The aftermath of Covid-19 offers an opportunity to renew our society, to reconsider who we want to be as people and how to enhance compassion, equality and equity across society. To think about how we exist in the places we live in, their sustainability. To think about what processes we can change, stop or enhance, to heighten prosperity. We need ambition and innovation. This paper outlines (with illustrative examples) our thoughts on where innovation begins. The ambition is for us all to design.
This paper summarises and supplements existing guidance1,2 on recovery to Covid-19 and adds wider research findings. It outlines the opportunity to recover the people, place, and processes (through reinstating, learning and preparing) and the opportunity to renew these (through appreciating and renewing). It adds the importance of power and partnerships of five groups: national, local partnerships, local communities, organisations, and people; and the need for compassion.
What is recovery from Covid-19:
Recovery is a relatively short-term process of reinstating normal life, learning from Covid-19, and preparing resilience. Recovery aims for positive outcomes by addressing exposed fragilities and wider opportunities. The pace depends on ongoing demands, backlogs, fatigue, and supply difficulties.
Renewal is a medium/long-term process that extends beyond recovery, achieving a new normality through a complex social, political and developmental process. Renewal is strategic, broad-based (eg environmental, economic, legal), democratic and geographic… across five partnership groups…
Recovery from Covid-19 is different to traditional recovery because of the length of the initial response, its scale, effects, and its all-of-society implications. For response, recovery and renewal these differences imply that: recovery will overlap with response; agility and flexibility are key; learning and improving are crucial; and that LRF influence may be limited to maintaining readiness, reinstating services, learning, supporting community resilience, and preparing for the next emergency. Local governance of renewal should involve wider strategic partnerships across five groups...
Five partnership groups to consider when planning recovery and renewal:
- National government and associated departments lead on transition timelines from response into recovery (eg economic recovery, policy and legislative changes)
- Regional and local partnerships (eg Local Resilience Forums, Local Enterprise Partnerships) lead service restoration (eg emergency preparedness, transport)
- Local communities will self-organise and recover as appropriate
- Individual organisations will recover value-added operations and service delivery
- People as individuals will influence through public opinion and behaviour, and will recovery themselves eg mental health and financial futures.
What is being recovered and renewed:
- People – key workers, shielded, homeless, volunteers, school children
- Place – where we live, infrastructure, health and care systems, businesses, neighbours
- Processes – ways of working, rules, procedures, services, resource management
- Power – formal and informal power from legislation, democracy, ‘people power’
- Partnerships – relationships that underpin activities, planning, action, working.
These five aspects should be considered when thinking about the actions for recovery and renewal…
Key issues for recovery and renewal:
People, place and process should be considered in each general category of recovery and renewal.
General categories of recovery and renewal
• Humanitarian Assistance (including health) – individuals’ health, housing and financial needs; volunteers
• Economic – reopen businesses; retail, leisure, hospitality
• Infrastructure – restore daily life (education, welfare, transport, waste management); digital; security; logistics
• Environmental – built and green spaces with social distancing.
• Communication and engagement – connectivity between health and wider system; media; engagement; reassurance
• Governance and legislation – emergency legislation and the transition to recovery, use existing mechanisms.
Presented here is the beginning of a blue-print for compassionate recovery (reinstate, learn, prepare) and renewal (appreciate, renew) from Covid-19 across five partnership groups where power resides and across which partnerships are needed. Planning should consider the people, places, processes, across humanitarian assistance, economic, infrastructure, and environmental; and the enablers of communication and engagement, and governance and legislation.
Short term actions for recovery:
• People – end furloughing, return to school, continue social distancing
• Place – reinstate to pre-Covid-19 conditions
• Processes – reinstate funding mechanisms, legal, policy, practices
• People – debrief staff, volunteers, partners
• Place – debrief partners working in other parts/locations of the response
• Processes – collate lessons learned and share across partnerships
for future emergencies:
• People – develop understanding about new ways of living with Covid-19
• Place – pre-position resources according to normal contingency plans
• Processes – ensure response systems are ready
Medium to long-term actions for renewal:
current state and future vision:
• People – reconnect, remember losses, rejoice, align thinking, language
• Place – assess environments, identify desired futures, plan
• Processes – assess impacts, design strategies, identify funding/enablers
through fast and slow implementation:
• People – with community, maximise happiness, compassion, community
• Place – implement plans, policies, investment, developments
• Processes – targeted productivity, sustainability, improvements