1. What is I-CAN? When and why was it launched?

I-CAN is India Co-Win Action Network. It was launched on 31st March 2020 through an online press conference. It is a citizen’s response platform to help those in need in the challenging times of lockdown imposed due to COVID 19. By providing timely help, I-CAN hopes to help flatten the curve.

2. How is I-CAN helping people in the times of COVID 19?

I-CAN is a platform connecting those who need assistance in the form of food, rations, medical aid, transportation assistance and those who can help deliver these to them. This is effected through an online portal, https://cowinactionnetwork.in/ where needs, resources and volunteers are entered and geo tagged. This helps in creating a hyperlocal network of the three parties through a backend process to help connect the dots.

3. Who can join I-CAN?

I-CAN is truly a citizen’s movement. Anyone can join this movement and help by

  1. Seeking help for the needy in your communities
  2. Finding resources in your communities
  3. Being a Co-Win WARRIOR by Connecting Help Seekers with Help Givers (Resources)
  4. Offering Resources like ration, cooked meals, medicines, vehicle for transportation etc.

We appeal to citizens to come forward and be a part of this movement. NGOs or Civil society organizations can also join this platform and benefit from a larger community of volunteers and resource providers.
We also invite professionals and specialists from diverse fields such as media, journalism, research etc. to volunteer their time, skills and expertise.

4. Is there any fee to join I-CAN?

I-CAN is a citizen-driven voluntary movement and is open to anyone and everyone who has a desire to help or needs help. There is NO FEE for joining.

1. How can someone join and be a volunteer for I-CAN?

Becoming a volunteer is simple. Just fill this form https://cowinactionnetwork.in/registration/#bevolunteer and you are ready to start

2. What happens after registering as a volunteer on I-CAN platform?

Once you complete the registration online,

  • Step 1 you will receive an SMS and e-mail confirmation immediately. In case, you do not receive within 12 hours, you may reach out to cowin@connecting-dreams.org
  • Step 2 you will be informed about the next orientation session where the process is clearly explained step by step.
  • Step 3 you will attend and complete the session
  • Step 4 you start contributing in the best way possible.

3. How do volunteers contribute?

Volunteers can contribute in one of the 4 ways

  • Identify help seekers (people who need assistance)
  • Identify resources (these could be institutions, individuals, NGOS or government bodies that can provide help)
  • Connect help seekers and resources. These are Co-Win Warriors
  • Provide Resources (assist by providing food, ration, medicine etc.)

4. What does the process look like?

I-CAN uses technology that geotags the volunteer, the resource as well as the help seeker. As soon as any help seeker is registered, the Co-Win warrior in that area gets a message about this need. The warrior then connects the nearest resource (help giver) with the help seeker through a phone call. In case no help giver is available nearby, the volunteer raises the problem to the district coordinator. If even the district coordinator can’t solve, the issue is raised to state and then to central coordinators.

5. How is the team structured?

6. What is the role of the district and state coordinators?

The district and state warrior coordinators are young leaders working in the arena of socio-political development. They have been selected by the I-CAN Training and Development team from the pool of registered volunteers. They are selected on the basis of their understanding of local administrative functioning and prior experience in working with challenging social issues.

They are the single point of contact for their respective geographic areas and part of the escalation matrix as you can see in the diagram. This team would be further supplemented by state level teams across media, research etc. The State Teams are supported by a Central Coordination team that facilitates integration of activities and reporting.

They are also aware and regularly in touch with the registered help givers/ resources in that region. With the active support of hundreds of I-CAN warriors in each district they solve the various needs of their communities.

7. What if even the central coordinators can't solve any issue?

While most of the issues get solved through the I-CAN Warrior network, sometimes it is a challenge. In such cases, the case is referred to the District Coordinator. In the event, it cannot be solved at a district level, the case is referred to the State Coordinator. If it is not closed at that level, the issue is forwarded to the Central Coordinator.

However, at times, even with the best efforts, some needs are unmet. In such cases, a central team checks on the status every week to see if there has been any update through I-CAN or other sources and incorporates learnings and insights to be able to serve similar problems that may arise in the future.

8. What types of needs are met/ solved by I-CAN warriors?

I-CAN warriors are virtual volunteers who work digitally to connect help seekers and resources using the Co-Win Action Network portal.

During the lockdown period, the most pressing needs are for meals, dry ration, medical assistance or transportation-related. The resources available on the portal are a combination of individuals, private organizations and government agencies who are able to provide on ground help. Co-Win WARRIORS work from home.

9. Do volunteers have to go out to help people?

No, I-CAN doesn’t expect its volunteers to go out of their home.

10. Does I-CAN issue e-pass to volunteers?

No. I-CAN strongly suggests that all its volunteers respect the spirit of lockdown and stay indoors. The entire initiative is based on the need to flatten the curve and hence works with resources that are on ground already.

11. Is I-CAN helping corona patients?

A corona patient must immediately visit the nearest hospital which is treating the corona patients. All the state governments are taking due care of such patients who are kept in quarantine and under care of hospital staff.

