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.

Activity overview and next steps

The CRS Programme Board provided a forum for a joint approach to reform between the Scottish Government and Local Government at a senior political and official level.

While person-centred, holistic service provision is a focus for many councils and their partners, it has not been delivered at sufficient scale and across organisations as to meet the fiscal challenges and rising demand being experienced. The CRS has supported and delivered areas of work that take practical steps to removing some of the barriers that have stood in the way of scaling smaller, more localised, success stories.

We developed an outcome framework to illustrate the outcomes that contribute to the three long-term outcomes articulated in the strategy.

Two Pathfinders were established in Glasgow and Dundee to support families out of poverty by testing innovative models through targeted local approaches.

Several systemic barriers were also identified, both nationally in policy design and at a local level in terms of service delivery, which are seen to impede the effectiveness of delivery. Work continues to seek new ways to unblock these systemic barriers through close, collaborative working between national and local government.

The Covid 19 learning and evaluation oversight group was established to inform Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19. The group included senior leaders from a wide range of public, third sector and research organisations and funded and published seven expert reviews while also overseeing a number of ‘learning from the pandemic’ papers. The group identified a number of key cross cutting themes from a range of sources with the aim of supporting organisational learning from Scotland’s approach to the pandemic across the public sector and inform future approaches to public service reform. An executive summary was produced that draws out a number of overarching conclusions based on a thematic analysis of Scottish Government evaluations of Covid-19 interventions, expert reviews and reports relevant to Covid recovery, including learnings from the development and delivery of the Covid Recovery Strategy.

In June 2023, COSLA and the Scottish Government agreed a new Partnership Agreement Verity House agreement to set out a vision for a more collaborative approach to delivering shared priorities for the people of Scotland. Verity House directly references the joint work carried out under CRS as forming the basis for future strategic working to advance public service reform. This agreement is significant, as it was borne out of the realisation that a reset in the relationship between Scottish and local government was required. It recognised that, much more needed to be done in order to realise the full potential of Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) with a focus on making the most of the totality of resource in local areas.



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