Recovery, Renewal, Resilience

Lessons for Resilience

Considerations for an equal recovery
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Governance of delivering recovery and renewal
Content:

COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on the most vulnerable in our society as evidenced by impact and needs assessments. As a result, some local government recovery plans have sought to build fairness and equality into recovery and renewal. This case study explores some of the unequal impacts shared through the Health Foundation’s COVID-19 impact inquiry report ‘Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery: The COVID-19 impact inquiry report’ (July 2021)[1], and considers how equality can be placed at the centre of recovery and renewal efforts.

The report examines the impacts of the pandemic on our health and the implications of this for recovery. A comprehensive review of the unequal distribution of impacts on different population groups and places across the UK is offered. In addition, the report shows how strategies to respond to the pandemic have exacerbated and created new impacts, with immediate and long-term consequences for health and wellbeing. This case study presents the key findings from the report, and suggests key issues for consideration, based on the webinar: ‘A healthy recovery – Acting on findings from the COVID-19 impact inquiry’.

In just one month of the pandemic the UK saw “128,000 deaths, a 10% drop in GDP and 2 million children were facing food insecurity”. The report demonstrates how “health and wealth are inextricably connected…the poorest families are relying on savings and debt…the wealthiest are saving”. It goes on to highlight the opportunity to drive a sustainable recovery, one that creates a healthier, more inclusive, fairer and prosperous society; one that reduces the stark inequalities exposed by the pandemic. The findings of this inquiry and key issues for consideration include:

  • The pandemic has exposed distinct differences in the health of the working age population – for example, people under 65 in the most deprived areas in England were “3.7 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those in the wealthiest areas”. Recovery and renewal requires:
    • A comprehensive understanding of the wider determinants of health, taking systemic inequalities (poverty, education, employment) into account. Identifying differential outcomes of the pandemic is key to building resilience to future shocks
    • Recognition of the inherent link between socioeconomic factors and underlying health conditions, e.g. people living in deprived areas have fewer opportunities for good health, as they predominantly work in sectors (e.g. industrial jobs) that place them at risk during crises such as COVID-19, and have poorer access to welfare protections such as sick pay
    • Targeted strategies that create opportunities for good health and wellbeing in historically underserved areas
  • The groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and the consequences of containment measures (mental health, education gaps, lost employment and financial insecurity) include: young people, persons with disabilities, ethnic minority communities, care home residents, prisoners, homeless people and those experiencing sexual exploitation. Recovery and renewal requires policies and initiatives that:
    • Address issues exacerbating the impacts of health emergencies such as COVID-19. For example, “education, employment and income are the longer-term risks to health” and strategies need to mitigate the greater loss among disadvantaged groups
    • Prioritise access to and the quality of jobs, as certain areas across the UK are still suffering striking unemployment rates. Equal distribution of work and opportunity is key to prevent leaving people and places behind
  • Type and quality of work, housing conditions, and access to financial support have all affected exposure to the virus. Recovery should:
    • Identify and address the root causes of poor health and invest in communities – employment opportunities, housing, education, and community resilience

These issues of fairness and equality in recovery and renewal are not well served by the ‘Build Back Better’ vision which has been much criticised for often reproducing past inequalities and challenges. Instead, given the diversity and deep-rooted impacts of the pandemic, a more appropriate vision for recovery and renewal would be to ‘Build Forward Fairer’. This puts the much-needed priority of equality at the heart of renewal and transformation in the aftermath of crises.

[1] Suleman M, Sonthalia S, Webb C, Tinson A, Kane M, Bunbury S, Finch D, Bibby J. Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery: The COVID-19 impact inquiry report. The Health Foundation; 2021 (https://doi.org/10.37829/HF-2021-HL12)

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Consider how collaborating with international humanitarian agencies can support local community-led preparedness and resilience
Topic:
Communities
Keywords:
Community participation
Content:

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe are working with civil society organisations (CSOs) and faith-based organisations (FBOs) to design, develop and enhance local level preparedness systems and capacities to support resilience building during and after crises. Local and national governments, the private sector, the media, and academia are also collaborating with the initiative, to help communities to develop their preparedness and response planning. Working with existing community structures, the initiative aims to mobilise and engage community leaders, key stakeholders, and underrepresented groups. The initiative ensures that the most vulnerable people in the community are at the heart of activities. A lack of capacity, resources and capabilities often creates challenges for local governments to initiate effective disaster risk reduction strategies and support from partners e.g. international humanitarian agencies can help to fill the gaps in the initial planning and implementation processes. Consider establishing new partnerships with international humanitarian agencies to:

  • Provide institutional capacity and knowledge on emergency preparedness and response processes;
  • Support the design, planning, development and implementation of projects that incorporate new initiatives which enable communities to participate and collaborate on emergency response;
  • Support partners to establish local preparedness and response systems, including their own governance capacities;
  • Conduct peer reviews to identify lessons learned and share examples of good practices;
  • Inform future disaster preparedness and response planning

The activities in this initiative include:

  • Train CSOs and FBOs on integrated disaster management. This activity aims to develop localised first response systems and capacities;
  • Support and train CSOs and FBOs on Emergency Preparedness & Response Planning capacity development, including strategies for building resilience;
  • Establish/strengthen 40 local voluntary community groups on areas such as community preparedness, early warning and response;
  • Pilot a ‘Supporting Community-led Response’ programme which aims to enable communities and self-help groups to collaborate on response to crisis, and to address root causes of vulnerability, through workshops, peer review and lessons learned sessions
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Consider how to engage with micro- and small-medium enterprises (MSMEs) owned by underrepresented groups to better support their recovery and renewal
Topic:
Economic
Keywords:
Business regeneration and rejuvenation
Content:

Underrepresented groups such as women- and minority- owned MSMEs have shown a higher degree of vulnerability during the pandemic. Women- and minority- owned businesses tend to be micro in size (10 employees or less), more financially fragile, and face barriers when accessing professional and financial support services, according to the OECD and McKinsey. Past experiences of barriers to support mean that these groups are less likely to seek support or are unaware of the support that may be available to them. During a recent webinar, it was reported that these types of businesses could add £70 billion to the UK economy, if fully supported. We explore ways in which national and local government can better engage with MSMEs to develop policies and support mechanisms that will adequately address their recovery and renewal needs. The OECD and the UK’s Business in the Community recommend:

  • Understand the barriers faced by these business owners by directly engaging with them, for example:
    • Establish and facilitate discussions (e.g. consultation) with MSME owners, organisations that represent them, and others such as banks, insurance companies, and professional services providers
  • Design inclusive schemes that acknowledge and remove barriers, increase accessibility, and provide adequate support to women- and minority-owned businesses. Examples include:
  • Deploy targeted advertising and collaborate with business associations, to raise awareness of new and existing aid schemes
  • Reduce the bureaucracy of existing aid measures, by decreasing ex ante eligibility checks and deploying easily accessible digital portals. For example:
    • Switzerland's “bridging credit” scheme which can be applied for through a simple one-page form, increasing to accessibility of financial aid and the speed at which companies can receive assistance
  • Create contract/tender opportunities that are targeted at women- and minority- owned MSMEs (see examples from Florida and Indiana)
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Consider methods to increase participatory decision-making
Topic:
Infrastructure
Keywords:
Urban and rural infrastructure
Content:

Consider methods to increase participatory decision-making. The Open City Toolkit (OCT) is a web-based geographic information system (GIS) that supports “integrated and participatory urban planning processes, fostering dialogue between governments and citizens and exchange of knowledge and data between government departments”. The OCT Toolkit, developed by HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU) and Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeir GnbH (GIZ), is now freely available and offers:

  • Guidance to help local government and urban planners to visualise and analyse complex urban data, collaboratively among local practitioners and with citizens
  • An online introductory tutorial which details the technical components of the system and how these components work together for the tool to function
  • A further tutorial series which guides the user of the OCT step-by-step through the process of managing the system.

The OCT is currently being piloted in two cities:

  • Bhubaneswar, India where high numbers of people are living in informal settlements (e.g. slums) and the local government are using the OCT to identify land for the development of affordable housing
  • Latacunga, Ecuador, where large areas of the city are vulnerable to risk due to their proximity to the Cotopaxi volcano and the local government intend to use the OCT to develop collaborative solutions for volcanic risk governance

The OCT has been adapted to the specific local planning requirements of the two pilot cities mentioned above, but offers open software for the development of further functionalities for new contexts.

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Consider new governance models to increase preparedness and ensure effective responses to future crises
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Partnerships and coordination (national - subnational - local)
Content:

The role of all levels of government in determining the success or failure of the COVID-19 response in different countries was recognized early in the pandemic. So, it is no surprise that multi-level governance and an integrated approach are generally accepted as key elements in achieving the best results to fight against the pandemic. The UN recognizes that governance systems are complex due to their interaction with the social, legal, political context of each country and region. Therefore, there is no “off-the-shelf” solution that can be universally applied. Considering this, the UN recommends:

  • “Incorporating governance approaches into national, subnational, and local pandemic responses, that take into consideration local situations and needs
  • Promote an integrated and cooperative approach between different levels of governance, to avoid competition/division, political confusion, and institutional friction
  • Maintain and strengthen health care, social welfare, and other protections, by increasing funding to these areas and developing revenue sources such as progressive tax models
  • Ensure that emergency preparedness is effectively integrated into health governance at all levels. The current pandemic is a learning opportunity for national, regional, and local governments and its lessons should contribute to build appropriate governance mechanisms
  • Incorporate digital technologies into policy making and improved governance, by investing in the appropriate infrastructure, increasing the number of government services available online, and promoting digital inclusion
  • Ensure crisis management strategies incorporate long-term recovery strategies that align with aspirational goals around social inclusion and sustainability. The current crisis offers a unique opportunity to rebuild and renew. Governments, at all levels, should consider new paths forward in order to not only improve resilience against future pandemics, but also to address pre-COVID problems such as inequality, climate change, migration, and the erosion of human rights”
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Consider the potential impacts of long-COVID on local services
Topic:
Health
Keywords:
Health systems
Content:

TMB Issue 36 mentioned the need to identify and address the impacts of ‘Long COVID’ on people who receive and provide care and support in local communities (e.g. social care services/unpaid carers). The most recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures (July 2021) report that just under one million people in the UK have self-reported symptoms of Long COVID. The symptoms associated with ‘Long COVID’ (e.g. fatigue, shortness of breath, joint pain, cognitive dysfunction) have the potential to impact people’s ability to work, and their physical and mental health. The impacts of Long COVID have the potential to increase long-term demand on local health and social care services. Consider:

