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The Manchester Briefing on COVID-19 issue 50: Seven areas for self-reflection

As efforts towards recovery from COVID-19 and renewal are being made, it is important to learn lessons from the experience.

With that in mind, we have designed a self-evaluation methodology that provides a framework for local government and other organisations to assess how effective their COVID-19 recovery plans and renewal strategies have been.

It’s all part of The Manchester Briefing, our ongoing initiative from Alliance Manchester Business School and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, to support those who are planning and implementing recovery and renewal from the pandemic.

By reflecting on their response to COVID-19, organisations can identify those strategies that were most effective, helping to inform how we should react to future crises.

But what do we mean by recovery and renewal?

Recovery refers to short-term activity to enhance preparedness following a crisis, with a focus on addressing the immediate impacts.

Whereas renewal includes more ambitious strategic action to build long-term resilience following a crisis, potentially including societal issues that the crisis has exposed.

The methodology has identified seven areas for self-reflection, each with a set of questions that focus on the principles of developing recovery and renewal activities, rather than the intricacies of the activities themselves.

Duncan Shaw, Professor of Operational Research and Critical Systems at AMBS, explains: “By working to assess and evaluate the local response to this unprecedented event in the UK and around the world, we can develop strategies that can prepare and protect communities from future crises.”

The seven areas for self-reflection are:

Strategy and leadership - some organisations have clear strategies for recovery and renewal from crisis, while others are still working on theirs.

Partnerships and intelligence - have partnerships generated information that can be used to inform future planning, and how can that be used best?

Management systems – do organisations have the skills, capacity and resources to achieve desired outcomes?

Coordination and communication operations – do recovery and renewal activities align and complement each other?

Partners who support capabilities – do partnerships work effectively, such as those with local community, faith, charity and business groups?

Delivering Recovery and Renewal – is activity to deliver recovery and renewal diverse enough?

Overall performance - as a final step, we encourage you to reflect on your organisation’s performance, to enhance resilience going forward.

Download this week's Manchester Briefing on COVID-19 (issue 50)

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