How Digital Service Teams are Responding to COVID-19

David Eaves, Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, writes for Apolitical how digital government is on the frontlines of pandemic response

Photo by Hack Capital on Unsplash
  • Create a simple flat-file version of your website with the most essential information. A lot of government websites are crashing due to increased traffic. Creating a flat-file website with the most important information that you can stand up if your site is overwhelmed can ensure your citizens have access to the most important information if your site goes down.
  • Update your 404 page. Add the most relevant Covid-19 related links in case someone gets the wrong URL and is not tech savvy enough to know what a 404 page is. This can help steer them to where the right information lies. It would also be wise to link to key national websites and resources.
  • Make sure your governance and decision-making remains up and running. In some places, the law requires political decision-making bodies such as councils to meet physically to make decisions. It may be a good idea to get your local or regional government to adjust rules to be able to pass resolutions remotely now, before you are overwhelmed by the crises, to ensure decisions can continue to be made over the coming months if a period of self-isolation is drawn out.

Share best practices by sharing code

Think about data strategically

Second challenges

Do not forget what comes next

The big picture: digital readiness is crisis readiness

Resources

↗️ Find the original article on apolitical

About the Author David Eaves

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Harvard Ash Center

Research center and think tank at Harvard Kennedy School. Here to talk about democracy, government innovation, and Asia public policy.