  • How a rise in demand will impact current capacities and resources in local health and social care services
  • Where re-deployment (e.g. of volunteers) may be possible to alleviate pressure on health and social care workers and meet the needs of people who might require continuous support e.g. with transport/shopping
  • What training and safeguards would need to be put in place to ensure any additional support provided by volunteers is done safely
  • The impacts of Long COVID on other services such as housing, transport, welfare and employment
  • Conduct a review to:
    • assess current resources and surge capacities
    • understand who in the community does and might need additional support and estimate the length of time this might be for (using information such as people who have underlying health conditions)
    • estimate what funding might be required to meet a rise in demand and how this potential rise can be forecasted, budgeted, and planned for

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Consider the value of play in building resilience in young people and their communities
Topic:
Health
Keywords:
Health and wellbeing
Content:

The pandemic has disrupted children and young people’s education, physical health, mental well-being, and social development. There is an abundance of evidence that shows how play is crucial for children’s “health, their physical-and emotional growth, and intellectual and educational development”. The social and behavioural skills that children acquire during play can support the development of resilience, increasing children’s ability to manage stress and adversity. Local areas now have an opportunity to increase spaces for play through city infrastructure and land use planning in their Recovery Strategies and Renewal Initiatives. Resilient Cities Network (RCN) explored this topic in a recent webinar. Consider:

  • The Reclaiming Play in Cities initiative, which recognises how the “built environment as a critical play and learning resource for children”. Increasing opportunities for play in cities can support communities to build resilience. For example:
    • Barnet, London have taken full advantage of urban regeneration to invest in play infrastructure. Core strategies include “balancing private development with adequate resourcing for the local voluntary and community sector (VCS) to provide play activities for the most vulnerable children in the area”, and the redesign of two local parks
    • Khayelitsha, Cape Town, with the support of the Urban Play Framework (discussed below), began a two-phase intervention to develop a local play culture in the area. With community participation, the first phase upgrades a series of existing courtyards to create a network of designated play spaces. The second phase will link this network to a refurbished nursery which will serve as a central hub to establish a safer, more varied and stimulating environment for play
  • The Urban Play Framework which offers guidance on design and ‘placemaking’ in cities:
    • The Urban Play Framework Toolkit which provides methods and tools to support local governments and communities to conduct a play assessment of their area, and identify and co-design play activation initiatives
  • The importance of participatory processes and community engagement in the assessment, design, and evaluation of play initiatives so that children are active participants in the process to increase their agency
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Consider tools to support and drive local economic recovery
Topic:
Economic
Keywords:
Economic strategy
Content:

A recent event organised by Geneva Cities Hub (GHC) and UN-Habitat examined the measures that cities across the world took to tackle economic and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The session discussed lessons learned and how these might inform and accelerate the development of strategies which effectively prepare for and mitigate the effects of future crisis in cities. One core response lesson identified was that “cities which have best managed the crisis are those who have been flexible in the allocation of resources and capacities to support their citizens”. A further key takeaway was the potential for tools developed by international organisations to support and drive city recovery and renewal. The tools discussed include:

  1. The Urban Economic Resilience Performance Diagnostic and Planning Tool which can support cities to:
  • Identify the “strengths and weaknesses of institutional and operating” mechanisms with a focus on economic recovery, renewal, and resilience building
  • Analyse the “structure and functioning” of cities and effectively measure economic performance. This tool can specifically help cities to understand how these factors impact vulnerability to shocks and stressors, and broader local resilience
  • Inform the design and implementation of comprehensive Recovery Strategies and Renewal Initiatives that restore and enhance preparedness, and tackle systemic socio-economic conditions to reduce vulnerabilities
  1. The Municipal Financial Self-Assessment Tool which aims to support cities to:
  • Analyse city financial health and identify strategies that will improve the “mobilization of local resources, financial management, public spending, assets management (public), investment programming and access to external funding”
  • Evaluate local budgets, finance management practices, city savings capacity, investment history and future opportunities, and review financial forecasts
  • Benchmark according to a set of comparable key indicators and ratios
  • Define strategies for a ‘Municipal Finance Improvement Plan’ aiming for “greater accountability, visibility and efficiency in the use of public funds”
  • The local government of Kisela Voda, Macedonia, detailed how this tool supported them to mobilize local resources such as increasing land development fees and selling municipal assets
  1. The City Resilience Profiling Tool, designed to:
  • Assess and understand unique urban systems by engaging local governments, the private sector and civil society stakeholders to build city resilience
  • Support the establishment of strategies that consider five core and interdependent components: “spatial attributes; organisational attributes; physical attributes; functional attributes; and time”
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Consider a Multi-dimensional Framework for Recovery and Renewal
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Governance of delivering recovery and renewal
legislation policy guidance
Content:

This briefing details our Recovery and Renewal Framework, we explore updates to the framework, its development since April 2020, and how the framework might be applied in practice. The Recovery and Renewal Framework underpins ISO/TS 22393, The Manchester Briefing, and our new database of international lessons

To read the briefing in full, follow the source link below (p.3-6).

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Consider examples of resilience strategies from regions within the state of Queensland, Australia
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Governance of delivering recovery and renewal
Content:

In 2018, The Queensland Reconstruction Authority[1] began a transformational initiative to develop “locally led, co-designed regional resilience strategies to support the coordination and prioritisation of future resilience building and mitigation projects across Queensland”[2]. The initiative was recognised by the UN’s Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments platform[3]. The aim is to ensure that by 2022, “every region across Queensland will be involved in a locally-led and regionally-coordinated blueprint to strengthen disaster resilience”. While the strategy was implemented prior to COVID-19, it has lots to offer those currently planning regional and local Recovery Strategies and Renewal Initiatives post-COVID-19.

The regional resilience strategies incorporate an integrated planning approach[4] involving multiple professional and stakeholder groups. The key elements contained in each strategy include:

  • “physical and mental health;
  • structural mitigation;
  • land-use planning;
  • building practices;
  • economic continuity;
  • disaster response;
  • landscape management;
  • essential infrastructure;
  • community awareness and resilience”.

Each strategy will be supported by local resilience action plans to guide implementation of resilience pathways[5]. The aim for local resilience action plans are to:

  • “Address local needs within the context of the regional strategic imperatives;
  • Draw regional connections and commonalities;
  • Increase local government capacity and capability;
  • Support local government with day-to-day activities;
  • Identify risk-informed projects;
  • Identify integration pathways”.

Although developed at regional level, the strategies aim to be “flexible and scalable, so that they can be adapted to changing contexts and tailored to specific community needs”. The initiative supports capacity building to develop local and regional capabilities as well as to coordinate support from other regions and the state. The initiative has prioritised the development of resilience strategies that closely align to available resources and funding. We provide details on two regional strategies and related case studies below:

Central West Queensland Regional Resilience Strategy[6]

The Central West Queensland Resilience Strategy is centred on “new possibilities” through aligning the objectives of economic development, resilience and climate adaption to mitigate the region’s exposure to the impacts of climate variability and uncertainty.

The strategy offers local case studies in disaster recovery, health and economic resilience. For example:

  • The 2019 Monsoon Trough devastated the Winton Shire area. Local government and the community implemented the ‘Winton shire community-led recovery’ plan. The plan put the ‘Neighbourhood Centre’ staff as the central point of contact for community-led recovery, allowing “locals to speak with a local” – so residents got recovery support from other local people who were familiar with the area and the communities values
  • The ‘Head Yakka’ programme focused on partnership working between local governments, communities and not-for-profit organisations, for the mental health and wellbeing of outback communities. ‘Head Yakka’ is a “place-based” and “engagement-based” program that capitalizes on existing community networks
  • The Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail’, an organically created local tourism project showcasing the innovation and creative spirit of local communities. This project transitioned a local venture into an international tourist attraction

Mary Regional Resilience Strategy[7]

The Mary Regional Resilience Strategy takes a “multi-hazard approach to the varied aspects of disaster resilience, noting that many resilience-building measures and activities are often multi-dimensional”.

The strategy offers case study examples of recovery and resilience building initiatives. For example:

  • Get Ready Generation Z’, a workshop run in partnership between local school leaders and regional and local councils, focused on educating young people on the foundations of local resilience. The workshop also gave local young people the opportunity to share their personal stories on being a resilient member of a resilient community. The workshop inspired young people to outline their criteria for community resilience
  • Regional community-focused readiness workshops, facilitated by local authorities, enabling community groups to share information and insights on community assets and capabilities available in the event of an emergency
  • ‘Remembering our history’, an initiative that documents the history of local natural hazard events. Markers, plaques and public art installations support remembrance and commemoration of past events, their impact on community recovery, and record historical events

[1] https://www.preventionweb.net/organization/queensland-reconstruction-authority

[2] https://sendaicommitments.undrr.org/commitments/20210223_001

[3] https://sendaicommitments.undrr.org/

[4] A multi-hazard approach that involves the integration of “all aspects of the disaster management cycle including preparedness, response, recovery and prevention”. https://www.preventionweb.net/files/14348_14348SheshKafleICBRR2010.pdf

[5] E.g. A climate-resilient pathway can include “strategies, choices and actions” that mitigate climate change and its effects, the design and implementation of effective disaster and risk management practices. https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/5_warner.pdf

[6]https://www.qra.qld.gov.au/regional-resilience-strategies/central-west-regional-resilience-strategy

[7]https://www.qra.qld.gov.au/maryregion

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Consider how cities can build resilience by addressing poverty and inequality
Topic:
Communities
Keywords:
Vulnerable people
Content:

Cities have grown considerably in the recent decades but this growth has exacerbated existing problems related to poverty and inequality. Deep-rooted inequalities have heavily influenced the degree and nature of COVID-19 impacts on society as whole. Thus, reducing inequalities, marginalization, and poverty should be a cornerstone of the strategy to recover and renew to increase resilience. Consider the following recommendations from the UN:

  • Ensure that strategies provide un-registered people (e.g. people who are homeless or reside in slums) with access to basic and affordable services, like water, waste disposal and sanitation facilities. Longer-term strategies should work to build the resilience of people living in informal settlements and reduce their vulnerability to crises
    • For example, the DARAJA initiative is working to build the climate resilience of vulnerable communities who are living in informal settlements in Tanzania and Kenya. The goal is to improve the climate resilience of vulnerable people by increasing their access to climate and early warning information through feedback loops that enable hazard communication and awareness in informal communities
  • Establish stronger labour and health protection for those not covered by formal government support systems e.g. casual/zero contract workers and people who work in the informal labour market
  • “Plan for mixed use, socially diverse communities”, to avoid the creation of segregated communities (e.g. migrant worker complexes) of discriminated groups (e.g. ethnic minorities) when planning for public housing
  • Establish policies that increase the long-term affordability of housing, by implementing measures such as “housing price caps, rent vouchers, subsidies, and investments in affordable or/and social housing”. Consider the example of Portugal, where the Resilience and Recovery Plan includes a total of EUR 2.7 million in affordable housing
  • Implement strategies that improve connectivity in cities and affordable transport options, particularly for low-income neighbourhoods, including cycling and open, safe and affordable public transportation (e.g. buses, trains, among others)
  • Invest in digital inclusion, by increasing infrastructure and training programmes, so that vulnerable populations can take advantage of recent trends such as digital government
  • Support a comprehensive recovery and renewal strategy for densely populated areas e.g. slums and informal settlements, by implementing a variety of measures, such as “equitable land management, regulation of property markets, and application of progressive land-based finance and value capture instruments”
  • Invest in communities, by engaging with them through meaningful participatory and inclusive methods (see TMB Issue 39 on co-production). Actively work to include “marginalized and minority groups, including persons of African descent, indigenous peoples, minorities and LGBTQ+”, so that their experiences and perspectives are fully heard and accounted for
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Consider how recovery and resilience programs account for budget constraints
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Resourcing and financial frameworks
Content:

