Responding to COVID-19 and Recovering Better is a compilation volume of UN DESA’s policy brief series released during the period of April-June, focusing on the economic and social impact of COVID-19.
It presents detailed analysis and solid evidence needed for effective decision-making on a number of critical social and economic issues. It also presents key policy recommendations to support the Secretary-General's initiatives in response to COVID-19 and help the international community to navigate the policy choices ahead.
Global macroeconomic outlook and the impact of fiscal and monetary policy response
As the pandemic hit and the socio-economic impacts began to unfold, UN DESA kept a keen eye on the macroeconomic impacts, projecting global and regional contractions. In support of countries struggling to shore-up their healthcare systems while keeping their people and economies afloat, the Department put forward key recommendations for fiscal policy to buttress these efforts and slow the trajectory of the negative effects.
Macroeconomic impact on both developing and developed countries
As the economic impacts rippled across the world, reaching some corners even faster than the virus itself, UN DESA detailed the real and potential impacts on countries in special situations. Beyond ensuring access to essential goods for landlocked developing countries and small island countries, the Department’s analysis put forth key recommendations for policies that would not only buttress impact now, but springboard future development on a more sustainable and resilient trajectory.
Social impact: Inequality and vulnerable groups
The COVID-19 and its economic impacts shook the world along existing fault lines of exclusion, inequality and disadvantage, revealing deep set gaps access to essential services and secure livelihoods among social groups in many societies. In addressing these issues, UN DESA gave particular attention to the impact of the crises on older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and youth, providing recommendations for ensuring that policies or response and recovery address effective inclusion of these disproportionately impacted members of society.
The Role of science, technology and governance for effective policy responses
Science and technology have played a critical role, not only in understanding the virus itself, but in enabling continuing productivity and education, for those with access, as countries locked down and many activities began to be undertaken remotely. UN DESA policy briefs showed the need for a better science-policy-society interface and more effective governance, in order to ensure the best science and technology is available in crisis response and recovery. More generally, the briefs also called for improved state-people relationships through increased transparency and accountability in public institutions.
Working together for effective recovery
As countries begin to recover from COVID-19, coherent and comprehensive actions aligned with the 2030 Agenda can place the world on a robust trajectory towards achieving sustainable development. Responses must be oriented toward the future and avoid a return to “business as usual” activities with coordinated national actions and re-invigorated global partnerships for development.