IGN learnings

Place based responses to Covid-19

Ign profile 2023 10 16 140009 rarp

Inclusive Growth Network

R1 - masthead

During the Covid-19 pandemic, multi-agency relationships have flourished with multi-agency emergency committees and recovery boards bringing together public, private, VCSE and education sectors alongside different levels of devolved government. The opportunity for places is to embed more collaborative approaches to drive recovery and prosperity in the longer term.

Key learnings

Overcoming key delivery challenges

  • Be flexible and agile. This will help respond quickly to a changing and uncertain situation where it is difficult to pre-empt problems with such high levels of incomplete information. Some local authorities are working reactively to pivot and address problems as they arise.
  • Repurpose existing pots of funding. Fill gaps in funding exposed by the pandemic and facilitate cross-collaboration and systems thinking. There has been interest in launching innovation funds to adapt local business models and economic resilience funds. Flexibility in starting and repurposing funds would be beneficial to unitary and combined authorities.

Recovering inclusively and levelling up

  • Consider the tension of whether any job is better than no job. This may be a question for policymakers to address should unemployment rise. There may be opportunities to reboot Living Wage Programmes and reflect on conditions in certain sectors (e.g. care), whilst being mindful of the challenges facing employers.
  • Balance the short-term response with longer-term priorities. This means looking to build resilience and tackle existing inequalities. It is crucial not to overlook pre-Covid-19 challenges, which will be exacerbated by the crisis.
  • Look beyond GVA. A continued focus on GVA by central government does not reflect fully the real problems facing places. Use a broader set of indicators to foster inclusive economic growth.
  • Build on the current mood of civic compassion. For example through a social, business, government compact.