Local and national governments are investing significant resources in recovery of public health, economic and employment regeneration, humanitarian assistance, among other areas. Consideration of budget constraints is crucial – for example, the OECD uses Spain as an example to highlight the dual-task: support vulnerable people and reduce public spending. Consider strategies to prevent fiscal debt following recovery from COVID-19:

  • Implement the use of subsidies for vulnerable populations during recovery
  • Promote efficient use of resources, e.g. focus on sectors most severely impacted and have strong productivity potential, such as small-medium businesses
  • Re-regulate future retirement arrangements for workers (e.g. measures such as “disincentivise early retirement”) to reduce the gap between the average labour market exit age and the statutory retirement age
  • Identify local jobs which can be targeted toward the unemployed/marginalized (e.g. infrastructure/green economy jobs created through recovery and renewal strategies) and skills development opportunities (e.g. through apprenticeships) to increase employability
  • Make public spending transparent using ICT platforms. Specify how much is spent, in which programmes, and the number of beneficiaries
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Consider local initiatives to tackle loneliness and build community resilience
Topic:
Communities
Keywords:
Vulnerable people
Content:

TMB 39 noted how “tackling loneliness” was a key priority for community wellbeing in the next year, particularly in rural areas with high numbers of elderly residents. For example, ‘TED Ageing Better’ in East Lindsey is working to foster sustainable resilience in older people by strengthening social capital in the community and providing specific support services. Consider, from TED in East Lindsey’s recent report:

  • When establishing community well-being initiatives, focus on “flexible and person-centred” activities. For example:
    • Magna Vitae's Community Health Activity Project employs a range of outreach mechanisms (online, telephone, one to one and group meetings) to ensure their service is inclusive. This has led to higher levels of engagement, enabling the development of innovative activities to meet diverse needs of the community
  • Co-produce recovery initiatives (see TMB 38) and underpin these initiatives with a common goal e.g. to increase social capital and thus resilience amongst older people in the community
  • Strengthen “peer-to-peer relationships” which can develop ties amongst residents and increase their sense of belonging. Such initiatives benefited from the delivery of “activity packs” that keep residents engaged and connected to people in their community during periods of isolation and social distancing
  • Build on the relationships developed through well-being initiatives and co-production activities to support digital inclusion and build digital skills e.g. through community donation programmes (computers/laptops) and skill-building workshops facilitated by local volunteers
  • Examples of strategies to tackle loneliness in Northern Ireland (NI) include:
    • The Department for Communities works with Libraries NI and National Museums NI to deliver projects that address loneliness, e.g. “Supporting People”, a programme which aims to improve levels of digital connectivity and digital inclusion
    • The Village Catalyst Pilot Project, which aims to tackle social isolation and rural poverty. The project will repair vacated buildings and repurpose them to improve local access to critical services and facilities, and provide increased space for community-led projects and social activities
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Consider new funding models to increase city recovery and resilience
Topic:
Economic
Keywords:
Economic strategy
Content:

Cities’ have been in the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, by providing emergency services, containing the spread of disease, mitigating the resulting social and economic impact, and coordinating efforts for recovery. In addition, cities have delivered financial aid to companies and families in need, and reduced or suspended municipal taxes (see European Committee of the Regions). Naturally, this has impacted their public finances and there have been various calls to change how cities are funded, in order to increase fiscal resilience. The current funding model for most cities, around the world, is primarily based in transfers from national governments. Own revenues, such as taxes, comprise the second most important source of revenue to cities, followed by external financing. The UN proposes reversing the current model, by decreasing the dependency on national transfers and increasing revenues from own revenues and external financing. The UN recommends the following:

  • Provide funding to cities to support economic recovery, for example:
    • National governments could provide emergency funding to cities earmarked for service provision, infrastructure, and special relief programs for populations
  • Improve the accessibility of finance and credit for local governments, by allowing them direct access to grant/loan applications and enabling them to develop public private partnerships
  • “Strengthen multilateral financing and cooperation” to allow cities to fund recovery and renewal programs. For example:
    • International organizations, development banks, and national governments could establish dedicated global funds to finance urban responses to COVID-19, to help cities and their local economic and financial recoveries
    • The European Union Solidarity Fund will cover 100% of costs incurred by Portuguese cities, associated with the fight against COVID-19
  • Channel financial support to productive sectors most at need. City authorities could facilitate coordinated action across urban areas to provide “loan programmes, grants, tax incentives, and temporary rent deferrals” to businesses in need
  • Introduce incentives for “sustainable production and consumption through new policies, subsidies and knowledge transfers”. E.g. grants for new clean energy strategies such as green roofs
  • Address dysfunctional and exploitative development practices such as land speculation and unserviceable sprawl”, by, for example, implementing and enforcing clear regulations and introducing taxes to increase own revenues
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Consider shared platforms to facilitate and support the coordination of disaster risk research and partnerships
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Partnerships and coordination (national - subnational - local)
Content:

The Himalayan Risk Research Institute (HRI) is developing a platform for disaster risk reduction students, researchers and young professionals to conduct research and share findings to inform policy and practice. The platform aims to build resilience through a scientific approach to DRR initiatives in Nepal. Consider establishing a DRR coordination platform in partnership with local and national government and non-government organisations, national and international research institutes to:

  • Facilitate and promote the work and research of young scientists, researchers and professionals to build a scientific base for local DRR initiatives
  • Establish a “skill transfer mechanism” whereby training, field research and workshops can build the knowledge and skills of young scientists and professionals and in turn benefit local DRR activities
  • Share research and findings, and establish local databases to inform local governments on disaster preparedness and response activities that aim to build resilience
  • Involve young people in the co-production of local development planning
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Consider the role of digital government in the management and communication of disaster risk
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Strategic communications
legislation policy guidance
Content:

Data management and risk communications have been in a constant process of adaptation throughout the pandemic. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has released a summary of the main challenges and learnings for public administrators who manage data and communicate risk across Central America. ECLAC has identified digital government as an essential feature for public administration and disaster management. Consider their recommendations to strengthen the processes run by local government offices during the recovery phase.

Lessons for digital government

  • Increase the role and use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) in governmental procedures and processes
  • Coordinate, through those ICTs, databases across different offices and Ministries, and levels of government
  • Invest in the digitalization of society, from schools to public offices, to investment in infrastructure and subsidies for equipment
  • Integrate society into a feedback loop of communication through digital tools, as a measure of accountability and as a constant process of evaluation of services

Examples from Central America

  • Establish “home office” schemes for government employees during the response and recovery of COVID-19
  • Use ICTs to centralize information about the spread of COVID-19 and the amount of resources available across hospitals and clinics. Apps could also be useful to communicate risk to the public and provide medical appointments through video calls
  • Use communication apps (e.g. WhatsApp), to continue online classes during the recovery phase, or as part of hybrid, combined online and face-to-face schemes
  • Make public procedures accessible through online platforms, so that people do not need to visit public offices during the recovery phase

Challenges to address digital governance

  • Integrate digitalization of public services into the wider public agenda
  • Identify available infrastructure/resources that are available. Identify new resources needed
  • Involve communities in the process of digitalization and government evaluation (see TMB Issue 38 on co-production)
  • Generate strategies to support inter-organizational cooperation
  • See also TMB Issue 37 Briefing A on risk communications as part of the local resilience capability.
Source link(s):

Consider the vulnerability of agricultural producers and workers after COVID-19.
Topic:
Communities
Keywords:
Vulnerable people
Content:

Like many other sectors, agricultural production has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Farmers and workers in rural areas in developing countries live with low levels of income and scarce access to public services so disasters and pandemics increase their vulnerability. Even so, the sector provides an opportunity for economic recovery, given that in countries such as Mexico agriculture grew by up to 20% during 2020. The Agricultural Association of Culiacan River in Mexico has implemented measures to protect and prevent the spread of infection between agricultural workers and sustain their sources of income. Consider the priorities of their recovery approach for the sector:

Maintain agricultural production, livelihoods, and income (Michoacán experience)

  • Strengthen the local chains of production and the local partnerships between agricultural and livestock producers and providers. In Michoacán, products that were mainly export-oriented are also being sold at the local level through the coordination of local farmers and governments
  • Implement subsidies at the local and state levels to protect small and medium-sized producers against increases in the price of inputs (e.g. farming equipment), particularly given the increased demand for such inputs during the recovery stages
  • Take advantage of existing local, regional, and international treaties and agreements that facilitate commerce and the exchange of products. In the absence of such arrangements, governments and financial institutions should provide financial guarantees to enable small producers to participate in these markets in the medium term

Protect the health and safety of agricultural workers and farmers. Increase preventive measures (Sinaloa experience)

  • Supply PPE to agricultural workers and increase sanitization measures in agricultural facilities
  • Implement sanitization protocols for the pickup and transport of workers to the field and back to their residency
  • Identify workers at risk because of previous health conditions, or because of dangerous working environments. Identify and prevent children and young teenagers from working in the fields
Source link(s):

Consider Financial Technology and Digital Government as policy delivery tools
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Governance of delivering recovery and renewal
Content:

This briefing presents examples of how FinTech and Digital Government have been used in countries as a policy delivery tool to help individuals and companies cope with the disruption created by the pandemic. We present some examples of how governments can include FinTech and Digital Government in their recovery and renewal strategies. Read this briefing in full by following the source link below to The Manchester Briefing Issue 41 (p.3-5)

Source link(s):

Consider international examples of COVID-19 mapping and vulnerability
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Learning lessons
Content:

This case study, written by Eduardo Robles Chavez and the Manchester Briefing team, presents examples of effective vulnerability mapping during COVID-19 in New Zealand and Wales, contrasting these with Mexico and Chile where mapping focused only on infection rates. Read this case study by following the source link below (p.13-16)

Source link(s):

Consider lessons learned from previous crises for COVID-19 recovery and renewal
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Learning lessons
Content:

