Learning from The 2020 Pandemic Response

A pandemic is an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of individuals. A widespread endemic disease with a stable number of infected individuals is not a pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the strengths and exposing the weaknesses of governments, defence, security forces and the private sector in their crisis preparedness and response. In order for future responses to be more robust and resilient, governments will need to understand how these actors collaborate and map leadership priorities.

It offers a structured approach to mapping these links between institutions to determine any weaknesses. Contributors to the report include Malcolm Brown, former Deputy Minister of Public Safety in Canada; Sir Craig Mackey, former Deputy Commission of the Metropolitan Police Service in London; and Peter Van Uhm, retired general and former Chief of Defence of the Netherlands.

Using PwC’s Security Ecosystem Assessment Map framework, developed by experts in the defence and security fields, leaders can examine the ways in which their organisations must adapt to changing situations and connect with other entities to improve future responses to crises.

George Alders, of PwC’s Global Government Security Sector, says: “The world of police work and the crimes they must tackle is changing and evolving as technology drives new types of crimes and societal behaviours. Amid this transformation, during the COVID-19 pandemic, police are being asked to do even more – enforcing social distancing, restrictions on movement between countries, even the wearing of face masks.”

Terry Weber, of PwC’s Global Government Defence Sector, says: “The response to the COVID-19 pandemic was uncharted territory in many respects and was the ultimate test of trusted institutions to be agile and flexible in the face of immense pressure.”

Malcolm Brown, Senior Strategic Advisor, PwC Canada, says: “This pandemic is far from over. Governments will be challenged to meet the needs of citizens as economies re-open, employees return to work, international travel resumes, and health and social care systems reassess their capacities in the face of fluctuating COVID-19 infection rates.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers is a multinational professional services network of firms, operating as partnerships under the PwC brand. PwC ranks as the second-largest professional services network in the world and is considered one of the Big Four accounting firms.

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