Scotland's recovery from COVID-19: learning

This report was developed with the Covid-19 Learning & Evaluation Oversight Group. It synthesises evidence from evaluations of Covid-19 interventions and workshops with senior leaders held over summer 2023. The findings reflect work being progressed as part of wider public service reform activity.

2. Learning to Inform Scotland's recovery from COVID-19

2.1 Introduction

This report was overseen by a subgroup of the COVID-19 Learning and Evaluation Group. The sub-group included the following non-Scottish Government members:

  • Professor Sarah Skerratt, Chief Executive, Royal Society Edinburgh
  • Jim McCormick, Chief Executive, Robertson Trust
  • Adam Hall, Programme Manager, Improvement Service
  • Adam Lang, Director, Carnegie UK

This report discusses 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. The sources include: Scottish Government evaluations of COVID-19 interventions, expert reviews funded by the COVID-19 Learning and Evaluation Oversight Group [1], 'learning from the pandemic' papers overseen by the COVID-19 Learning and Evaluation Oversight Group and a number of additional reports relevant to Covid recovery and learning. In addition, four workshops were held to inform this work and develop policy and practice implications.

The cross-cutting themes explored include:

1. Organisational Trust

2. Use of Data

3. Digital Technology

4. Acting with Urgency

5. Collaboration and Partnership Working

6. Reappraising Sectoral Contributions

7. Risk and Accountability

8. Geography

9. Equality and Inclusion

Between May and August 2023, nine thematic summaries were developed on the cross-cutting themes above. Annex A sets out the full thematic analysis of evaluations. Under each of the cross-cutting themes explored, key findings are presented and initial policy and practice implications are suggested, informed by contributions at the workshops.

Between late August and early September 2023, four workshops were held with around 50 representatives from across the public and third sector who had been involved in Covid Recovery work, to discuss the thematic summaries in detail.

Section 3 provides a summary of the workshop discussions, and addresses the questions:

  • 'what do we want to keep/ bring back from the pandemic?'
  • 'what needs to change?'; and
  • 'what are the key strategic opportunities to embed learning?'

Annex B provides a list of the evaluations reviewed, and primary research and other reports that informed the summaries.

Annex C lists the workshop participants and details of the workshop events.



Back to top