Collection: Covid-19 in hindsight – reflecting on the global pandemic


Photo by Richard Melick on Unsplash

Since Covid-19 was first declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 11 March 2020, there has been a torrent of information, statistics and commentary from around the world.

This collection showcases a range of LGIU Covid-19 content that is still relevant and useful to local government in the post-pandemic world. Whilst this collection delves into the negative consequences of the pandemic it also highlights the magic that happens when communities come together to do wonderful things, in the worst of all possible circumstances. This collection is intended to be the go-to library of LGIU Covid content, covering the immense challenges faced by local authorities and communities during the pandemic, and the recovery strategies from across the world in the post-pandemic society.

Lessons on the importance of local government

Two years later – All is changed, changed utterly

This briefing looks at the experience of Covid-19 in Ireland and reflects on the role played by the local authorities while also looking towards the future and the impending challenges that now face local government in light of recent events in Ukraine. Read here.

Understanding the key priorities for council leaders in a post-Covid environment

This briefing covers the top national priorities of council leaders in a post-Covid-19 environment, as outlined in the recently-published Australian Local Government CEO Index 2022. Read here.

The big lesson from the Covid-19 pandemic: local authorities are vital

In this article, Richard Machin, a Senior Lecturer in social work and health at Nottingham Trent University, argues that not everything about the Covid-19 pandemic was unprecedented. Instead, the situation demonstrated the vital role local authorities play in supporting the local community and we now need to value that even more going forward. Read here.

The new normal and how we got here

Post-Covid cities: how might the pandemic change urban areas?

Cities have a long relationship with pandemics and a history of evolving in response to adverse events. Will Covid-19 change cities and towns? Will city dwellers flee cities for the suburbs, towns and countryside? Will cities become stronger, greener and more inclusive? Or will the recovery mean ‘business as usual’? Read here.

We’re all in the same storm, but not in the same boat: the long-lasting health equity impacts of Covid-19

Recent research, including the latest Public Health England report, shows that more deprived communities face additional hazards that put them at risk of catching the virus or dying from the effects of the pandemic. In this briefing, we offer policy recommendations for local governments and communities to come out of Covid-19 healthier and fairer. Read here.

Evolving democratic deliberation for today’s diverse societies

This briefing discusses the need for democratic practices such as deliberation to evolve for today’s diverse societies. It argues that greater involvement through deliberation is not enough, but ‘inclusive involvement’ should be the goal. It is especially topical given the current complex debate over BLM. Read here.

How can local governments address social isolation?

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, social isolation was already a complex, escalating issue.  This briefing looks at social isolation, as distinct from loneliness, and how governments can address it moving forward. Read here.

The role of creative and cultural sectors in economic recovery

This briefing looks at the role and impact of our creative and cultural sectors. This includes understanding the economic and social wellbeing benefits of these sectors, the impacts of COVID-19, and how local governments can help these sectors to lead local economic recovery. Read here.

Covid-19: Recovering from the virus – sustainable local economic strategies

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and The Democracy Collaborative (TDC) have published two reports that urge a new approach to economic development. The briefing summarises the two reports and comments on the policy implications. Read here.

Minorities and Covid-19

BAME communities and Covid-19

That different Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups are being hit very hard by Covid-19 started to become apparent early on in the UK’s experience of the pandemic. With the publication of the second Public Health England report, we finally have the first set of specific recommendations relating to those communities and Covid-19. Read here.

Understanding community resilience in our towns – Hopeful Towns

There is a growing divide in economic fortunes and political values between the UK’s cities and towns. This report from Hope Not Hate focuses on the resilience of towns to social changes brought by immigration and diversity. Social and economic challenges can make places more susceptible to toxic political narratives. Read here.

Covid-19: Vulnerability of Indigenous Australians not a new phenomenon

This briefing looks at how Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and governments responded quickly and decisively to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from COVID-19, and considers immediate and longer-term implications for remote communities. Read here.

Swift Read: Recovery – if not now, when?

This briefing briefly outlines the recent If not now, when? Social Renewable Advisory Board report and provides recommendations based on calls to action from the report. Read here.

Local government and Covid-19: issues for disadvantaged groups

“We are all in this together”. In one way this is true, but in other ways it is not. We look here at some of those groups who are facing the most severe consequences from Covid-19. The virus can strike anyone, but the economic and social effects will vary enormously.

An unequal experience: the impact of Covid-19 on ethnic minority people

The LGIU published a briefing on BAME communities and Covid-19 in June 2020. It was clear early on in the pandemic that different Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups were being hit very hard by Covid-19. This is an update on that briefing. Read here.

Economic impacts

The economic consequences of Covid-19

This briefing profiles the scale of the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic based mainly on statistical releases from the ONS. There is also an update on the state of public finances and a brief commentary on the latest Fiscal Risks Report produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). Read here.

Financial impacts of COVID-19 on Australian local governments

The focus of this briefing is the impact that COVID-19 restrictions introduced by the federal and state governments have had on local government service provision, how local government is supporting their local economies, and how they are dealing with the financial challenges in the short- and long-term. Read here.

Local government and Covid-19: the economic impact

It is clear that Covid-19 is already having a profound impact on economies globally and nationally. We consider here the negative effects on jobs, regions, sectors and individuals. We also consider the possible future implications for public spending and social and economic equality. Read here.

Health and social care impacts

A looming crisis: the mental health impacts of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown are impacting on people’s mental health. Mental health services are expecting a surge in demand into the next year and beyond. However, this cannot just be left to the health service, local councils need to be at the heart of a community recovery. Read here.

Swift Read: Covid-19 and addiction – a mutually reinforcing health issue

The following briefing examines the relationship between Covid-19 and addiction, and how each can exacerbate and worsen the effects of the other. Read here.

Local government and Covid-19: social care, a neglected service

There were over 4,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes in England in the two weeks up to 28 April. This briefing looks at the state of the social care sector pre-Covid,  the impact that the virus has had on care homes and domiciliary care and what lessons need learning. Read here.

Stand out international responses

Responses to Covid-19: learning from East Asian local government in the lead

This briefing explores East Asian local government responses to Covid-19 as case studies to learn and develop stronger responses in other councils. Read here.

Spotlight on Indonesia: embedding the UN Sustainable Development Goals and responding to COVID-19

This briefing also looks at the innovative ways Indonesian municipalities and regencies have responded to COVID-19. The urgent action required in order to respond to COVID-19 created a unique opportunity for local governments to act in ways that were outside of their normal operating models. Read here.

How Limerick City and County Council is using innovation to support Limerick through Covid-19

Aoife Madden, Head of Business Improvement for Limerick City and County Council, writes on the initiatives being brought forward by Limerick City and County Council to solve problems using innovative systems solutions during the Covid-19 outbreak. Read here.