COVID-19 differs from previous crises in terms of its scale, its complex and prolonged nature, and the fragilities that it has exposed. Yet, the disruptions and losses experienced are broadly similar to those brought about by other recent major emergencies. Consider the lessons learned from previous disaster recovery efforts that aim to “promote longer-term, integrated thinking and planning, to create pathways out of the pandemic that more effectively support recovery” and renewal:

  • Analyse how the crisis has changed vulnerability (prolonged crises in particular). Use this knowledge to inform recovery strategies and renewal initiatives (e.g. Ecuador)
  • Recognise the long-term needs of recovery and renewal. Acknowledge that the impacts of pandemic are not static and will not end on a particular date (e.g. India). A flexible and adaptable approach will support longer-term activities that can change where and when required
  • Plan recovery and resilience programmes that integrate actions to deal with the risk of other hazards that can interact and exacerbate the impacts of the current crisis (e.g. Ethiopia & Mozambique)
  • Implement an approach that targets the most vulnerable and marginalised sectors of the population, given the uneven impacts of the pandemic and response strategies (e.g. Montserrat)
  • Depoliticise, as far as possible, the recovery agenda by establishing the needs of those more vulnerable above political interests (e.g. Chennai)
  • Understand recovery and renewal as a holistic process that focuses on the impacts of COVID-19 on the economic, social, and mental wellbeing of communities (e.g. Dominica)
  • Support community-building activities and engage the community in recovery and mitigation activities (e.g. Colombia)
Source link(s):

Consider recovery and renewal as an opportunity to increase community access to locally produced food
Topic:
Environment
Keywords:
Living sustainably
Content:

Latin America benefits from vast access to natural resources, however many people living in rural areas have limited access to locally produced food and rely heavily on imported goods. The fragilities in food supply chains were exacerbated by COVID-19, which left people at risk of not being able to meet their immediate food needs. Recovery and renewal provides an opportunity to support Latin Americas rural agricultural sector to renew its practices, promote community health and resilience, and contribute to achieving environmental sustainability. Consider the actions proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) for COVID-19 recovery and renewal:

Transform food production

  • Finance and support the production of a diverse range of agricultural products. Invest in multi-crop programs together with small and medium producers
  • Reduce food waste by providing access to locally produced food and resources
  • Prioritise local consumption and distribution of agricultural products over exports
  • Promote the adoption of healthy diets with local produce through voluntary information groups, labelling policies, eating healthy campaigns, and fiscal incentives to schools that purchase local produce

Rural development

  • Provide quality education and skills-training to the rural agricultural sector
  • Establish sustainable practices in the agricultural sector, that recognize the diversity of the ecosystem and the cultural and traditional practices or its habitants
  • Increase the infrastructure for public services and connect with urban areas. This can help to reduce rural vulnerability and enables producers to access urban markets for their products

Sustainable agriculture

  • Promote water conservation and soil maintenance practices
  • Protect the ecosystem by delimiting conservation areas outside of agricultural practices
  • Implement early warning systems and risk reduction programmes focused on local hazards
Source link(s):

Consider recovery and renewal initiatives that align agriculture with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs
Topic:
Economic
Keywords:
Business regeneration and rejuvenation
Content:

Agriculture is fundamental to sustaining livelihoods, by providing employment, income, and being key in the response to climate change – and food security and nutrition are challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Recovery and renewal present an opportunity to reform agricultural production in line with the SDGs. One of the challenges for such reforms is funding them, given that post-COVID-19 economies will have high levels of fiscal debt. Consider the strategies proposed by United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to fund the recovery and renewal actions needed for a new and more sustainable agricultural sector:

Funding and finance for response and recovery

  • Focus response and recovery on food security across the most vulnerable regions, by supporting consumers and producers to acquire essential goods
  • Take a regional approach to fund programs among several communities, cities, or counties, instead of focusing only on the local jurisdiction
  • Implement focused tax discounts for the most vulnerable producers and consumers
  • Promote payments for environmental services (PES) as a mechanism to transfer resources to producers who commit to protecting the environment, or provide an environmental conservation service
  • Involve firms in specific social projects, e.g. through "parafiscal" taxes - those taxes based on employees, imports, or exports, and are used to fund part of specific programs, reducing budget pressures without risking the quality of the intervention

Funding and financing to renew

Source link(s):

Consider recovery and renewal strategies that build multi-hazard resilience
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Governance of delivering recovery and renewal
Content:

The proliferation of concurrent disasters (including natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and technological threats), alongside COVID-19, highlights the need for recovery and renewal strategies that tackle the multiple hazards facing society. Croatia’s National Recovery Plan considers both the lessons learned by the COVID-19 crisis and the earthquake experienced in 2020. Consider some of Croatia’s recovery and resilience strategies:

Economy, education, the environment & research

  • Introduce new labour market policies that focus on building green and digital skills, and specifically target vulnerable groups
  • Recognise the economic value of the culture and tourism industries through targeted investment
  • Review the social welfare system, establish new social services, and implement measures that increase “coverage, adequacy, and targeting of social benefits”
  • Reform the education system by updating school curricula, “increase access to early childhood education and care, and implement single-shift, full-day teaching”
  • Establish partnerships between universities, research centres, and the private sector, to inform the development of context specific risk management strategies through collaborative research and action

Digitalization of government

  • Decentralise governance practices, to simplify and increase the efficiency of local government systems
  • Increase the use of ICT in statutory agencies (e.g. health care and judiciary systems)
  • Implement community outreach services, to promote and integrate resilience building activities at the local level

Infrastructure

  • Targeted investment in repair and reconstruction of infrastructure impacted by the earthquake and COVID-19, both public and private, including local heritage sites
  • Regulate, create, or change local building regulations, codes of practice and requirements for infrastructure, to consider the needs of a multi-hazard management approach
  • Improve the water and waste management system through strategies that focus on the environment and transitioning to a circular economy
Source link(s):

Consider renewed urban planning strategies
Topic:
Infrastructure
Keywords:
Urban and rural infrastructure
Content:

Historically, public health crises, such as pandemics, have transformed various elements of city planning - namely, urban ecology, sanitation systems, public parks, street design and housing regulations - and how people inhabit and interact within urban areas. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed various pre-existing problems, but also brought new opportunities to city planning. National, regional and local governments have the opportunity to address both old and new problems in their recovery and renewal plans. The UN recommends the following:

  • “Strengthen coordination between cities, regions and territories through the creation of shared decision-making platforms”, in order to leverage shared interests and align policies
  • Recognize the link between public health and environmental quality, and introduce environmental protection measures, such as blue-green networks (natural and semi-natural landscape elements like trees and ponds), urban growth boundaries, land use and zoning regulations, and carbon-taxes to reduce ecosystem deterioration and improve air quality
  • Improve logistics and supply chains, including:
    • “connectivity within cities and regions through national urban policies and plans that facilitate the secure flow and movement of goods, services and labour
    • Building regional resilience by strengthening localized means of production for essential provisions such as food and medical supply chains, by, for example, incentivizing investments that support local means of production and/or shorten supply chains”
  • Increase resilience, by identifying and improving urban “weak spots”. These are locations vulnerable to shocks or stresses due to issues such as overcrowding, limited or poor connectivity, or being situated in flood plains
  • Prioritise neighbourhoods in city planning, with a focus on developing “self-contained and socially inclusive communities”. Consider the concept of a 15-minute neighbourhood, where all facilities can be accessed within a 15 minute walk
  • Develop a strategy for public spaces and urban mobility to renew public areas and their potential uses. For example, in Milan:
    • The “Strade Aperte” project which details Milan’s strategies for cycling and pedestrianization to “guarantee measures of distance in urban travel and for sustainable mobility”
    • The “Piazza Aperte” project which aims to “bring public space back to the centre of the neighbourhood and the life of the inhabitants”
  • Address housing issues through public health strategies, recognising the social, economic and environmental benefits of adequate housing
  • Identify and tackle the fragilities in infrastructure, e.g. the design of buildings such as offices, factories, plants, and hospitals that have emerged as epicentres for COVID-19 outbreaks
Source link(s):

Consider the role of new educational models after COVID-19
Topic:
Communities
Keywords:
Education and skills
Content:

During COVID-19, schools were forced to move to remote delivery of teaching. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) note that high levels of pre-existing inequalities (e.g. poverty) have exacerbated the negative impacts of the pandemic on children’s education. The World Bank report predicts that the “shock on human capital will substantially reduce intergenerational mobility and the likelihood of children from low educated families to complete secondary school”. The bank also presents a call to action to address the significant learning loss experienced by Latin American and Caribbean children. As countries are transitioning back to face-to-face or to more hybrid styles of education delivery, consider:

  • Work in partnership with schools, community groups (e.g. parental committees) and local social care services to identify vulnerable children and develop targeted measures (e.g. through remedial programmes) to ensure that schools are teaching at an appropriate level for all children. Specifically take into account the learning needs of children from lower-income families who may not have had the resources at home to keep up with remote learning measures
    • For example, ‘Alerta Escuela’, Peru uses early warning systems to identify students who are at risk of dropping out or who are in need of targeted interventions
  • Guide and support schools on how best to combine remote and in-person learning (e.g. the Ceibal initiative in Uruguay). To increase accessibility, blended learning recovery solutions should consider low- or no-tech options (e.g. educational TV programmes/local radio/community youth groups)
  • Design a long-term transformational plan for accelerating the digital transformation of local and national Education Management and Information Systems (EMIS), for example:
    • The World Bank is collaborating with education agencies to establish a “new generation of EMIS based on an enterprise architecture focusing on learning data”. The programme will collate best practices, tools and guidance that aim to enable education agencies to implement technology-driven solutions that accelerate cost effective educational programmes and generate high investment returns

See also TMB Issue 33 – a case study which explores the “attainment gap” and digital divide, detailing international strategies that aim to support children to catch up on learning time lost during the pandemic

Source link(s):

Consider city examples of local economic and financial recovery
Topic:
Economic
Keywords:
Economic strategy
Content:

The ‘Building Urban Economic Resilience during and after COVID-19’[1] produced by UN-HABITAT and partners outlines the different economic recovery initiatives adopted by cities across the world. Urban areas, as “engines of growth” have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and are predicted to take a leading role in recovery. This project is focused on “strengthening the capacities of local governments globally, to design, implement, and monitor sustainable, resilient and inclusive COVID-19 economic responses, recovery, and rebuilding plans”. The document presents city case studies from the African Region, Arab Region, Asia and the Pacific Region, Europe Region, and the Latin America and the Caribbean Region. Over the next two issues of TMB, we will present city recovery initiatives from each of these regions. This case study focuses on the Europe Region and the African Region:

Europe Region[2]

Barcelona, Spain, is a city which frequently experiences “flash floods and coastal flooding, as well as heat waves and forest fires”. Prior to COVID-19, Barcelona was grappling with rapidly “growing social inequalities powered by low rental housing affordability and growing energy poverty”. Barcelona City Council have identified seven strategic economic recovery goals, including[3]:

