Call for Innovative Government Solutions to COVID-19

Written by and on 20 March 2020


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.

We invite you to submit your ideas using this submission form. You can browse innovative responses using our innovative response tracker.

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

Add a response

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

    • Hi Anna – greetings from Perth Australia. Will be watching with interest the outcomes from your hackathon in Germany. Such as great way of mobilising citizen and community ideas. we’re (rapidly) thinking our way through what is needed to enable ‘social recovery’ once the pandemic phase eases. Cheers. Tania

  1. Germany’s government together with private think tanks is currently holding a huge public hackathon (42.000 private persons attending) to search for solutions to COVID-19 in all sectors: health, home schooling, home office, social distancing, food supply, mental health, protection of the most vulnerable groups and much more.
    It’s amazing how big the interest and response is – let’s see what the results will be – it’s planned to continue the work after this weekend:

  2. Hi,
    Thank you for valuable databank, however I do not understand why Your Priorities – Online Decision-Making and Deliberation included in the list. This is not fresh respond for COVID-19 that was mentioned in your list.

    • Hello Jaroslav. Thank you for your comment. At this point, OPSI is not doing any sort of pre-validation of responses, except for removing inappropriate content. We cannot predict what might be helpful for others to see at this point, so we are encouraging as many entries as possible.

  3. Lithuanian Ministry of Finance started COVID-19 outcomes reduction fund. Support can be provided by companies and individual persons. It is a part of economic support plan of the Lithuanian government. The first funds raised will go to the medical and the sick – buying personal protective equipment, reagents and other medical equipment. Thereafter, the need will be analyzed and fine-tuned, and the public will be kept informed of how much money has been raised and for whom. More information is here:

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