The Source Code of Efficient Public Policy
National governments owe it to their citizens to embrace solutions that have been shown to increase the efficiency and sharpen the precision of decision-making. During a synchronous crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic – and with similar crises certain to follow in the coming years – citizens should demand no less.
BAKU – The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed the second global economic crisis in just 12 years. But, unlike the crash of 2008, which revealed severe structural flaws in the financial system, the current downturn has exposed the weaknesses of governments that have been struggling to implement a timely and efficient response to a public-health crisis and its economic fallout. One of the main obstacles is insufficient use of big data and available technologies that could accelerate and optimize public policymaking.
Owing to inadequate pandemic responses, governments around the world are losing citizens’ trust and support, which can exacerbate existing socioeconomic tensions. On one hand, quarantine measures harm the economy directly; on the other hand, premature relaxation of lockdowns leads to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. And as long as the pandemic persists, both scenarios fuel public discontent. After all, however correct a given decision may seem, an error may ruin or even end someone’s life.
But what if governments could use existing technologies to reduce significantly the margin of error while increasing the speed, accuracy, and, most important, the transparency of the decision-making process?