Ideas in Action

May 21, 2020

Managing public services through the waves of the COVID-19 crisis

Australia’s immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been as effective as any in the world. Strong and early government action, strict social distancing measures and effective contact tracing, containment and treatment by our health system has substantially flattened the curve of COVID-19 cases. Other public services have quickly adapted to maintain essential services while reducing face-to-face interactions. While there are many heroes in the fight against the virus, for us, Australia’s public purpose leaders are among the greatest of them.

However, their job is far from finished. Our analysis suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic will create not one wave of service delivery challenges, but four. These waves will be interrelated and will probably overlap with each other. But they have distinct drivers and create new challenges as Australia moves from response to recovery. Our report, ‘From response to recovery’, is intended to help public purpose leaders understand the road ahead and to begin a conversation about what can be done today to prepare for each wave.

Read the full report

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