Covid Recovery strategy activity overview and next steps report

This report identifies and captures key learnings from the implementation of the Covid Recovery strategy in order to inform future approaches to public service reform.

Executive summary

The Covid Recovery Strategy (CRS) was put in place to respond to three urgent challenges; to address the systemic inequalities made worse by Covid, make progress towards a wellbeing economy and accelerate inclusive, person-centred services.

At the end of an 18 month period, multiple key achievements can be identified:

  • The CRS helped to identify common barriers nationally in policy design and in local service delivery that have been seen to impede the effectiveness of delivery. These are now being used to inform a ‘once for Scotland’ approach to public service reform with dedicated or surge capacity to take away barriers on funding, data and enabling others to change, while also working together on models of accountability and funding.
  • The CRS led to the establishment of a joint forum to support reform through ongoing engagement between the Scottish Government and Local Government. This informed the development of the Verity House Agreement which sets out how Scottish and Local Government will work together strategically to advance public service reform in the future. It includes a commitment to working constructively and quickly to remove barriers which hinder flexibility. It will do this by focusing initially on common challenges identified through the Covid Recovery Strategy in order to enable the design and delivery of services for and around people.
  • The CRS established two Pathfinders programmes in Glasgow and Dundee that are successfully supporting families out of poverty by testing innovative models through targeted approaches at a local level. Work is now underway to build on the insight and learnings from the initial Pathfinders to support Local Authorities in the delivery of holistic, person-centred public services across Scotland.
  • An outcome framework was developed to provide focus and vision for CRS actions. This outcome-based model is now being used to inform a new approach to public service reform that will support greater funding flexibility for Local Government as outlined in the Verity House Agreement.
  • The strategy identified and tracked a number of actions that were being delivered across multiple policy areas. This provided assurance to the CRS Programme Board that the majority of actions were understood to be progressing as planned or were completed. As a result a decision was made to focus on the priority actions that were considered to have the most impact on delivering the vision and outcomes set out in the strategy. Subsequently the board was better able to focus its efforts on barrier reduction and on examining work towards person-led service delivery.

Scottish Government and COSLA are committed to a joint approach to reform. The Covid Recovery Strategy has been instrumental in demonstrating the potential for reform that has been jointly delivered in partnership. The activity and learnings from the CRS are already informing the actions required to deliver the change needed to provide preventative, person-centred and fiscally sustainable public services to the people of Scotland.



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