To enable innovative, collective action to provide timely, meaningful solutions to critical humanitarian challenges, the COVIDActionCollab (CAC) has championed a unique model of collaboration called Impact Canvas (IC). Impact Canvas is a platform that brings together multi-sectoral, impact-focused partners, who can rally around one ultimate outcome (e.g. higher testing, cleaner public spaces) to provide effective, meaningful solutions that mitigate the effects of the pandemic and achieve scale, impact, and sustainability in a collective fashion.
Why join/become an Impact Canvas?
Prototypes and innovations Avail a platform for comprehensive problem solving, solution design and development- reducing time from ideation to testing to implementation of new and existing innovations2.
Partnerships and connections Quickly connect and build relationships with all key stakeholders (government, nonprofits, CSR and design organisations, academia, etc) relevant to your program.
Ease of scaleLeverage the power of CAC partnerships to scale across communities and geographies (create impact at scale, as opposed to scaling impact).4.
Aggregate funding and joint fundraising Collectively raise resources and funds for your cause, with the backing of 300+ organisations
Last Mile Access to Oxygen and Life-Saving Equipment
Initiative: Improving Last Mile Access to Oxygen and Life-Saving Equipment
Domain: Health, Supply Chain Management
During the second wave of COVID-19, hospitals across India experienced oxygen shortages. Oxygen demand is unpredictable, varies by the hour for each patient and is far outstripping supply. Few suppliers hold all bargaining power and are charging prodigious amounts for oxygen related equipment. There is an uneven distribution of medical oxygen production capacity across Indian states. Lack of sufficient storage and transportation infrastructure for medical oxygen combined with exponentially increasing cost of logistics are leading to massive delays in oxygen distribution, thereby increasing COVID-19 mortality. Lead times to set up new oxygen manufacturing plants or expand existing ones are extremely high, with inadequate skilled labour to support operations. All these factors lead to little to no access to life-saving medical oxygen in small hospitals and rural areas. Government response falls short due to extremely high information asymmetry on demand, supply, allocation and use of medical oxygen and related equipment.
This impact canvas is mobilizing key stakeholders across India who
(i) undertake emergency response by aggregating demand for oxygen-related equipment (concentrators, cylinders, etc) across hospitals, NGOs and governments, connecting them to verified suppliers for timely deployment and reducing information asymmetry.
(ii) provide last-mile guidelines, protocols, training material and best practices around using and renting oxygen-related equipment.
(iii) undertake R&D to optimize production capacities, use and deployment of oxygen plants, and identify scalable product and systemic innovations in medical oxygen production and/or distribution
(iv) rapidly test and deploy long-term solutions to improve oxygen access, especially for small hospitals (including IOT-based oxygen equipment deployment and tracking, labourforce skilling, etc.)
High-touch public spaces such as ambulances, police stations, etc. increase risk of transmission of infections and diseases, which poses a serious threat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Restricting access to the public is not always feasible. To reduce risk of infection while also creating a cadre of jobs, COVIDActionCollab (CAC) partner, Labournet, created the Total Shield program. The model seeks to build a tribe of ‘hygiene entrepreneurs’ who conduct on-demand sanitization of public and private spaces in gram panchayats (also known as GPs or village administrations). The program offers credit to sanitization and hygiene entrepreneurs (SHEs) to procure necessary cleaning tools, and connects them to a network of individuals and institutions seeking sanitization services. As of November 2020, there are over 300 SHEs working in 20 clusters, earning over INR 200 (twice the minimum wage of unskilled labour) in average daily income. The program has generated INR 15 lakhs income for SHEs and sanitized over 100 lakh square feet. The SHE program was piloted in Karnataka and is now looking for implementation and funding partners across India.
Initiative: Precision Pandemic Public Health Surveillance
As community transmission of the Sars-nCov-2 virus appears in India, new means of detecting its presence in the population and evidence-based local response are required. International and national efforts have indicated that testing sewage can be an effective tool for monitoring the spread of the Sars-nCoV-2 virus. However, an ‘Indian’ protocol is needed that takes into account the poor quality of sewage systems and challenges in transportation and testing of samples, and ensures that the results of the sample testing supports city and state governments to effectively take necessary measures and communicate with the public on COVID-19 incidence.
Both symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients shed SAR-CoV-2 in their stools. The virus can be detected in stools much before it is detected from nasal swab testing of an individual. Recognizing these points, CAC has developed a protocol to detect the presence of Sars-nCoV-2 virus from sewage water coming out from the community, with the help of partners in health (Swasti, CMS), testing (Molecular Solutions and Neshaju Envirotech), research (St John’s Research Institute and Indian Institute of Science) and water and sanitation engineering (STUP Consultants and CDD Society).
