The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the world we live in. Some of the changes it has created are obvious while others are still revealing themselves. One thing is sure: the pandemic has impacted almost every area of life and will continue to influence the economy for many years to come.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic is unlikely to be the last disaster of its scale. The World Health Organization lists global influenza pandemics among the top 10 biggest threats to public health. Recovery is a matter of urgency - but it will not be easy.
After the seismic shock to the global economy, it is absolutely necessary for communities, individuals and organisations to come together to survive. The private sector is crucial in driving this change and allowing us to move forward. However, the nature and scale of this role is complex and worth further consideration.
The Direct Role of the Private Sector in Covid-19 Recovery
Firstly, the direct impact of the private sector in targeted investment should not be undermined. The private sector reduces the burden on governments to respond to this crisis.
According to Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer, 86% of people expect CEOs to lead the way on societal issues. There is perhaps no more significant societal issue than Covid-19 recovery.
Since the rise in ESG-driven business, there is a higher expectation on companies to make an active effort to contribute. Many companies are interested in their shareholders and stakeholders and channel funds directly into disaster response. Local communities are often supported financially by the investments of the private sector.
Many private sector firms also work with public sector organisations to react to their ESG concerns. Even if their contribution is not specifically related to Covid-19, the redistribution of funds will play a key role in economic recovery. Investment in healthcare infrastructure can support the capacity of struggling countries to deal with the pandemic.
On top of this direct contribution, the private sector has a massive indirect effect on disaster recovery.
The Indirect Role of the Private Sector in Covid-19 Recovery
It is a time of change for the private sector, but one thing is sure: survival is key.
The robust survival of the private sector supports economic recovery in numerous ways. By maintaining operations through the pandemic, organisations can provide jobs and livelihoods for people around the world.
Furthermore, the private sector can contribute directly to damage limitation which will support recovery. By implementing measures that protect their employees and customers, organisations can reduce the spread of Covid-19.
This may involve establishing clear hygiene standards, limiting face-to-face contact through virtual meetings, or encouraging vaccinations.
Although this has an evident moral significance, there is also value to the economy. By maintaining a skilled workforce, organisations can drive financial growth and avoid hefty training fees.
Beyond this, the private sector’s unique strength is the ability to drive innovation and transform existing infrastructure. The world was not ready for the pandemic. As a result, we have to quickly adapt to the new economic landscape.
The private sector can encourage the adoption of new technologies that will support different communities. New products, techniques and insights can improve the existing health infrastructure we have. Around the world, technology can be the difference between life and death.
Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation but this is a trend which has been underway for many years. The future is digital. The unique power of the private sector is in driving change in the right direction and ensuring that the technology we adopt is the best possible solution.
What is the Next Step for the Private Sector in Covid-19 Recovery
One key takeaway from the past two years is that the private sector needs to focus on establishing a sense of coordination. Across the world, countries found their pandemic contingency plans were not sufficient. If there is one thing we can learn, it’s how to improve existing risk assessments.
To start with, contributions to Covid-19 recovery should be well-researched and targeted. There is no point throwing money at the problem and hoping it will go away.
At this stage, there are information gaps in the contributions companies are making which makes it difficult to direct funds to the right places. This makes it difficult to track developments and is a clear area for improvement.
In the coming years, there will be many new challenges facing the private sector. Things will not be easy, but through smart analysis and clear, actionable strategies, businesses can play their part in survival and recovery.
How Can Convene Support Your Business in Covid-19 Recovery?
A Board portal like Convene is designed to improve your internal practices so you can create a coherent disaster recovery plan for Covid-19. The all-in-one solution will streamline communication and allow you to focus on the important things.
From planning the agenda to establishing an audit trail, our comprehensive software is there for every step of the journey. When information can flow seamlessly, different people can come together and speak with one voice.