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Governments around the world remain in crisis management mode as they respond to the socioeconomic consequences of COVID-19 and prepare for the transition to a postpandemic world. The effects of the pandemic include slowdowns in economic growth, loss of productive capacity, widespread unemployment, sharp contractions in international trade, slowing flows of external development resources, and an almost complete halt in travel and tourism, especially in the Asia-Pacific region (UNESCAP, 2021, COVID-19 Pandemic and the Asia-Pacific LDCs).
The concept of “doing more with less” is familiar to the public sector, but COVID-19 has pushed this notion to a new extreme. With reduced tax revenues, emergency spending, the need to cut costs, and increasingly higher demand for services, public-sector entities must think fundamentally differently about how services are delivered and how to ensure that public-sector financing is resilient going forward. Postpandemic priorities that open pathways to sustainable recovery and policy directions that address systemic issues such as climate change, poverty, inequality, etc. must be identified and evaluated.
This conference will examine advances in technologies and innovations to enhance public service delivery and the productivity of the public sector post-COVID-19 while addressing pressures to deliver more and better-quality services amid many new and continuing challenges.
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