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#IncredibleCollabs: ISAP x CAC – Collaborating to bridge the gap

By Anupama K

#COVIDActionCollab (CAC) partnered with the Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) to enable the marginalized communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. ISAP is a Delhi-based non-profit development agency that aims to revitalize and transform rural communities by providing them with expert knowledge, technical, and business skills. In response to the pandemic, ISAP, along with CAC, resorted to a focused approach and chose to work with those communities which belonged to the interior parts of the country because they faced an acute shortage of even the basic COVID preventive items. “For example, in areas like Nandurbar and Karoli, the inhabitants had no access to masks or sanitizers,” shared ISAP team members who work closely with CAC.>

“The support we received from #COVIDActionCollab (CAC) in enabling these communities during the pandemic was tremendous. They provided us with the necessary tools and materials we needed during that time. ISAP had the human resources, but we lacked many other resources to help the communities fight the pandemic. CAC provided us with essentials such as masks, sanitizers, COVID-19 kits, oxygen concentrators, etc which reached the beneficiaries as and when they needed them. They also provided training to the team members of ISAP on COVID-appropriate behavior and held sessions on capacity building for our ground staff and on health awareness. After receiving training, the team members further trained those who worked closely with the communities, who then imparted these learnings to the community members,” added the ISAP team.

When the pandemic hit, many collaborations came to the forefront at the national, state, and regional levels. “It was through the support of CAC, that we were able to bridge the gap that existed between ISAP’s donors and our beneficiaries. By acting as an intermediary, we closed the demand and supply channels that existed between them,” they shared.

The team further opened up about some of the many challenges they faced in their efforts to vaccinate the community members. ISAP works mainly with rural communities, especially those belonging to minority, tribal populations, women, girls, and children. Since the literacy rate also varies within these communities, they resorted to customized communication material to address challenges such as vaccine hesitancy and tweaked their approach according to their age group, literacy rate, etc.

Speaking about their efforts with regard to social protection, the team shared that the help desks ISAP set up with the help of CAC have been really helpful as many people from the marginalized communities were able to create identity cards for themselves for the first time. These help desks also helped them in availing the benefits of many government schemes designed for them, especially when the pandemic hit in 2020, ensuring a sustainable and long-term impact.

The team concluded by saying that the role played by #COVIDActionCollab (CAC) is crucial where interventions are required at the administration level. Being a 300+partner with strong collaboration, CAC’s interventions can bring about quick transformation at the grassroots level and help nurture community resilience.