#BeyondTheOutbreak: A Live Learning Experience on the value of public services provision in response to crises

#BeyondTheOutbreak: A Live Learning Experience on the value of public services provision in response to crises

Resilient communities go beyond the immediate responses to crisis. Together with health authorities and the communities who have proactively shown their solidarity to mitigate the current outbreak of COVID-19, local and regional governments are at the forefront of the crisis working to maintain an orderly functioning of public services in cities and territories around the world, and contributing to the resilience of the planet.

Mayors and councilors around the world are, every day, addressing their communities and working to avoid panic among residents, empowering their communities to self-organize to trace, support, and prevent the further spread of the virus and meet the scale of the current urgency.

UCLG is launching a live learning experience for local and regional governments that, through solidarity and political will, are pushing more than ever to fulfill their critical role as drivers of change. They are working to carry out an affordable and fair service delivery, fostering the preservation of the commons, and promoting human rights just as we are going through of one of the most challenging crises of the 21st Century.

This Live Learning Experience, facilitated by UCLG, Metropolis, and UN-Habitat, will aim to harness the solidarity and the political will of those local and regional governments on the frontline, showcasing the value of local public servants who are pushing to carry out a fair service delivery, fostering the preservation of the commons, and promoting human rights in the midst of this crisis.

The live learning experience will be built around three blocks:

●      To create a virtual and living community, a safe environment, to share experiences of crisis management and protection of the commons through series of virtual exchanges on specific topics related to the role of public service delivery between cities and partners. 

●      The development and dissemination of a guide together with UN Habitat to equip the constituency for quick and effective response to the ongoing emergency situation that derives from the current outbreak taking stock of the situation, learning to date, and gaps on key issues related to COVID-19 preparedness and response.

●      An online repository www.citiesforglobalhealth.org/ facilitated by Metropolis, to allow for the active sharing of materials, strategies, and protocols by members around the world to help others succeed and rapidly scale up the fight against the virus.

The first phase of this collective exercise involves the participation of a limited group of local and regional governments, across different regions of the world and in different phases of contagion of the current pandemic including Barcelona, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Durban, Lampedusa, Madrid, Rome, Toulouse, and Xi’an. These governments will share the different actions taken to raise public awareness and implement emergency mechanisms that help maintain an orderly functioning of services.

The first exercise will be facilitated by UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Habitat Maimunah Mohd. Sharif, and will take place on Wednesday, 25 March at 15:00 CET. The exercise will showcase the “Cities for Global Health” platform, shared by Metropolis, and highlight the priorities of local and regional governments, not just in regards to managing the COVID-19 pandemic, but in how they are withholding public services in times of crisis.

International partners, including Habitat International Coalition, the International Union of Public Transport, Public Service International, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, together with UN Agencies coordinated by UN-Habitat, will provide specific inputs to enhance and collecting of learnings to better prepare for such challenges.

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