Giving Compass’ Take:
• Gita V. Johar highlights one initiative’s success in using behavioral science to provide migrant workers with food during the pandemic.
• How can other organizations learn from this example and implement behavioral science data in their coronavirus response efforts?
On March 24, 2020, millions of daily migrant workers fell under extreme hardship as India instituted the world’s largest, most stringent lockdown to combat COVID-19. Overnight, life across the country came to a grinding halt. Left with no jobs, no other source of livelihood, and all transportation suspended, migrant workers faced starvation and had little choice but to begin backbreaking journeys—on foot, and with little access to food or water—from the cities where they resided to their rural hometowns.
The immense scope of need and urgency demanded collective action, and led to the formation of FeedMyCity, a community kitchen initiative that mobilized within three days of the lockdown announcement. COVID-19 restrictions required that organizers not only obtain additional registrations and permissions allowing kitchen workers and food distributors to move during the lockdown, but also set up kitchens and distribution centers across multiple cities while practicing social distancing. To scale up and make a tangible difference, the initiative had to organize and build without face-to-face contact—a crucial element of most social mobilization efforts.
FeedMyCity started in March by serving 500 meals to families of daily wage earners in one city; by June, it had served more than 4.5 million meals across five cities. How did this happen? To rapidly amplify its work and influence a large number of people to donate to the cause, the initiative drew insights from behavioral science to shape effective communications. While behavioral science has been applied in a variety of social contexts, FeedMyCity illustrates how certain principles can prove effective even in the most complex and constrained circumstances.
Read the full article about using behavioral science in COVID response efforts by Gita V. Johar at Stanford Social Innovation Review.
If you are looking for more articles and resources for Impact Philanthropy, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and Impact Philanthropy.
Looking for a way to get involved?
If you are interested in COVID-19, please see these relevant events, training, conferences or volunteering opportunities the Giving Compass team recommends.
Are you ready to give?
In addition to learning and connecting with others, taking action is a key step towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for COVID-19 take a look at these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects.