Webinar: Trust, Institutions, and Collective Action During COVID-19: How Are Communities Responding to COVID-19 in Bangladesh?

View the webinar deck here

Effective responses to COVID-19 depend on citizens cooperating with the government in the lockdown, testing and treatment regimes. With multiple cases of defiance against the government-imposed restrictions on travel and mass gatherings in the earlier stages of the COVID-19 crisis in Bangladesh, ensuring citizen cooperation has continued to pose a huge challenge. Government and its partners need to know how their policies and statements are being received and acted upon by communities so that they can design or adapt them as necessary. In partnership with the researchers from the Accountability Research Center at American University and Georgetown University in the US and Development Research Initiative (dRi), BIGD studied the collective community responses to COVID-19 through a phone-based qualitative survey.

The webinar titled “Trust, Institutions, and Collective Action During COVID-19: How Are Communities Responding to COVID-19 in Bangladesh?“, was hosted by Dr Imran Matin, Executive Director, BIGD, and the findings were discussed by Dr Naomi Hossain, Accountability Research Center, American University, Tariq Omar Ali, Georgetown University, Md. Mamun-Ur-Rashid, Development Research Initiative (dRi), and Dr Mirza M Hassan, BIGD.

The findings from the research show that people have largely become more positive towards lockdown initiatives, although many are losing trust in the Government because of delayed assistance and confusion regarding government assistance programs. The active participation of local government, local community-based organizations and private charitable initiatives were noticeable, contrasting with the relatively low visibility of NGOs in COVID-19 initiatives. Interestingly enough, a real-time poll conducted during the webinar itself showed mixed reactions from the participants when asked whether or not they agreed with the research findings.