Voices from the Frontline on the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than health impacts. It has also caused social and economic impacts – across diverse communities in developing countries of Asia and the Pacific, Africa and Latin America. However, these dynamics are neither well reported nor well understood.

What is more, COVID-19 has reached communities that are already dealing with multiple shocks and stresses from other causes. Low-income communities in developing countries face poverty, other public health crises (e.g. linked to insecure housing, unsafe water and lack of sanitation), and both the slow- and rapid-onset impacts of climate change. In response, communities have been self-organising to cope with COVID-19, as well as these other intersecting risks; and often with delayed or limited government assistance.

The Climate Development and Knowledge Network (CDKN) and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Dhaka, Bangladesh have reached out through networks of civil society organisations and local groups to commission interviews with community pioneers at the frontlines of devising localised solutions to COVID-19.

Resulting in the interview series, ‘Voices from the frontline of Covid-19’ which ICCCAD and CDKN have published weekly, since early June 2020 until December 2021. These stories aim to document learning from community practices, and to disseminate the learning widely, to foster more effective responses to future crises, and greater resilience.

At the end of 2021, CDKN and ICCCAD synthesised these many stories from around the world and looked at them through the prism of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and what communities have done to retain hard-won development in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis and other multiple shocks. This synthesis report is available as a digibook or as a downloadable pdf.

VFL Resources

Resilience of Local Communities: Lessons from COVID-19

This brief provides a first assessment on how 15 local communities in the Global South are building resilience in the face of COVID-19. We found that communities used many different coping strategies, spanning multiple social domains of resilience, when responding to a crisis.

Women carrying a child walking up stairs to a floating house in Bangladesh.

South Asia Regional Resilience Dialogue Outcome Document

Fostering Adaptation and Resilience for a Post-COVID19, 1.5 Degree Future. This dialogue is part of a series of regional dialogues convened with non-party stakeholders, organized by the Global Resilience Partnership together with Climate Resilience Network of the UNFCCC Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA) with the support of the Chile and UK High Level Champions (HLCs), Gonzalo Muñoz and Nigel Topping.

The ‘Voices from the Frontline’ stories




Latin America


This text has been adapted from CDKN’s website.