Tackling the COVID-19 Crisis

Sir Michael Barber
Sir Michael Barber
Delivery Associates
Delivery Associates

The challenges of navigating COVID-19 require significant amounts of governments’ time and effort. Meanwhile, other important issues (climate change, racial justice, and hunger and food insecurity to name a few) can easily become neglected. But what if governments could find a way to focus on COVID-19 and their top two or three other most pressing concerns? In this report, Sir Michael Barber outlines how governments can tackle COVID-19 and other important issues well – and be better equipped for success when the pandemic ends.

Persevering through the pandemic
COVID-19 is not just a health crisis; it is an economic and social crisis too.

This report provides a guide for managing the COVID-19 pandemic, from creating a trustworthy team comprised of the right people to establishing routines and meeting regularly (maybe even twice a day), reviewing reliable and up-to-date data, making decisions, communicating with relevant stakeholders and the public, and creating the culture you need right from the start. 

These steps have worked in past crises, and they can work for COVID-19.

Monitoring other priorities

While intensely focusing on the pandemic is paramount, spending a small amount of time on other important priorities can make a big difference in the long run. Create a small team to work on your top two or three non-COVID goals. Get regular updates on these issues every two weeks – What’s working? What’s not working? What decisions will you make in response? 

Thirty minutes here and there on these issues really adds up over time - and positions you to deliver on these priorities after the pandemic. Because after all, these issues were important to you before the pandemic and they will continue to be important to you and your constituents during and after the pandemic.

Learning as you go

In addition to handling the COVID-19 crisis and maintaining some focus on other priorities, Sir Michael Barber emphasizes the importance of learning lessons as you go – rather than compiling a list after the pandemic ends when everyone has already moved on. Instead, what if you documented lessons learned at the end of each week, then used what you have learned to adjust current plans? This small routine could significantly impact your crisis management skills for the current pandemic and the future.

Download the report for more information on how to tackle COVID-19 without losing sight of your administration's goals beyond the pandemic.

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