Local public services and sustainable development: shifts in priorities due to Covid-19

Emergency Governance for Cities and Regions, April 2022

Analytics Note #05 seeks to capture the change in focus devoted to different local public services by city governments around the globe since the onset of the COVID-19 emergency. The data comes from Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs). VLRs are a process by which local and regional governments undertake an assessment of their progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The analysis revealed that, while health services unsurprisingly moved up the list of priorities for local public service provision, utility services remained the top concern for cities and regions around the globe. There was also an upsurge in the attention given to public services and amenities increasingly regarded as ‘new essentials’, namely mental health services, public space, care, digitisation of government services and widespread access to broadband.

This publication is the fifth in the series of Analytics Notes by the Emergency Governance Initiative (EGI) led by LSE Cities, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and the World Association of the Major Metropolises (Metropolis). This Initiative investigates the institutional dimensions of rapid and radical action in response to global emergencies to provide city and regional governments with frameworks, knowledge, and resources to navigate the new demands of leading emergency responses. The data-focused Notes are published alongside Policy Briefs which present forward-looking propositions, reform agendas, governance innovations and critical perspectives Additional lessons on how local public services worldwide have dealt with emergencies are contained in Policy Brief #05 Local Public Services in Crisis Mode: Adapting Governance Models to Exceptional Times

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