Trusted community leaders and local governments face enormous demands during crises such as COVID-19. In times like these, they turn to well established systems for emergency support and rapid assistance. Community-driven development (CDD) programs, which put citizens at the center of designing their own solutions, provide a fast and flexible way to deliver cash and basic services to the poorest and most vulnerable. In the face of emerging challenges, these programs play a critical role in mitigating impacts and supporting local recovery. Through a philosophy of inclusion, this approach aims to create jobs, build livelihoods, and provide critical services to people in the most vulnerable areas.