collaborative with expertise in the areas of Public Health, Medicine, Humanitarian Emergencies, Engineering, Technology, Sociology, Behavioral Science, Mental Health, Migration, Financing and more.

WE are individuals, organizations and networks representing Public, Private, Civil Society, Academia and several other sectors.

We believe that pooling our expertise and resources empowers us to respond effectively to COVID-19, together.

So, what are we here to do?

“WE, the COVID Action Collaborative, are here to bring alive comprehensive and coordinated action with people at the heart of it all – at the very center- leading to the prevention of new infections and mitigating risks and negative impacts for those affected.”

What are the results we want to see?

  1. New infections are prevented successfully
  2. Early diagnosis of COVID-19
  3. Appropriate care being facilitated
  4. Risks & Negative impact of the pandemic mitigated (Incl. Livelihood)

How are we going about this?

WE have adopted 3 strategies that cross-leverage technology, partner presence and capabilities across the collaborative.


Deliver a high impact package of services to key communities where members of the collaborative have direct presence or reach. The package of services include Health, Food Supplies, Social Protection, Livelihoods and Financing and can be tailored to the need of the community. The collaborative is now 158 member organizations  strong and with a reach of over 2 million people among the most poor, vulnerable and marginalised across 11 provinces and 100 districts.

Together, the communities WE reach include small farmers, rural and urban poor, factory workers, entrepreneurs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), fisher men and fisher women, women in sex work,marginalized gay men, transgender people, migrants, differently abled persons and more.

WE also work with government entities to support the COVID-19 response at local and national levels. The COVID 19 Collaborative has developed a Comprehensive Action Framework, that is based on evidence and experience. This supports members of the Collaborative working with Government entities at the Block, District, State and National levels. 

Central to the framework is a Calibrated Action which continuously reads the local situation (using tools) and integrates various resources and actions including Finance, Information, Human resources, Materials, Infrastructure and Equipment. In each area, we have three key continuous actions – Estimate, Mobilize, Deploy.


Foster mechanisms of exchanging information & enhance capacities for key partners and actors 

WE understand how information asymmetry affects quality and impact of response. The speed and newness of COVID-19 has caused widespread confusion and has challenged all of humanity. Given this, and based on good practices of humanitarian responses, WE:

  1. Aggregate and popularize a range of knowledge, learning and communication materials – documents, tools, apps, reports, graphs, estimates, good practices, IEC, SBCC materials, other live sites and more through an easily usable web platform.
  2. Create platforms for live information exchange to seek and offer Volunteering, Materials, Financing where collaborative members (and others) can post requirements, offer supplies and services while also working on projects.
  3. Leverage technology tools to support collaborative members to enhance capacities around key areas for front line workers, allied staff in public and private sector, task teams and for other members of the collaborative, alike.


The COVID-19 pandemic has posed several tough challenges and opportunities for change for the better.

The collaborative helps assemble a range of interested parties (agencies, experts – thinkers, doers and investors) to rapidly and deeply examine the situation – either of problem or opportunities for change, and arrive at evidence-based, cost effective, scalable and effective solutions, together. The collaborative also provides support for expert inputs that help state agencies close gaps while simultaneously sharing good practices to improve cost effectiveness and efficiency. WE call this the Solution Circle approach.

The situations identified to be requiring interventions evolve over time and many of the Solution Circles grow organically. At present, the Collaborative has Solution Circles focussed on immediate problems such as – How to estimate resources required for a city/town? How to deliver primary care online? How to undertake ethical large scale testing of communities? You can go through the full list here which also has details of geographies. More solution circles will be formed, as per the observed and felt need of the Collaborative as well as based on the demand from collaborative members, our communities or the Government.

What does this Collaborative mean for you as a partner?

The COVID Action Collaborative is open for both individuals and entities, across all sectors who wish to contribute to a comprehensive and coordinated COVID-19 response. The collaborative offers a healthy exchange and supportive eco-system of

  1. People – World renowned experts and volunteers
  2. Practical resources – Tools, Frameworks, Checklists, Materials, Medical Technology and more.
  3. Financing – Whether you want to contribute or you need funding
  4. Partnerships – Of other organisations, capabilities and reach

Our aim through all of this is to help stakeholders, including Governments rapidly and cost effectively prevent new infections, diagnose early, treat those affected appropriately and with care and mitigate any allied risks and negative impact including livelihood.

To sign up for the collaborative, head to 

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