We recommend checking out state government sites and their handles on twitter etc. for latest updated lists.

12. Is there any mechanism for the I-CAN team to verify that the need has actually been solved?

The Central Coordination team at I-CAN randomly contacts around 25-30% of the closed needs daily to verify that the need has actually been met.

1. Why should an NGO/CSO become a part of the I-CAN network?

I-CAN is a one of a kind technology based initiative that connects those in need and those with resources across the country. Becoming a part of the network provides immediate access to a larger base of resources and volunteers to help the challenges being addressed in the communities that NGOs work with.

As part of a larger network, collaboration and sharing of best practices is possible and would lead to integrated change management at a pan India level.

While the current challenges are related to bare essentials in this period of lockdown, the platform can be used to address long term goals by leveraging advanced ICT tools in pursuit of solving problems of the most underprivileged post COVID 19.

2. How can NGO/CSOs join the I-CAN portal?

NGOs and CSOs can become part of the I-CAN network by simply submitting a form under the ‘NGO/Partner’ tab at https://cowinactionnetwork.in/registration/ and registering with the network.
What happens after registering on the I-CAN portal?

  • Step 1: Verification/Validation
  • Step 2: SMS confirmation
  • Step 3: Orientation/ Training
  • Step 4: Using the platform

3. Does I-CAN provide funding to NGOs/CSOs?

I-CAN is a virtual network which connects help seekers with help givers. It is best envisioned as a facilitation medium and does not promote or provide any funding opportunities.

4. Can I post the work that our NGO/CSO has done to help the people in this crisis on the I-CAN portal?

Any success stories using the I-CAN network may be shared via the portal using a separate form .

5. How can an NGO use the I-CAN portal to help people in distress during the lockdown?

Any NGO/CSO is free to use the I-CAN portal to enter needs of specific help seekers or resources in and around their area. This would enable the volunteer network in assisting with connecting the two using a wider database of resources in the region.

6. Can I-CAN provide any help specific to the domain in which our NGO is working?

I-CAN has a vast team of warriors and organizations who bring with them varied domain expertise and experience. At present though, the focus is on addressing lockdown necessities. In a post COVID-19 scenario, there would be more opportunities to leverage the access to such resources.

7. My NGO is looking for a conveyance pass which would help with movement and better delivery of relief, can I-CAN help?

I-CAN and its team of warriors work online, helping solve real problems virtually. It does not have the authority to issue conveyance passes in the lockdown.

8. Who do we follow up with on our need request ?

Please note that ICAN warriors treat each need with utmost priority, however they are dependent on support from local help givers and local administration support. Because of this dependency few needs may take longer to get solved and stay open.
The contact details of State NGO coordinators are available on our website.

1. Can our NGO/CSO become a partner of the network?

I-CAN is an associated network of like-minded individuals, helping the society get through the COVID-19 crisis, now and post lockdown. Any organization wishing to be a partner and having domain expertise specific to the domains of service which I-CAN engages in, may write to us at cowin@connecting-dreams.org

2.What are the long-term prospects of associating with ICAN for an NGO/CSO?

For I-CAN the long term perspective would include exploring how we can work towards the upliftment of the economy which would be imperative once the worst of the present crisis is over. This would involve rethinking and finding ways to leverage the good work of NGOs/CSOs to bringing a return to normalcy and generating opportunities for livelihoods, addressing mental health issues, sanitation needs etc. I-CAN believes a strong partnership with NGOs and CSOs along with a nationwide network of volunteers can provide the boost to building social, economic and mental resilience of the aggrieved sections of the population.

3. How can organizations partner with I CAN?

I CAN is a citizen’s initiative driven totally by the strength of its volunteers. Therefore, any organization willing to offer its network or capacity to strengthen this network is heartily welcome. Such organizations are treated as ‘Friends of I-CAN’. You may like
to write at cowin@connecting-dreams.org. We normally get back to you within 24 hours. In case you don’t hear from us, please also feel free to call on +91-9717322023 or 9820800529.

4. Is I-CAN affiliated to the government ?

I-CAN is a movement led by volunteers. However, many government organizations have taken cognizance of this successful initiative and have extended support and solidarity from time to time. NITI Aayog CEO Shri Amitabh Kant had appealed to all the 92,000 NGOs registered on its darpan portal to join the I-CAN movement and we were happy to receive an overwhelming response to join. PIB, Maharashtra acknowledged this initiative as one amongst the top 5 development initiatives in the fight against Corona virus, alongside IITs and IISc.

In case you do not see any questions you would like answered, please feel free to write to us at cowin@connecting-dreams.org and we will get back to you.

1. Should an organization depend on the I-CAN portal for providing assistance in urgent life threatening scenarios?

The I-CAN portal has a staggered response system, depending upon the urgency of the help seeker. However, in case of any emergencies of a severe and life-threatening nature, we strongly suggest seeking immediate assistance from local administrative and health care institutions