COVID-19 exposed several gaps in urban planning and policymaking. With cities largely being the loci of infection, vulnerable groups such as slum dwellers were disproportionately impacted. The study highlights the existing vulnerabilities of urban slum communities, the inequities in their access to optimal quality public services and the imperative for CSOs to step in to mitigate the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. By highlighting CSOs’ role in responding to the crisis, the report lays the premise for collaborative governance between the government and CSOs. It makes recommendations for sustainable collaborations by triangulating efforts on relationship building, leveraging technology and securing funding from philanthropies.