UNDP: “Since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Mexico, multiple citizen responses have emerged to tackle its impacts: digital aid platforms such as Frena la Curva (Stop the curve) and México Covid19; groups of makers that design medical and protective equipment; Zapotec indigenous women that teach how to make hand sanitizer at home; public buses that turn into mobile markets; and much more.
There are initiatives that aid 10, 20, 3,000 or more people; initiatives that operate inside a housing unit, a municipality or across the City. Some responses have come from civil society organizations; others from collectives of practitioners or from groups of friends and family; there are even those made out of groups of strangers that the pandemic turned into partners working for the same goal….
Within the plurality of initiatives that have emerged, sometimes, seemingly in a spontaneous way, there is a common denominator: people are reacting in a collaboratively way to the crisis to solve the needs that the pandemic is leaving behind.
Different research studies connect social cohesion and social capital with the response’s capacity of a community in situations of crisis and natural disasters; and with its subsequent recovery. These concepts —derived from sociology— include aspects such as the level of union; relationships and networks; and interaction between people in a community.
This can be seen when, for example, a group of people in a neighborhood gets together to buy groceries for neighbors who have lost their incomes. Also, when a collective of professionals react to the shortages of protective equipment for health workers by creating low-cost prototypes, or when a civil organization collaborates with local authorities to bring water to households that lack access to clean water.
It would seem that a high rate of social capital and social cohesion might ease the rise of the citizen initiatives that aim to tackle the challenges that ensue from the pandemic. These do not come out of nowhere….(More)”.