OPSI COVID-19 Innovative Response Tracker

Telescope: collaborative programmes supporting policymakers and frontline staff to #buildbackbetter

Innovative response

At Telescope, we connect policymakers with those working on the frontline, using innovation thinking tools to encourage inclusive and collaborative policymaking. We love seeing the connections and ideas sparked by bringing people together and the benefits for policymakers of learning about frontline challenges first hand.

But when the whole world is in isolation, that isn’t so easy.

The COVID-19 crisis needs us to find new ways of delivering critical services. Now more than ever, frontline workers and policymakers need to work together to share information and find smart ways to provide vital support and services to the most vulnerable in our communities.

To support this urgent effort, we are offering remote peer-to-peer coaching based on the key Telescope principles of collaborative working. This approach connects staff from frontline delivery organisations across a variety of sectors with relevant policymakers, helping participants to develop a mutual understanding of immediate needs and concerns. Our materials help participants to quickly generate and test new ideas, helping thinkers and doers find collaborative solutions in these unprecedented times.

Find out more on our website (www.wearetelescope.org), or by emailing [email protected]

Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact

Telescope's new peer-to-peer offering exists to establish much-needed connections between people tackling the crisis on the frontline, and those designing the overall government response. We match frontline workers with policymakers in the same sector and focus not only on individual challenges, but also how the questions being thrown up by new ways of delivering services (remotely, digitally, distanced) can help us build back better.

Our goal is to help maintain connections between frontline staff and governments at a time when everyone is under even more pressure and the risk of silos is high. This crisis is unprecedented not only in its form and impact, but also in the innovative responses it is prompting. We want to ensure these amazing efforts are not lost as the world begins to return to normal, and that frontline staff have the chance to make their voice heard in the process of recovery and rebuilding. We are building a platform to share the ideas and suggestions generated by our participants, to be accessible by frontline staff and policymakers across the world.

We are also thinking carefully about how we can ensure the voices of people with lived experience of the crisis, and the inequalities it is exacerbating, continue to be heard despite the one-to-one format of our new programme.

Potential issues

We always welcome more participants across a variety of different sectors. The programme is scalable in its current form and simply requires marketing widely.

If the Covid-19 situation becomes worse or more protracted, there is a risk that participants will retreat further into their own work, understandably concerned about workloads and weighed down by these very unusual circumstances. We need ambassadors across different fields to champion our work and promote its low-commitment but high-impact nature.

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Level(s) of government:
  • National/Federal government
  • Regional/State government
  • Local government
  • Non-Profit/Civil Society

Issues being addressed:

  • Information and practice sharing (with public and/or internal)
  • Crowdsourcing solutions

Response contact:

[email protected]