Facing the Crisis Together
The Covid-19 crisis has kick-started a need for new approaches: a global flurry to find solutions for an unexpected crisis. Few governments have been fully prepared to deal with a crisis of this nature, and many are working hard to rally resources and unify experts from across the public, private and non-profit sectors toward a common goal. In this context, the sharing of ideas and best practices is critical: pandemics do not stay within boundaries, borders and silos, and neither should the global response.
The Open and Innovative Government Division (OIG), in which the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation sits, is issuing a call-out to all levels of government, civil society, international organisations and the private sector to gather innovative, digital and open government solutions and inspiration on how individuals and organisations across the globe are responding to the crisis.
The Centre for Public Impact and GovInsider have joined the OIG call to help gather more evidence of current government practices. Others organisations are invited to do the same and participate in a joint effort to support governments in this difficult times.
Innovative projects, responses and initiatives could include:
- Patient care (ex. 3D printing of ventilators, new ways of testing people for COVID-19, or use of non-traditional spaces to expand capacity to treat patients)
- Health and safety of responders (ex. creation of new practices to reduce exposure of staff to COVID-19 while conducting their essential operations)
- Information and practice sharing, with the public or internally (ex. use of crisis communication channels, combatting disinformation, or the use of knowledge sharing platforms for call centre staff to have updated information about COVID-19)
- Resource management or mobilisation (ex. transitioning staff into critically needed roles, or new partnerships to address shortages of resources or people)
- Governance responses (ex. emergency regulation, budgeting, procurement or cross-organisation collaboration to re-use/re-purpose existing infrastructure, code, design patterns or technology to quickly develop new solutions)
- Real-time data collection, sharing, and analysis (ex. use of Open Government Data to co-create products and services for improved planning, delivery and monitoring of COVID-19 policies)
- Public service delivery under new circumstances (ex. transitions to virtual classrooms, delivery of prescription drugs to avoid social contact at pharmacies, delays of deadlines, or rapid digitalisation of in-person public services)
- Crowdsourcing solutions (ex. hackathons or challenge prizes and funds)
- Social effects of the crisis (ex: supporting mental health, setting new working practices, addressing loneliness in isolation)
- Others not mentioned
Update (24 March): In a time of crisis, it is especially important to work together in sharing and learning and avoiding unnecessary duplication. In the interest of expanding collaboration and broadening the scope of resources and supports to governments, this call has been updated to include edits to example responses, support and edits from our colleagues in the Open and Innovative Government Division, and acknowledgement of the new partnership with the Centre for Public Impact.
Update (16 April): We are excited to announce that GovInsider has joined as a partner in this Call. Additionally, this post has been updated to announce the launch of a new innovative responses tracker and submission form for government responses to Covid-19.
Image credit: NEXU Science Communication