The Delhi Coordinated Relief network: lessons from COVID-19
Throughout the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the Delhi Coordinated Relief network played a key role in supporting vulnerable people. These video interviews explore how the network made an impact, from distributing food relief to dealing with housing issues, and what lessons should be learned from its activities.
The Delhi Coordinated Relief network played a pivotal role in providing social protection to vulnerable people in the Indian capital in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coalition of civil society groups, community-based organisations and activists came together to provide financial support, distribute food and respond to rental housing issues among vulnerable communities.
The following video interviews, including a podcast, provide a detailed exploration of how the network was formed, the essential activities it carried out, and what lessons can be learned and applied in the future, both for pandemic and non-pandemic times.
A playlist of all the videos is also available on YouTube.
This in-depth interview in March 2023 with Gautam Bhan, a researcher at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, describes how the Delhi Coordinated Relief Group began its work at the height of the second wave of COVID-19 in Delhi. He discusses what lessons for social protection policies can be taken from the network's work.
How it was run
In this interview, Usman Javed describes the logistics of running the the Delhi Coordinated Relief network. It highlights how more than 50 civil society organisations, community-based organisations and activists worked together to distribute more than 75,000 food kits to beneficiaries during COVID-19.
Experiences of a resident activist
During the height of the second wave of COVID-19 in Delhi, India, the network distributed food entitlements to beneficiaries living in vulnerable neighbourhoods. Sheikh Akbar Ali from Basti Suraksha Manch describes how it was carried out.
How it was funded
Juhi Jain, deputy director of the Centre for Advocacy and Research, describes the financial aspects of the network. The interview highlights how networks find resources to deliver entitlements to beneficiaries and the lessons to be drawn for strengthening social protection in 'normal' times.
Experiences of a worker's union
Subhadhra Pandey, assistant coordinator of trade and advocacy at SEWA (Self-Employed Women's Association), discusses the relief activities undertaken by the organisation in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The interview delves into the reasons behind SEWA's decision to join the Delhi Coordinated Relief network in the second year. Pandey also describes how the worker's union consistently worked towards supporting the most vulnerable workers during the pandemic, extending assistance beyond its active members.
Lessons for urban socal protection
This podcast with the members of the Delhi Coordinated Relief network explores the formation of the network and how various civil society organisations, community-based organisations and activists came together to deliver food relief to the most vulnerable neighborhoods in Delhi, India.
Drawing from this experience, the speakers reflect on lessons for strengthening social protection, especially how non-state actors must be viewed as social infrastructures not only at the time of humanitarian emergencies such as COVID-19 but also in the everyday in Southern urban contexts.
This podcast also formed the basis of a guest episode of IIED's Make Change Happen podcast, which features an introduction by IIED senior researcher Anna Walnycki.