  • “New models to make Barcelona a more resilient city;
  • Maintain and strengthen the city’s business network;
  • Protect jobs and foster employment;
  • Promote local consumption as a priority;
  • Protect and relaunch the city’s international reputation;
  • Open up Barcelona to talent, to investment and to visitors;
  • Define transformational solutions with a metropolitan vision”

The measures through which the City Council aim to achieve the above goal include:

  • Provide subsidies and funding to increase business liquidity and mitigate the damage caused to the “production network” by the pandemic (e.g. cash flow challenges)
  • Establish training and advice services to enhance local skills, targeted at high-risk or vulnerable groups within the economy
  • Employ strategic communication and marketing programmes to promote and regenerate tourism in the city
  • Design economic development tools which will enable “synergies between the city’s socio-economic and business networks”
  • Review and amend regulations and administrative processes to generate flexibility in the city’s economic reactivation

Tirana, Albania, experienced two major earthquakes in 2019 which had devastating impacts on over 2,000 homes. The city was not equipped with an emergency preparedness plan prior to the pandemic or the 2019 earthquakes, which led to the municipality relying solely on central government support and guidance during both events. The municipality is focusing on the following recovery priorities:

  • Design and develop a “Crisis and Resilience Management Plan to include pandemic and earthquake response”
  • Implement “Orbital Forest”, a green recovery strategy which aims to plant a “wall of 2 million trees” around the city of Tirana
  • Take advantage of the opportunities resented by COVID-19 to renew and reconstruct the Kombinati neighbourhood which was most severely impacted by the 2019 earthquakes and transform it to be a “smart city neighbourhood”

African Region[4]

Arua, Uganda, is challenged by “heavy run-off water which regularly destroys crops and homes, significantly reducing agricultural production levels and housing quality”. Local government COVID-19 recovery initiatives include:

  • Focus on the agricultural sector through “community sensitization” on urban farming and increasing the capacities of farmers to build and adopt new modern farming methods. This includes local government lobbying for financial and technical funding support for farmers for longer-term recovery
  • Provide business development support and connect small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to targeted funding
  • Provide business continuity support by “automating ICT infrastructure” and helping businesses to build their technical capacities

Harare, Zimbabwe, is faced with “rapid urbanisations, deindustrialisation and increasing numbers of people working in the informal sector, leading to urban poverty, barriers to service delivery and lagging education, health, water and sanitation, and housing systems”. The local government recovery priorities include:

  • Boost recovery through the informal sector, by building “safer and more modern market spaces”
  • Improve public sanitation and work to support and increase accessibility of services, particularly for women who have experienced increased gender-based violence during lockdown. The local government have partnered with UNDP, the national government and Oxfam on this initiative
  • In partnership with Oxfam, the Harare city government are working to engage organised groups (e.g. women’s savings groups) to target women and employ them to support city recovery initiatives

References:

[1] https://unhabitat.org/sites/default/files/2021/03/global-compendium-of-practices-covid-19.pdf

[2] Including selected countries in Central Asia, Western Asia, and north America

[3] https://www.barcelona.cat/reactivacioeconomica/en/action-plan

[4] Ibid 1.

Source link(s):

Consider global funding initiatives for a ‘Green Recovery’
Topic:
Environment
Keywords:
Environmental health
Content:

TMB Issue 37 detailed some investment initiatives adopted in France, Sweden, Finland and Chile to stimulate a green recovery. This lesson brings together further examples of how countries are implementing green recovery and renewal plans which aim to cut emissions in the aftermath of COVID-19. Consider:

  • Italy has deployed a stimulus support package targeting the agricultural sector, designing “integrated projects” which include green community initiatives and awareness campaigns around environmental challenges
  • Ireland committed to “raising the energy rating of 500,000 homes by 2030” in 2020. A new green recovery stimulus package includes a “retrofit skills training initiative” and additional funding targeted at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to expand the initiative. This is expected to create an additional 3,200 “quality, sustainable jobs”
  • Spain has included funding for “housing renovation and urban regeneration” which aims to improve the “energy performance of buildings”, as part of their Recovery and Resilience plan, which has been submitted to the EU Commission
  • South Korea has designed an initiative “green transformation of living infrastructure” which aims to stimulate employment growth and transform “state-run facilities (e.g. community health clinics, public housing, childcare facilities) to zero-emissions”. The plan is to replace “fossil-fuel based utility systems with efficient, green systems, and implement 100 new IT-based systems to help resolve environmental issues, including low-carbon vehicle manufacturing and air quality improvement”
Source link(s):

Consider new public-private partnerships to protect health systems during crisis
Topic:
Health
Keywords:
Connectivity between health and the wider system
Health systems
Content:

Throughout the pandemic, many health systems across the world have come within days of being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, and others have been unable to prevent their systems from being overwhelmed. Pakistan have adopted “health stewardship” as an approach to ensure public health is a “joint function of national and provincial governments, where service delivery relies on mixed health systems”. The response in Singh district, which has the highest rate of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, was underpinned by public-private partnerships with local government. This provides insights into how public-private engagement can be accelerated during the crisis and how “existing policy windows can be used for longer-term planning for pandemics and Universal Health Coverage”. Consider that:

  • Stewarding partnerships enabled rapid acceleration of testing through private laboratories, supported surge capacity to be met in local private hospitals and increased “critical care training of public sector hospitals” through partnerships with private hospitals
  • “Health stewardship” can enable advisory relationships with the private sector to create a joint operational response and strategic communications during crisis
  • Procurement (e.g. of PPE) and supply chain management can be enhanced through “digitalised data-sharing of cases and hospital capacity across private and public providers”
  • Stewardship relationships may be transactional (e.g. limited to purchasing arrangements) but can also include “wide-ranging formal agreements for co-production”, providing an opportunity to reform public and private health partnerships
  • Devolved operations have proven to offer a flexible and effective response where there is rapid “data sharing for national-provincial coordination, and well-informed local governments who can mobilize inclusive and co-produced responses”
Source link(s):

Consider recovery plans that drive ecological, social and economic growth
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Implementing recovery
Content:

Finland’s ‘Sustainable Growth Program: Recovery Plan’ sets out the reforms and public investment projects that aim to boost “competitiveness, investment, skills development and research, and innovation”. The overall objectives of the programme are:

  • “Decrease greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Productivity growth;
  • Raising the employment rate;
  • Faster accessibility to care;
  • Progress in equality”

This recovery plan has recently been submitted to the EU Commission for review. The plan is not yet approved, however, this lesson offers an insight into Finland’s Recovery and Resilience priorities. The programme is built around four key pillars:

  • “A green transition to support structural adjustment of the economy and underpin a carbon-neutral welfare society;
  • Digitalisation and a digital economy to strengthen productivity and increase access to services;
  • Raising the employment rate and skill levels to accelerate sustainable growth;
  • Access to health and social services will be improved and their cost-effectiveness enhanced”
Source link(s):

Consider the lessons for post pandemic commemoration to support recovery.
Topic:
Health
Keywords:
Health and wellbeing
Content:

COVID-19’s prolonged nature, and the intensity of measures taken to respond to it, have brought major disruptions with lasting consequences. Our relationship to mortality and death has been redefined, not least by disruption to traditional rituals that enable societies to cope with and overcome major trauma. A recent webinar, organised as part of the Manchester Webinar Series, considered how we might collectively remember the COVID-19 pandemic. Our speakers reviewed lessons from the past on building resilience through coproduced commemoration and discussed key considerations for policy makers and communities in planning to recognise and remember the huge losses caused by COVID-19. Consider the key lessons offered by our speakers:

  • There is no one way to remember. Unlike most disasters, each individual’s experience of COVID-19 is a personal one and commemoration activities will require careful consideration around ways to bring people together to collectively to remember while also recognising the uniqueness of everyone’s experience
  • The co-production of activities can provide a way to ensure commemoration is inclusive of all of those who would like to be involved, to create a collaborative and bottom-up as well as top-down delivery of remembrance, and enable communities to take ownership of their remembrance
  • Consideration for who will lead and be involved in these conversation will be really important, to mediate, and to support communities to find ways to compromise on differing views and perspectives on commemoration
  • The timing of commemoration is a challenge, considering that COVID-19 is now a long-term chronic problem and we are not at the end of the disaster. The pandemic has seen commemoration since the beginning, demonstrating how communities can begin to create spaces of remembrance even while the crisis persists. Some examples of these commemoration activities can be found in TMB Issue 34 and Issue 29
  • Memorials can be political, and grand gestures such as monuments can fade, or be contested. This reinforces the need for co-produced commemoration, enabling the voices of those who will benefit most from commemoration activities to be heard and actively participate
  • Education is a good form of remembering, through storytellers or creating spaces (online or in local newspapers) where people can share their individual experiences of the pandemic. Recording those memories now will enable authentic materials to support education in years to come
  • Think about how those who have lower agency in communities will remember (e.g. children who have lost grandparents). Commemoration could be done by creating spaces in schools/community youth groups for teachers/youth volunteers to support children
Source link(s):

Consider the principles of urban economic resilience
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Planning for recovery
Implementing recovery
Content:

The UN-HABITAT City Resilience Global Programme (CRGP) define urban resilience as the “measurable ability of any urban system, with its inhabitants, to maintain continuity through all shocks and stresses, while positively adapting and transforming towards sustainability”. This gives rise to the following ‘Urban Resilience Principles’ to consider:

‘Dynamic nature of urban resilience’

  • Recognise that resilience is a fluid condition and requires that systems “evolve, transform and adapt to current and future conditions”. Resilience building activities require “context-specific” and adaptable plans and activities which account for the complex and “dynamic nature of risk and resilience”

‘Systemic approach to cities’

  • Acknowledge that urban areas consist of “interconnected systems through complex networks” and even small adaptions can impact the entire network of systems. A wide-ranging and comprehensive approach is required to account for the interdependencies that exist within urban systems and are exposed to disruption during crisis

‘Promoting participation in planning and governance’

  • Co-production of resilience planning and governance can enhance the “prosperity” of stakeholders (e.g. city residents), increase a sense of local ownership and achieve more effective implementation of resilience building plans and activities

‘Multi-stakeholder engagement’

  • Continuity of governance, economic activity and other city functions” is critical to a resilient system. Facilitating collaborative communication and working between all interested stakeholders such as “public entities, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and the city community”, is essential

‘Strive towards the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs)

  • Underpinning resilience building plans and initiatives with SDGs can ensure that human rights are “fulfilled, respected, and protected”
Source link(s):

Consider the priorities of local governments for public transport recovery and renewal
Topic:
Infrastructure
Keywords:
Transport
Content:

