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The Manchester Briefing on COVID-19 issue 49: Seven steps to plan recovery and renewal

The impacts of a major emergency can be intense and far-reaching for communities. Yet thinking about recovery needs to start before a crisis happens by preparing general plans which are then tailored to the specific conditions encountered so that recovery activities can begin quickly and at scale.

This is the context for two international standards that have now been developed by the team at Alliance Manchester Business School which produces The Manchester Briefing, a monthly document aimed at those who are planning and implementing recovery and renewal from the pandemic, and which is also put together with the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute.

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The team has previously produced ‘ISO 22393 – Guidelines for planning Recovery and Renewal’ (2021)’, an international standard which provides a framework for planning Recovery and Renewal. Now it has produced an iteration of this standard entitled ‘Operationalising ISO 22393: Seven steps to plan recovery and renewal’. This document integrates additional insights and sets out operationalising ISO 22393 as a seven-step process to support implementation.

As Duncan Shaw, Professor of Operational Research and Critical Systems at AMBS, explains: “The document provides guidance on how to assess the impacts of major emergencies and address those impacts by planning meaningful transactional recovery activities and transformational renewal initiatives.”

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Seven steps

Operationalising ISO 22393 describes the seven-step process to planning recovery and renewal as follows:

Step 1 – convene a recovery coordination group

Step 2 – set strategic objectives for recovery

Step 3 – commission impacts and needs assessments

Step 4 – conduct lessons learned exercise

Step 5 – select action areas to recover and renew

Step 6 – agree recovery activities to achieve strategic objectives

Step 7 – identify opportunities for renewal initiatives

The latest issue of The Manchester Briefing details the concepts of recovery and renewal, their differentiating factors, strategic areas for recovery and renewal, and the key enablers for successful implementation. It then expands the seven-step process to provide the different activities that can support the operationalisation of each step.

Adds Professor Shaw: “This briefing simplifies the detail of ISO 22393 into an easy-to-use process to support Recovery Coordination Groups (RCGs) and wider partnerships to implement recovery and renewal. Power and partnerships are two key enablers that are critical to successful implementation of recovery activities and renewal initiatives and should be prioritised from the outset. Underpinning each of the seven steps are a series of template and guides that further bring them to life and make them easy to apply.”

Meanwhile the team behind the Briefing will soon be visiting the city of Ramallah in Palestine to help develop its Covid-19 recovery strategy. Adds Professor Shaw: “This will give us yet another opportunity to test our thinking and the concepts in ISO 22393 in a resilient city.”

Download this week's Manchester Briefing on COVID-19 (issue 49)

If you would like to contribute your knowledge to the Briefing contact Duncan Shaw.