The sample from each ward will be collected from the community sewage plant and designated open sources and delivered to a designated laboratory for processing and testing, maintaining a desirable cold chain. Then the sample will be processed and tested to understand the prevalence of the virus. The findings will be shared online on a publicly accessible surveillance dashboard to review the situation. The SARS-CoV-2 sewage surveillance data can serve as an Early Warning System, and inform resource deployment and mitigation measures, thereby helping state and local health departments detect, understand, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first of its kind initiative in India, and probably in Asia. This initiative, known as the Precision Pandemic Public Health Surveillance Initiative, is covering 45 most populous wards of Bangalore city and is looking for scaling and endorsement partners in other cities and states of India.
Marginalized communities in urban slums today face a double burden of disease; the threat of COVID19 and preventable complications from pre-existing chronic conditions. To counter this and prevent COVID outbreaks in the most vulnerable communities, we are taking healthcare to their doorstep. Community based screening will be rolled out in areas where there is high risk of COVID outbreak due to poor sanitation facilities and overcrowding, targeting slum settlements in Mumbai. Screening and primary care for common pre-existing conditions will also be layered onto the COVID screening work to reduce morbidity and mortality from avoidable complications. Those at risk of COVID will receive sample collection at or near point of care and results will be returned with short turn around times. A lab within a community clinic will be refurbished to provide both antigen and PCR tests. A comprehensive package of care including counselling and referral support will be provided to infected individuals and family members. These efforts will lean on engaging trusted community mobilizers to generate demand. Active and persistent screening coupled with compassionate care that meets community needs will ensure early detection, inturn breaking the transmission chain and preventing large outbreaks in these communities. This program is being piloted in Maharashtra and will be looking for partners to scale.
Initiative: Building Economic Resilience of Vulnerable Populations
The impact of the pandemic Covid 19 has hit all sections of the society with the vulnerable populations bearing the brunt more than others. There are efforts ongoing for relief and recovery. The next stage is on building the economic resilience of these vulnerable communities so that they can manage future shocks and setbacks. Building resilience is important and difficult in normal circumstances and even more so in the context of Covid 19.
The purpose of this impact canvas is bringing together a group of thought leaders and CAC partners who can help find ways to do it. The approach is through creating solution circles with multiple groups of diverse backgrounds and being open for new approaches. And leveraging existing knowledge and new levers for doing it.
While relief and recovery efforts to support vulnerable populations during the pandemic are ongoing, it is imperative that we also build the economic resilience of these communities so they can better manage future shocks and setbacks. This impact canvas has developed and deployed the CDAR approach to build resilience for populations that are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. According to the approach, the pathways designed to enhance resilience are conservation (cost cutting, risk reduction, etc.), diversification (of income and revenue streams), aggregation (helping the poor save and invest), and risk pooling (formal and informal insurance mechanisms).
Key outcomes expected are:
Increased knowledge on available resilience building definitions, frameworks, models and ideas available for use through an inventory of practical approaches and tools.
Deployable, scalable and tested resilience building models that integrate implementers, investors and public systems for the benefit of vulnerable communities
Diversification of income sources, savings, mutual help and formal insurance for communities
Increased fund accessibility with lower interest rates through the soft loans approach.
Initiative: HEAL (Health Enabled Actions for Life)
HEAL is an initiative to support the individuals and families infected and affected by COVID-19. COVID-19 can result in prolonged illness and persistent symptoms, like strokes and seizures, even in young adults with no existing medical conditions or history of hospitalization. On the other hand, as the pandemic unraveled across all states in the country, so did the high costs of private healthcare. Although the treatment at public medical facilities is free, the quality of care varies greatly among states. This poor quality of medical care drives desperate patients towards private hospitals. Despite this, 85.9% of India’s rural population and 80.9% of its urban population have no health insurance. The few that do have insurance face various
difficulties to claim them, such as claim denial, low awareness of the process and procedures, partial claim/refund approvals from the insurance companies, delay in approvals, etc. This results in unexpected out-of-pocket expenditures despite having health insurance. These issues often resulted in people approaching the traditional/local money lenders for loans with a high rate of interest to pay their medical bills and to meet their immediate essential needs. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic has been devastating and pushing people into uncertainty and poverty.
In this regard, theCovid Action Collaborative(CAC) came forward to mitigate the challenges faced by individuals and families affected by COVID-19. CAC proposes the following interventions;
Provide integrated post COVID-19 recovery (physical+mental health ) assistance and capacity building on self care for COVID-19 infected and family as caregivers.
Support COVID-19 affected people to overcome financial burden through facilitating soft loans with an affordable interest rate.
Enable COVID-19 affected people to access insurance schemes/claims through grievance redressal mechanisms.
The key principles of the impact canvas being people centric, and to thrive towards recovery and resilience.
