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The Covid-19 Pandemic: Lessons for Irish Public Policy

This research from the National Economic and Social Council reviews international experience of emergencies and the Covid-19 pandemic, looks at examples of Ireland’s response to the pandemic, and identifies five key lessons for Irish public policy.  These are:

  1. Vulnerability is complex and context-specific, meaning pinpointing and managing vulnerability are crucial.
  2. Stakeholder networks and experts shape outcomes, so the policy system must stay deeply engaged.
  3. Real-time evidence, when used alongside longer-run data, has the power to transform policymaking, suggesting that the analytical activity which aided in the pandemic response can be applied in other areas of public policy.
  4. Adapting the policy world to the data world requires significant effort, meaning that governance, privacy, access, confidentially and data-sharing issues must be prioritised and addressed with urgency.
  5. Communication and trust are critical for responding to crises. Policymakers must improve their capacity to reach out, to listen actively, and to communicate clearly. They must also work to ensure their decisions deliver, and are seen to deliver, for society.


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