The Government We Need


Now that the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic are behind us, governments are left with the enormous tasks of continuing to protect their people while rebuilding equitably – turning crisis into progress. These are no small feats; we need effective government. The COVID-19 crisis has underscored what effective government looks like. And even governments who have an idea of how they can operate more effectively still face the question, ‘How do we get there?’

Where do we go from here?
If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it is that we all have a stake in building a more capable state.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, we are only just beginning to contemplate – let alone understand – its long-term impacts. And in the middle of the crisis, we’ve already learned major lessons about the importance of working together across different sectors and agencies, the necessity of having innovative and adaptable leaders, the unique role of government in responding to the pandemic, the importance of truly understanding the delivery chain and its implications from beginning to end, and the urgent need to support those who need it most – and build systems that foster a more equitable society in the future.

Getting started

We’ve identified six skills governments need to adopt (or recommit to) in order to lead well during the pandemic and beyond:

  • Lead with moral purpose
  • Value equity in everything
  • Build coalitions
  • Work across disciplines
  • Take calculated risks
  • Move the numbers that matter

This report also outlines four major steps governments can take to recommit to equity and effectiveness, deliver meaningful results, and turn the COVID-19 crisis into progress for the people they serve.

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