Use of public transport can “reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and public health”. The Local Government Association (LGA) UK note that COVID-19 has exacerbated pre-existing challenges in the decline of the bus industry and recommend that recovery should employ “council’s and central government’s funding, infrastructure and traffic powers to work in partnership with public transport providers”. A study by the LGA aimed to understand local authority (LA) recovery priorities for local transport provision, what can accelerate these priorities, what challenges have prevented these priorities from being successfully implemented previously and what reforms are required for recovery and renewal. Consider the themes for recovery identified by local councils in this study:

‘Deliver Local Authority responsibilities effectively’

  • Increase the capabilities of LAs to provide school transport, “socially necessary bus services” and to account for the needs of communities e.g. elderly populations:
    • Increase LAs agency on how local funds are spent to improve their ability to address their responsibilities and context specific challenges posed by some operating environments (e.g. rural areas)

‘Make bus services more accessible for commuters’

  • Affordable, practical and convenient services are viewed as a new way to “connect new communities, reduce car dependency and congestions, lower carbon emission and fight climate change, improve air quality and health, and tackle social inequalities”. Examples of best practice include:
    • More efficient services which reduce travel times and operating costs, renewed branding and increased marketing
    • Integrate service networks with other networks such as rail/tram/cycle lanes, and integrate tickets and payment to improve ease of travel across various networks

‘New Approaches to Transport Delivery’

  • New challenges caused by the pandemic, pre-existing problems and specific contextual issues (E.g. rural area networks) require innovative solutions, for example:
    • “Demand Responsive Transport (DRT)” can support improvements to connect rural and isolated networks and communities, create “flexibility for school transport and be used as model for community led transport schemes” (See Rural and Demand-Led Transport)
    • “Total Transport and Mobility as a Service (MaaS)” can support integration of transport network modes, tickets and payments and sectoral transport (e.g. health, education, tourism)

‘Link Public Transport and Development’

  • Co-ordinate “land use planning and local public transport planning to build demand, reduce car reliance and ensure people have equitable access to jobs, healthcare and other services”, by:
    • Designing “liveable neighbourhoods” that reduce people’s need for non-local travel (increasing local services e.g. through hubs)

‘Contribute to tackling climate change’

  • Address negative impacts of transport on the environment by improving bus fleets - replacing older vehicles with low and zero emission vehicles e.g. Coventry All Electric Bus

These themes in this report relate to six case study areas in the UK, with feedback sessions with wider local authorities suggesting that these themes are shared, but their scale and implementation may vary depending on the local context.

Source link(s):

Consider the resources needed to recover and build resilience in the VCS sector
Topic:
Economic
Keywords:
Voluntary, community and social enterprise sector
Content:

The Mobilising Volunteers Effectively (MoVE) project, led by Universities of Sheffield, Hull and Leeds, aims to understand the ways in which communities have mobilised in response to COVID. The project has released a number of reports which set out the findings from the first phase of the project. The ‘Resilience of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) across Yorkshire and the Humber’ (May 2021) report highlights the challenges created for VCS organisations due to a “rise in demand, diminished donations and restricted opportunities to trade and raise funds”. The emergence of multi-agency partnership working (e.g. between local governments, VCS organisations, mutual aid/ informal community groups and businesses) has supported local response capabilities throughout the pandemic, highlighting a need for a more strategic approach to strengthen the partnerships, relationships and capabilities of communities to collectively prepare for future shocks and build resilience. The findings are informed by 407 VCS organisations responses to a ‘Resilience Survey’. Consider the key recommendations set out in this report:

  • Ensure volunteers and those involved in VCS organisations are included in community mental health and wellbeing support in the aftermath of the pandemic
  • Support small local VCS organisations, who may lack sufficient infrastructure to secure grant funding, with guidance on grant application. This could also be supported by simplifying the grant application process
  • The provision of practical support (e.g. fundraising support) and increasing volunteer recruitment, retention and training support, e.g. through partnerships, for example:
    • Sandwell council partner with local VCS organisations to provide free e-learning to volunteers covering topics such as “child protection, fire safety, information sharing” and more
    • A community-run Red Cross Cardiac First Response volunteer group in Ireland, partner with the local fire brigade and other local authority organisations to provide emergency response training to volunteers and support activities to raise vital funds for ambulances and medical equipment
  • Targeted financial support through government subsidy for VCS organisations who are providing services for “children and younger people” as they were found to be “least financially viable over time”. The report recommends that the “art, culture and heritage and community development” VCS organisations should then be prioritised and targeted for financial support

TMB Issue 8 describes how recovery and renewal requires broader strategic partnership working nationally, regionally and locally. The relationships that have been developed through the pandemic can underpin recovery and renewal initiatives, enabling national and local action through multi-departmental and cross-organisational working. Key to these partnerships is recognising that partners have power and place-based relationships that will be crucial to the success of recovery and renewal activities.

Source link(s):

Consider tools to support Recovery and Renewal
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Planning for recovery
Implementing recovery
Content:

This week’s briefing launches our searchable database of international lessons on Recovery and Renewal, and we also take the opportunity to share some brief details our activities and progress so far in the Recovery, Renewal, Resilience (RRR) project.

To read this briefing in full, follow the source link below to TMB Issue 40.

Source link(s):

Consider Gender and COVID-19
Topic:
Economic
Keywords:
Economic strategy
Content:

Featuring a recent blog written by Abbie Winton, Alliance Manchester Business School

A recent TMB (Issue 33) discussed the gendered economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and presented the recommendations set out in the report produce by the Women and Equalities Committee entitled ‘Unequal impact? Coronavirus and the gendered economic impact’. This previous lesson explored how recovery strategies can address impacts, mitigate the reinforcement of inequalities and how renewal initiatives can transform the position of women in the labour market.

The ability to rapidly transition between jobs can support an individual or household to recover from an economic shock, such as the shock delivered by the pandemic. Occupational segregation refers to the unequal distribution of people across and within certain occupations, based on characteristics such as gender or ethnic background[1]. The pandemic has had disproportionate impacts on women’s experience of work, particularly BAME women, as they are more likely to work in low-paying and informal segregated roles, making them more vulnerable to the economic impacts of the pandemic. Therefore, gender, racial and ethnic inequalities are at risk of being reinforced, exacerbated or created[2].

This week we spotlight a recent think piece written by Abbie Winton, Alliance Manchester Business School[3], which focuses on gender and food retailing. Recognising how gender segregation is embedded in food retail roles, Abbie looks at how this can change e.g. through improving transport links to enable women to access jobs that are currently located in “hard-to-reach” areas:

Gender and food retailing[4]

Supermarket shopping of old has, perhaps, changed forever with demand for online food retailing soaring during the pandemic, growing 25.5% in 2020 compared to the 8.5% previously anticipated[5]. For most food retailers, trading online has long lacked appeal due to the low margins which it offers[6]. However, the pandemic restrictions prompted retailers to expand their dotcom (online) offering almost overnight to both meet demand and stay competitive during a time when customers were restricted in their ability to do their shopping in-store.

To meet the excess demand all of the major retailers took on additional workers, and today new roles are being created in large numbers in distribution and logistics against a backdrop of slowly dwindling numbers of workers serving on the shop floor. However, also characterising these changes are the historical patterns of gender segregation that persist within the sector, despite men moving into retail roles in recent years. Therefore, we need to be asking not just what the food retail sector is likely to look like post-pandemic, but who is likely to remain working in it.

Segregation of food retail work

The move online and growing use of self-checkouts in-store have in part helped facilitate a reduction in the need for checkout staff. These jobs have long been disproportionately filled by women who needed the ‘flexibility’ to manage work alongside caring responsibilities[7].

In contrast, there has already been an expansion of new roles in warehousing, logistics and fulfilment which have traditionally been filled by men and demand hours less likely to suit the needs of the household. For example, an analysis of recent ONS (2021) data shows that 67% of employees working on supermarket shop floors are women, a large proportion of whom are over the age of 45. This figure increases to 70% if you look at checkout and cashier roles specifically.

Female employees from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds (as defined by the ONS) are five times more likely than white male employees to be working in checkout roles. In contrast to this, the gendering of employees working in the wholesale of food production (including the supply of these goods to supermarkets) is vastly male-dominated (men continue to hold 78% of these roles). These figures show the embeddedness of gender, and racial, segregation in these roles.

Considerations for the future

Although there have been some reductions in the occupational segmentation of retail roles in recent years, changing demands mean the future of work in food retail is likely to reflect the pre-existing patterns of segregation within the sector.

To avoid exacerbating these inequalities, measures are needed to ensure women and minority groups are equipped to enter into new roles in logistics and distribution. To avoid exacerbating these gender inequalities, measures are needed to ensure women are equipped to enter into logistics and distribution; for example, employee-led flexible working arrangements. To approve accessibility to these roles, policy changes will be required, in order to prevent women and minority groups being disproportionately impacted by job loss and remove current barriers (e.g. the burden of caring responsibilities) that prevent women and minority groups from transitioning into new roles.

Research has also shown that women are more likely to rely on public transport to get to work[8] and thus tend to take jobs that are closer to home and schools. However, distribution centres tend to be located in harder-to-reach areas, making these jobs less accessible to women. Therefore, provisions would have to be made to improve transportation routes to these areas both in terms of accessibility and safety.

Secondly, the ‘pick rates’ (the rate of items ‘picked’ by an employee/hours of work[9]) which dictate dotcom work can often be challenging for disabled and older workers to sustain. Reasonable adjustments will be required where necessary to accommodate these groups. Thirdly, employee-led flexible working arrangements and parental leave could allow for an easier transition into this type of work. Therefore, policymakers and businesses should ensure that the jobs which remain do not reinforce the existing inequalities which are endemic to service work and which have been further exacerbated by the current crisis.

This blog is a short extract from an article within ‘On Digital Inequalities’, produced by Policy@Manchester[10].

Wider points for gender-equal recovery and renewal

We conclude this case study by considering the wider points for gender equality in economic recovery. Three key policy areas have been identified in a recent statement from the London School of Economics and Political Science, the International Monetary Fund, EU Central Bank, the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations and the EU Commission, to ensure that “economic recovery prioritises women and girls, underpins an inclusive future, and ensures the world is prepared to withstand the next crisis”[11]. Consider:

  • How recovery stimulus, employment, and social protection programmes will “get directly into the hands of women”
  • How to develop more effective public policy, e.g. approaches to close the gender data gaps as a priority and new mechanisms to “improve monitoring, evaluation and data systems”
  • How to reduce the “burden of unpaid care work and support better childcare to strengthen women’s labour force participation”[12]

[1] https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100244561

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7205621/

[3] https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/abbie.winton.html

[4] https://www.alliancembs.manchester.ac.uk/original-thinking-applied/original-thinkers/gender-and-food-retailing/

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/may/05/uk-online-grocery-sales-lockdown-internet-coronavirus

[6] https://www.ft.com/content/b985249c-1ca1-41a8-96b5-0adcc889d57d

[7] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1068/a3299

[8] https://wbg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TRANSPORT-2019-1.pdf

[9] https://www.hcrlaw.com/blog/warehouse-pick-rates-and-disability/

[10] https://www.policy.manchester.ac.uk/publications/on-digital-inequalities/

[11] https://www.lse.ac.uk/News/News-Assets/PDFs/2021/Statement-on-Gender-Equality-2021.pdf

[12] Ibid.

