[Open Access] New article: COVID-19 pandemic in informal settlements

Mapping repertoires of collective action facing the COVID-19 pandemic in informal settlements in Latin American cities. Written by Isabel Franco, Catalina Ortiz, Jota Samper and Gynna Millan


The data mapped as part of the Synergies for Solidarity campaign launched in May 2020, provided important early insights into how collective action has evolved to face the pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic in informal settlements in Latin American Cities. The initial analysis, published by the journal Environment and Urbanization as open access, reveals the incapacity of national and local governments to effectively reach the lowest-income households conducing to the exacerbation of long-term inequalities.


"The initiatives tracked are diverse in terms of the tactics and resources used for collective action. Still, their purpose and scope are limited as they tackle short-term needs that are the by-product of long-term territorial inequalities."

Using the perspective of 'repertoires of collective action' (joint action of groups of people to achieve common interests), the initiatives are analysed through seven spheres of informality: housing, income, health, food security, infrastructure, public security and political participation, and four dimensions within each initiative 1. the promoters, 2. purpose, 3. scale and scope, and 4. means and resources.


The article demonstrates that "the number and history of the actors promoting different tactics of collective action are strictly linked to the history and strength of social mobilization in each country". Also, "that networks and multi-level alliances, both among organizations and also with the private sector, have built synergies and developed more effective responses in informal settlements". However, the article also highlights that "the crucial data gaps that hamper assertive and prompt responses still require massive efforts in order that decision-making can be grounded in epidemiological evidence, territorial data, and the knowledge of social groups and organizations about vulnerability conditions and structured capacity to coordinate effective actions."


Read/download the whole article here

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