The Coalition is being piloted in two locations in India, Karnataka and Hyderabad, and aims to scale nationally by creating local champions and leveraging learnings from the pilot.
To ensure people-centric services for those infected or affected by COVID-19, especially marginalized communities, the COVID Action Collaborative (CAC) created the COVID Positives Coalition. Led by COVID-19 affected individuals and supported by local NGOs, the COVID Positives Coalition aims to:
Reduce stigma around COVID-19
Ensure better quality of care for COVID-19 affected
Improve response and recovery policies, shaped by COVID-19 affected individuals
The Coalition is being piloted in two locations in India, Karnataka and Hyderabad, and aims to scale nationally by creating local champions and leveraging learnings from the pilot.
PPE-related plastics have wreaked havoc in our under prepared ecosystems. A concentrated recycling and value addition process is key to ensuring that our world is not choked by irresponsible disposal of these essential products. The Pandemic Plastic impact canvas is engaging a diverse range of stakeholders- hospitals, medical centers, testing facilities, public utility areas, clinical experts, bio-waste aggregators, academia, design thinkers, etc. – to (a) comprehensively understand the problem using the “Solution Circle” approach, and (b) create sustainable solutions that work at scale and have buy-in from all key stakeholders.
Children from lower socio-economic strata do not have access to the devices necessary to enable their education in COVID times. In response, CAC is working on an initiative, Tabs for 1 million children, which aims to provide custom-made, affordable and durable tablets to digitally-excluded, low income families. They will come pre-loaded with classroom curricula to enable children’s learning, thanks to partners such as Mission Vishwas. The tablets are being designed as comprehensive, highly functional, recyclable and easily repairable devices, and will be manufactured in India. Hence, in addition to improving learning outcomes for children, this initiative will lead to job creation for youth in manufacturing and maintaining devices. The vision of the initiative is to reach 1 million children, pan India (including rural, urban, semi-urban areas), across different contexts and vulnerabilities.
Most initiatives addressing the health and wellbeing of vulnerable communities during the pandemic, such as helplines and platforms, are designed top-down, do not integrate with existing public health infrastructure, and are therefore inaccessible. Recognizing this gap in localized and customized solutions to address the needs of marginalized populations, Swasti designed HelloSwasti, an IVR based telephonic platform to provide Covid-19 and non-COVID primary health care, counselling, and social protection support. In this second wave of COVID-19, vulnerable communities and on-ground implementers who support them face several challenges. Vulnerable communities have poor access to healthcare – including support of medical personnel, correct information regarding the virus and protection measures when infected or affected, materials like thermometers and oximeters to monitor their health, safe community facilities, etc. Implementers who work with communities and support them to tide the COVID-19 waves encounter difficulties in reach – due to lockdowns or fear of risk to staff and people. Many implementers are unfamiliar with COVID-19 protocols and do not have access to trained personnel for referrals.
HelloSwasti is a community-led integrated tele-triage and community care service to address physical, emotional and social determinants of health, with provision for COVID-19 care. The service, supported by local stakeholders provides a menu of options of 9 support/service elements:
Vaccine Counseling and onboarding support; 2. Community Surveillance and Risk Assessment; 3. Social Protection Package; 4. Home Quarantine Care; 5. Navigation support for COVID care centres and hospitals; 6. Support for Health Insurance; 7. Home Quarantine COVID Care Kit; 8. Community COVID care; 9. Community based testing.
While some of these services require feet on the ground, many of the care and counseling services are available through tele consultation, enabling safe access.
Key outcomes we want to achieve:
Increase the number of vulnerable populations (e.g elderly, disabled, daily wage earners, transgenders) accessing primary health care services
Reduce the time needed to provide first level support for health conditions.
Reduce out of pocket expenditure on primary health care
Integrate telecare with existing health infrastructure to improve treatment adherence and ensure long term commitment to a health goal (TB elimination).
Ensure safe home isolation for those infected with Covid-19 demonstrated by reduced need for hospitalisation.
The solution has been piloted in 8 locations across India and reached 120,000 individuals over the last 13 months, demonstrating how technology can be leveraged to reach the unreached. We are now scaling up the solution and excited to have like-minded partners to embark on this journey with us.
The Collaborative has been incubated by the Catalyst Group of Institutions which prioritizes the most vulnerable and has been active for over 25 years now. The Group has experience of responding in humanitarian emergencies like the Kerala Floods (2018), Cyclone Gaja (2018), Tsunami (2004), Latur (1993) and more.
Disclaimer: This website is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The #COVIDActionCollab partnership is supported by USAID/India Health Office, under Cooperative Agreement # 72038620C00001 with Catalyst Management Services. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. Government information and does not necessarily represent the views or positions of USAID, the United States Government, or Catalyst Management Services.