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Consider good practice examples of community participation during COVID-19
Topic:
Communities
Keywords:
Community participation
Content:

TMB Issue 38 discussed the importance of community involvement in tackling disease outbreaks and presented the recommendations set out by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. This briefing offers examples of good practice in community participation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider:

  • Tanzania: local government co-produced infection control measures with business leaders based in markets to integrate leaders’ understanding & knowledge of the challenges of implementing such measures
  • Nigeria: the “community informer model” was employed by local authorities for COVID “surveillance, tracing and monitoring” – community informers are key trusted individuals in a community (e.g. faith leaders)
  • Pakistan: community volunteers “set up quarantine wards, manufactured and provided free protective suits for medics”, and distributed food to vulnerable people
  • India: Community volunteers came together to investigate and identify unknown (“hidden”) COVID-19 fatalities. The volunteer group comprised of expert physicians and data analysts who developed comparisons of official health data and other reports. This encouraged a review of the national death audit process and resulted in improvements in the process so that COVID-19 deaths were accurate and transparent
  • USA: Volunteers built a public “Testing Site Locator” app which visualized the geographical location of testing centres to support collection of testing centre-related information and dissemination at the national level. This supported people to locate the nearest available testing centres and also the “health system to plan and distribute centres more effectively”

The pandemic, and previous disasters, have evidenced that communities play a crucial role when preparing for, responding to and recovering from, crisis. Communities and civil societies should be “partners early on in the design, planning, implementation, and assessment of preparedness and response efforts on all levels”, particularly at the local level. We have covered community participation and co-production with communities in various briefings, see TMB Issue 38; Issue 34; Issue 33.

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Consider guidelines for planning recovery and renewal
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Planning for recovery
Implementing recovery
Content:

As part of our ESRC funded project on Recovery, Renewal, Resilience we committed to writing the international standard on Recovery and Renewal. We took another step to accomplishing this goal last week when an international ballot voted to accept and publish our international standard ‘ISO/TS 22393 - Guidelines for planning Recovery and Renewal’. ISO/TS 22393 provides a framework for how to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on communities, and address these by planning transactional recovery activities and transformational renewal initiatives. This briefing describes the background to our international standard and gives an insight to the content of this guideline.

An ISO standard aims to “give world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency”[1]. To so this, it collates the latest research findings, expert knowledge, recent experience from experts, and reaches consensus to provide a detailed, informative document that can be applied in different contexts because all the important aspects are considered. An ISO standard often describes best practice and how that can be achieved.

Follow the source link below to TMB Issue 39 to read this briefing in full (p.3-6).

[1] https://www.iso.org/about-us.html

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Consider how COVID-19 has changed people’s future priorities for their communities
Topic:
Communities
Keywords:
Community participation
Content:

The National Lottery Community Fund ‘Community Research Project’ investigated how people’s attitude toward their communities has changed during the pandemic, and identified the priorities for their communities as they emerge from COVID-19. This report demonstrates the opportunity to foster the community resilience realised during COVID as a Local Resilience Capability (LRC). Additionally, the report echoes that although not everyone will want to contribute to building community resilience, there are people who do and they are looking for ways to do so. Consider that:

  • “Tackling loneliness and supporting economic growth” are reported as the most important factors for community wellbeing in the next year. Most respondents felt that the crisis brought out the best in people. This was particularly felt by older generations, with a third of respondents reporting that they now feel more connected to (and supported by) their local community
  • “Safe and accessible green spaces” are key priorities for communities going forward, with 40% of respondents reporting to have used local green spaces more than they usually would
  • 30% of respondents plan to be more involved in their communities, with the most significant benefits being people’s ability to offer support to others in their community, and having people willing to help close by if needed
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Consider how to transform public spaces to create more equitable and viable city centres
Topic:
Environment
Keywords:
Planning and use of public spaces
Content:

COVID-19 has seen cities and local areas rapidly change how public spaces are used. In an effort to improve the daily lives and wellbeing of communities during the pandemic cities have implemented changes that were previously thought to be “radical”. How these temporary measures can transition to permanent design is a key renewal strategy in Sydney which is focusing on the vision of a people-centred city that aims to tackle the various social, health and equity challenges that recovery will bring. Their recent study, based on international best practice and data tracking, explains how to look beyond “basic infrastructure and traffic to create a city that people want to live in, visit, work and spend time in”. Consider the renewal recommendations set out in ‘Sustainable Sydney 2050, towards a more attractive and liveable city’:

Create ‘a city for all’

  • Co-produce the planning and design of public spaces with the community and stakeholder groups
  • Collect “public life data” and evaluate this data to inform decision-making
  • Provide welcome spaces, increase facilities for children, close streets off to traffic at lunch time, expand the use of community buildings and ensure free Wi-Fi across the city – to make public spaces “more attractive for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds”
  • Support “public art and creative expression” to engage communities in the design of the city

Build a ‘green and cool city’

  • Reinforce and drive action in “emissions control, waste, water and greening”
  • Expand “tree canopies, biodiversity and the use of shade structures and awnings in public spaces”
  • Upgrade transport links between the “city, parklands and the harbour” to improve mobility in and around public spaces

Protect the ‘heart’ of the city

  • Transform the currently “traffic-dominated streets to people friendly streets”
  • Capitalise on the “Metro, train and light rail infrastructure as the most efficient modes of transport for people”
  • Increase walking space and pathways across the city
  • Improve the connection of cycle networks to other transport networks (Metro/train) to promote cycling

The strategy also includes long-terms plans for four new “green avenues” which are “arterial roadways identified for transformation with reduced traffic, increased tree plantings and space for people”. A key message in the strategy is that partnerships between “all levels of governments, businesses and the community” is key to transforming cities.

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Consider policies that will support recovery and help to build resilience in the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) sector
Topic:
Economic
Keywords:
Business regeneration and rejuvenation
Content:

Support for SME recovery is critical in the aftermath of COVID-19, as SMEs constitute the backbone of economies across the world and “account for two-thirds of employment globally” (UNCTAD, 2021). COVID-19 has exacerbated existing problems and created new ones for SMEs. The OECD report finds that SMEs are disproportionately represented in sectors of the economy that have been most severely impacted by COVID-19 (e.g. retail, accommodation and food services). “Constrained cash flows and weaker supply chains” contribute to SMEs tending to be more financially fragile and more susceptible to supply chain disruptions. Many more examples of the challenges faced by SMEs can be found both in this OECD report and others (e.g. a recent McKinsey report). The OECD report presents 15 lessons on effective policy design, including:

  • Prompt delivery of SME and entrepreneurship policy support. This can be supported by strengthening digital delivery systems at both the national and local levels
  • Develop start-up policies to drive innovative start-ups for recovery
  • “Ensure support mechanisms are inclusive and accessible for vulnerable segments of the SME population” (e.g., minority and women entrepreneurs)
  • Focus on the digitalisation of SMEs and start-ups, e.g. incentivise/provide targeted financial support/grants (local governments can sign-post local entrepreneurs and SMEs to support services e.g. Business in the Community/FSB UK)
  • Establish measures to consult with entrepreneurs and owners of SMEs, to understand their needs, their priorities, and co-produce recovery and renewal plans with them
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Consider “social innovation” in health as a critical component of health emergency response
Topic:
Health
Keywords:
Health systems
Content:

Social innovations in health and care are “inclusive solutions that meet the needs of end users through a multi-stakeholder, community-engaged process to address the healthcare delivery gap”. They concentrate on local community needs and priorities, strive to establish “low-cost solutions” and build upon the pre-existing strengths in a community. This paper produced by the LSHTM demonstrates how social innovation during COVID-19 has mobilised local communities, adapted existing health services at rapid pace and developed partnerships between local government and civil society. Consider the following international examples of social innovations in health during the pandemic:

  • Peru mobilised communities by adapting their ‘Mamás Del Río’ programme which “selects and trains local people as community health workers”. This project adapted during COVID to both ensure the “continuity of maternal and neonatal health services” while also educating and training local people on COVID-19 prevention
  • Malawi’s existing free hotline created by local people to provide health advice was scaled up nationally during the pandemic. The government then capitalised on the capabilities of this local service to “triage people with COVID-19 symptoms, identify and refer people at risk of domestic violence, provide health information to the public and gain a greater understanding of local needs”
  • The Philippine’s multi-sectoral partnership brings together the “strengths and resources from the private sector, academia, local government and communities”. COVID-19 response was strengthened by these partnerships which enabled rapid deployment of a “hunger management campaign, the establishment of a call centre to manage returning resident’s and a role out of local testing teams”

Social innovation initiatives have proven a “powerful means of mobilising communities to respond to emergencies that can complement and extend government and private sector responses, and in turn build more resilient communities”.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

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Consider strategies to address core humanitarian issues
Topic:
Communities
Keywords:
Public protection
Vulnerable people
Content:

The British Red Cross recently shared a report ‘Communities of Humanitarian Thought: The Case for Change in a Time of Crisis’. The report considers the next steps on the following prominent humanitarian issues: Displacement & Migration; Health Inequalities, and Disasters & Emergencies. The report highlights the need for real change for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, crisis across various priorities:

  • ‘Eliminate the gaps in health and social care’, by employing a person-centred approach to reduce access barriers and prevent people from “falling through the gaps between services”. The inequalities in health and social care exacerbated by COVID-19 require a more integrated approach, along with investment in care and support at the community level
  • ‘Ensure humanitarian needs are met in emergencies’, by clearly defining the statutory responsibilities of national government and emergency response organisations, to ensure that they “fully meet the humanitarian needs of their communities”
  • Review social protection infrastructure to learn lessons from the pandemic and best practice across the world, e.g. ‘Cash-based assistance in emergencies’, which has shown to deliver a more “dignified response” and enables people to rapidly access the resources they need during crisis
  • Provide safe and legal routes for people seeking asylum’, by reviewing domestic policy to ensure that the “end-to-end experience of a person in the asylum system is efficient, fair and humane”. The Sovereign Borders Bill presents an opportunity to evaluate and take action to improve the entire system
  • Uphold international law and principled humanitarian action’, by committing to humanitarian action and support for the most vulnerable communities across the world
  • Recognise how young people and civil society drive climate action, e.g. the Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, which strives to amplify youth voices and engage young people in an open and transparent dialogue on climate action
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Consider the lessons learned from the inclusion of refugees in social protection systems during COVID-19
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Learning lessons
Content:

