What did COVID-19 teach us about preparing for mega-crises?

Before 2020, the UK was seen as well prepared for a crisis. In the first half of 2020, this belief was sorely tested. With “long emergencies” likely to be an increasing feature of our modern world, what can governments learn from COVID-19 to prepare for future crises, whether health-related or not?

Join us online to hear about a new report by Professor of Practice Ciaran Martin and colleagues examining aspects of how the first six months of COVID-19 played out in the UK and in four comparator countries: Italy, Germany, Australia and Singapore.

A central thesis of the report is that wide-reaching, long-lasting, complex and evolving crises are becoming more likely (thanks to climate change and other factors), and that these “long emergencies” require a different type of mindset and preparation than prevailed before COVID-19 in many countries’ crisis management systems. The report examines the UK’s crisis preparedness going into COVID-19, how this played out in the first six months of 2020, and – with reference to the four comparators – what can be done now in the UK and around the world to prepare for the next, undoubtedly different, crisis.

The report was funded by the Wellcome Trust.