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Executing the COVID-19 recovery
A guide for state and local governments for reopening and restoring their economies
State and local governments are on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis. In the coming months, they will be focused on balancing health and economic impacts; promoting economic health for individuals, businesses, and other sectors; and reopening the economy with an eye towards a better future.
Managing the process and establishing the "next normal”
As states manage through this crisis, they will need to do so while managing drastic reductions in revenue, surging demand from stakeholders, and the need to restart public agencies in a manner that is safe for both public employees and constituents.
There is more to restarting the economy than merely reopening businesses. This isn’t about flipping a switch. The recovery will be about building and executing a plan that will include transitional stages, and will involve health, business, education and government sectors working together. In comparison to other economic crises, governments will have an unprecedented number of roles to play in restarting the economy including areas such as developing the plan, enforcing protocols for reopening, communicating progress and setbacks, getting the government workforce back to work, and restarting basic services that were temporarily paused and now experience a sizeable backlog of work.
As we move ahead, government will need to reexamine its basic operating system. Government will need to rethink operations, service delivery, workforce and safety issues as it sequences the reopening of government offices. This is an opportunity for state and local government to adopt new tools to enable them to more effectively serve the people with better data, digital workflows, and agility.
To address all of these challenges in an integrated way, states can take a few practical steps including:
- Establishing a command center
- Developing a communication strategy to increase transparency and build trust
- Executing the recovery and reopening through a network of federal and local government agencies, the private sector, academia, and non-profits
- Using data and technology tools to accelerate the recovery
State and local governments will get through this, and when they do it is important that they emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before. For that to happen, leaders need to understand that the decisions made today will set the stage for the long term.