A current research project, by the Overseas Development Institute, is examining social protection (SP) measures employed during the pandemic in LMICs. The project is producing a series of working papers. One paper examines the inclusion of refugees in government-led SP and the “alignment and integration of cash assistance to refugees and government social protection”. The paper evaluates the effectiveness of social protection responses across four countries in terms of: “Timeliness; coverage adequacy; and level adequacy (value of benefit)”. It also offers the emerging lessons from the study and initial policy recommendations. Consider:

Lessons on the drivers of effective government social protection response

  • The maturity of SP systems and pre-existing local and state capacities directly impacted how effectively SP programmes met the needs of refugees during COVID
  • Targeting criteria that evaluates eligibility based on risk of vulnerability could be more effective, timely and suitable during a crisis rather than traditional criteria such as length of residency or status
  • Benefit levels of government systems are unlikely to be sufficient for refugees’ needs, as these are typically higher than those of nationals and require very careful consideration. The main challenge identified when setting benefit levels which include refugees during the pandemic is that governments are “faced with two competing objectives: (1) preventing social tension and unfairness between population groups” (by varying benefit levels between refugees and nationals); and (2) “ensuring that everyone can meet their basic needs”

Policy recommendations for protecting refugees during a crisis

  • Conduct a national socio-economic survey, to include data on refugees’ needs, to develop an overview of the needs of the population across the country. This can enable more effective social protection programme design that effectively meets the needs of everyone
  • A review of registration processes can highlight barriers to access for refugees (e.g. in terms of the documents required to register for programmes). Where this is not possible, governments can “draw on international/national/local humanitarian actors’ databases of refugee populations” to swiftly target them with support during crisis
  • Hosting governments could consider “integrating refugees into social insurance” (e.g. those with work permits) which may reduce political or public opposition as those receiving benefits will be contributing to national insurance
  • Careful consideration of benefit levels and trade-offs between “politically greater acceptability but possibly lower effectiveness” in terms of meeting refugees needs is essential

Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)

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Consider approaches to co-production which ensure the process is equal, fair and successful
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Strategic communications
Content:

We discussed co-production in TMB Issue 33 and detailed three barriers to co-production during COVID: Pace, Distance and Complexity. The Centre for Loneliness Studies recently developed a toolkit for co-production organised around a cycle of: "Co-commissioning; Co-design; Co-delivery and Co-evaluation/co-governance". This toolkit supports those who want to begin a journey of co-production. It is based on research on co-production with older people who experienced isolation and loneliness. The principles are transferable and useful to anyone thinking about how to do co-production. Consider:

  • That co-production can apply to a broad range of contexts (e.g. co-producing service delivery for a city/region/on a national level or co-producing care delivery for an individual). Depending on the context, those involved should agree on what co-production means based on their context. This can be done by:
    • Define what co-production means e.g. to your organisation/to the group of people delivering a service/to those using a service
    • Agree a statement about what co-production means, to manage expectations and provide clarity on the direction of co-production activities
  • Understand individual and group co-production values. This can help to direct work and activities and influence decision-making
  • Empower each person involved by working "with people rather than for them"
  • Promote equality, e.g. use the term 'stakeholders' to describe all of those involved in co-production to position all participants on an equal footing
  • Seek to understand and make use of the skills, knowledge and experience of all stakeholders
  • Ensure a diverse group of stakeholders are involved in co-production by considering:
    • Which stakeholders should be involved? (including those who represent current and potential future users of services)
    • What skills, experience, knowledge and resources are required to support co-production? (e.g. conduct an asset mapping exercise to understand needs)
    • How best to ensure a wide variety of stakeholders are included?
    • What resources might stakeholders require to keep them engaged?
  • How to fairly share power and influence for co-production, e.g. hold regular deliberation meetings so that all stakeholders are heard, use voting systems, and feedback questionnaires
  • Following each phase of the cycle:
    • Reflect on the experiences of each stakeholder and achievements of the group
    • Explore what worked well, the challenges that presented and how learning can be applied in future cycles of co-production
    • Identify any skills, knowledge, experience or strengths the group and co-production process could gain from and how to bring those into the process in the future
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Consider approaches to strengthen inclusive resilience to disasters at local levels
Topic:
Environment
Keywords:
Environmental health
Content:

The Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitment (VC) initiative calls for enhancing governance, including local governance, for disaster response, rehabilitation and reconstruction. A recent commitment on the Sendai VC ‘Strengthening inclusive Resilience to Disasters, boosting sustainable Development’, by the Province of Potenza (PPZ), Italy, is focused on re-assessing, monitoring and reviewing the level of resilience of its 100 Municipalities Network. Consider the following objectives and actions in the PPZ commitment:

  • Encourage communication between local governments by maximizing on the ‘Making Cities Resilient (MCR) Campaign’
  • “Share on the development and implementation of comprehensive urban disaster risk reduction plans”
  • Showcase the value that the Human Security approach adds when implementing the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction at local levels
  • Highlight local activities that are working to identify and implement innovative measures for disaster risk reduction and are striving to achieve SDGs
  • Identify and introduce creative approaches to cooperation on different topics at local levels
  • Implement the project using the new Resilience Scorecard through a “city-to-city peer review, based on a multi-stakeholder and holistic approach to disaster risk reduction”
  • Collect data for a review and evaluation process of the Sendai Framework at the local level through strategic alignment to local indicators
  • Share learning based on cities’ disaster risk assessments, and design a Resilience strategy
  • This project is said to have achieved an “inclusive approach to strong community involvement” and developed “a governance-accountability system as a powerful mean for creating the conditions that contribute to change towards resilience”.

You can contact the team working on this project to find out more here

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Consider early lessons from the UK government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Learning lessons
Content:

This case study extracts some key points from the UK's National Audit Office report 'Initial learning from the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic'. Read this case study in full (p.13-14) in TMB Issue 38 by following the source link below.

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Consider how communities can inform their own local recovery
Topic:
Health
Keywords:
Health and wellbeing
Content:

The city of Napier, New Zealand conducted a wellbeing survey to understand how the community was feeling about the pandemic, its impacts, their concerns and expectations for the future. This survey was then used to inform planning for recovery, renewal and other Council programmes. The Napier Recovery Plan identifies five key initiatives which can address issues for recovery and opportunities for renewal:

  • “Support and Celebrate Napier” by launching a “We are Team Napier” campaign which focuses on promoting innovation and achievement in the local economy and within communities, e.g. “Environmental restoration of green spaces” comprising of a community-led partnership with the Council, land agencies and other relevant stakeholders
  • Investment in local infrastructure and community facilities, e.g. “3 Waters projects supporting the renewal of Napier’s water supply and strategic water services”, to ensure everyone in the community has access to safe drinking water
  • Establish a coordinated approach to housing and accommodation to ensure everyone has access to safe housing, e.g. “Continue partnerships established during Alert Level 4 to provide emergency accommodation” and establish “public-private partnerships to repurpose city centre visitor accommodation for transition and/or permanent residential accommodation”
  • Introduce a targeted ‘Jump Start Innovation Fund’ to promote innovation in business and not-for-profit sector. Other initiatives include: Appointing business support liaisons to assist and advise on Napier Council regulations and initiating a “redeployment scheme” for SMEs
  • A focus on advancing sustainability within the tourism sector, e.g. establishing a partnership with the Art Deco heritage trust to drive domestic tourism
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Consider how COVID-19 could re-shape food supply chains and markets
Topic:
Infrastructure
Keywords:
Supply chain and logistics
Content:

The pressures placed on the global food system during COVID-19 activated various policy responses across the world to manage supply and demand. Sub-Saharan African countries rely heavily on food imports. This means that international agricultural policy responses to the pandemic in markets on which Africa relies, directly affect the region’s food markets. Potential impacts include “commodity price volatility the availability of supplies and farmers’ planting decisions”. Consider how to address the impacts of COVID and build food system resilience for the future with regard to countries that rely on food imports:

  • Design more “holistic policy interventions” which tackle bottlenecks in the vast span of “value chain actors” e.g. suppliers and transporters, traders and retailers, to advance resilience of the entire supply chain
  • Invest in market infrastructure, e.g. cold storage systems, to strengthen supply chains of perishable goods
  • Establish and increase social protections for particularly vulnerable groups e.g. “urban poor, informal workers and resource-poor smallholder farmers"
  • Advance regional and local trade agreements that enable greater food market integration – with the aim of developing resilient domestic and regional food systems, lowering the reliance on importing, and increasing local domestic economic growth
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Consider: Recovery and renewal of community resilience: Recovery reinstates preparedness; Renewal enhances resilience
Topic:
Governance
Keywords:
Planning for recovery
Implementing recovery
Content:

The focus of this week's Manchester Briefing (Issue 38) is the role of the individual in relation to crises and the benefits of public involvement in emergency planning. We discuss how recovery reinstates preparedness, while renewal enhances resilience and consider how Local Resilience Capability can be understood, sustained and enhanced by local government.

Follow the source link below to read this briefing in full (p.3-6).

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Consider the early policy lessons for employment
Topic:
Economic
Keywords:
Content:

Before the pandemic, the Philippines saw a prolonged period of economic growth and job expansion, with employment increasing, and large numbers of people moving from precarious jobs to more secure employment. COVID-19 reversed these gains, as it did in many other countries that experienced positive labour market growth and expansion. The Asian Development Blog offers five global best practices to address lower employment rates which are predicted to persist even after economies begins to grow again (known as "hysteresis in employment after an acute shock"). Consider the early global policy lessons that have supported people to make labour market transitions:

  • Evidence shows that wage subsidies have been the most successful mechanism for protecting employment
  • Hiring subsidies should replace wage subsidies, to support the reallocation of displaced workers into secure employment
  • Skills funding schemes (e.g. Kickstart UK) are helping to upskill the workforce (e.g. Skillnet Ireland provides local or sectoral networks of at least 30 employers with annual matching grants to fund their short-term training of workers)
  • Establish apprenticeship councils to guide and peer review changes to "industry-led apprenticeship programs". The changes suggested include:
    • Introducing "progressive salary scales"
    • Extend apprenticeship programmes from "6 months to 2-4 years"
    • Expand apprenticeship programmes into new industries and "service occupations such as legal, finance and communications"
  • Provide unemployment insurance to give income stability and help people transition to new employment. For example:
    • Malaysia has a "national pooled insurance fund" which employers and employees make monthly contributions. The government funds "financing gap" which workers qualify for if they are made involuntarily unemployed
    • In Chile, employers and employees contribute monthly to "an account in the name of the employee". This is supplemented by the Solidarity Unemployment Fund, which supports employees if they diminish their personal savings accounts. The Chilean scheme doesn't "create contingent fiscal liabilities".
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