The success of online trainings and social mobilization during the Covid-19 pandemic must be built upon to enable frontline workers to adopt the latest digital technology. The degree and urgency with which frontline workers have been exposed to digital medium of communication will transform the landscape of communication at the grassroots level without compromising the digital divide. Capacity building processes may increasingly be designed to suit digital outreach. Despite limitations like network, electricity and equipment issues, pros of digital interactions, such as reduction in travel time and logistical costs, improved accountability, etc., will be instrumental in a faster switch to the digital mode.
Tried and tested tools like RapidPro must be scaled up. Such technology reduces monotonous work like data collection and frees resources for other impactful work and helps to reduce digital divide because of its IVR-based platform.
As seen in the recent crisis, women have an intimate understanding of the dynamics of their communities. They can rise up to challenges and work out innovations in places that are often overlooked and facilitate the community resilience. The success of Sakhi Task Forces has confirmed that continuous and progressive investment in creating women leaders in villages reaps dividends over time. The identification and capacity building of women leaders must be scaled up across the country.
As the lockdown eases and life settles into a post-pandemic phase, these learnings must fold into a regular practice and continue to enrich our work for long after we have collectively defeated the ungodly virus.