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Transition to Recovery

The NESC Secretariat are actively reviewing the latest policy developments and literature related to Covid-19, and monitoring events in other countries in key policy areas, such as enterprise/employee supports, social policy responses, behavioural change and insights, and sustainable regrowth and development. This will supplement our recently completed research on economic transition, that is relevant to Covid-19, dealing with employment vulnerability and building resilience in times of economic change.

In March last, NESC published Council Report No 149: Addressing Employment Vulnerability as Part of a Just Transition in Ireland (see here). There are lessons from that research that  can help Ireland’s transition to recovery post Covid-19. These include committing to the principle that nobody is left behind, commitment to data collection and evidence from multiple sources, ensuring the process is participatory, and providing a vision for Ireland as resilient, sustainable, thriving, and net zero. Such a vision can help frame our post-pandemic recovery.  The Council’s recommendations emphasise a high-quality jobs economy, targeted funding and proactively engaging with employees about their skills.  The report also focuses on making businesses more resilient by supporting companies which are vulnerable but viable, something that has really come to the fore in the present emergency.

Building on this, and the Council’s extensive body of research, our current work encompasses the key question of, as the public health scenario becomes clearer, how can Ireland build a resilient recovery and address the wider economic and social implications of the crisis? The NESC Secretariat’s research interests in this area include:

  • how the crisis is managed in Ireland and in other countries, the financial and human costs, and lessons that will support the move into a recovery phase;
  • if, and how, a differentiated and managed approach to recovery can feed into public health advice which has economic and societal benefits; and
  • how a vision of the future can help motivate people in times of uncertainty, and reinforce the desire for a fairer, more inclusive society and economy with a greater focus on supportive public services and quality of life.

Working papers on these topics will appear below.

Our body of research in this area is being built-up daily and will inform the work of the Council and the wider policy-system in the weeks and months ahead.