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Next Gen Gov Asia — Governing in an Age of Long Emergencies

“Everything that we are doing is an experiment, governance experiments for learning and reforming at a pace faster than ever”*

During the course of the last few months we have seen the Asia Pacific region crystalize its global leadership role in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today’s world is a systemocracy: a world of near real-time interdependency and new shared regional vulnerabilities. The pandemic is exposing its vulnerabilities.

For the Asia Pacific region to move forward, together we need to drive structural reform of our governance models, public services and welfare — reinventing them to be fit for the 21st century to drive achievement of the SDGs. This will require rapidly and radically expanding them to include those poor and marginalized, and disproportionately hit by the cascading crises.

Sensemaking — grounding our work in the realities of “the strange now”

We spent the last few weeks in listening mode: mapping bold policy moves and citizen driven initiatives, interviewing policy makers across Asia Pacific who are at the forefront of the COVID response, and organizing intergovernmental, peer-to-peer dialogues.

  1. Scaffolding & accelerating education & skills transition
  2. Remaking social welfare in an age of long emergencies.
  3. Investing in the creation of lead markets & economic development
  4. Governance & statecraft in uncertainty.

The need for “a new how” — Real Time, High Speed, Full Scale

Addressing the speed and scale of risks requires us to recognize we are no longer in an age of small-scale experimentation. We do not have the luxury to create evidence in support of national scale roll outs — we simply don’t have the time if we are “to take 100% of decisions with 50% of knowledge”. This future will demand a new type of public programming (& reprogramming) for adapting to radical uncertainty.

NextGenGovAsia: a collaborative journey with policymakers from across Asia

Having identified the new openings created by the pandemic response, honed in the priorities for action and the “new how”, it is time to accelerate the transition to a different normal. We also want to focus on intergovernmental learning — the pandemic crisis has highlighted the need for new mechanisms to transfer experiences and insights across borders.

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Over the next 6 months, we will bring together leading civil servants, diverse partners from the national ecosystems from the private sector to community groups, and global experts to work on the 5 priorities areas identified above.
  1. Accelerate intergovernmental learning
  2. Seed a secure, collaborative launchpad for regional innovation in the future of statecraft

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In the Asia-Pacific region, we are interpreting the renewed mandate for innovation as an opportunity to reframe: follow us and contribute as we explore

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