Skip to content
CPI in the news Article September 23rd, 2020
Cities • Innovation

Cities Today: Inclusive leadership: Five lessons in crisis response for digital government leaders

Partnering for Learning

We put our vision for government into practice through learning partner projects that align with our values and help reimagine government so that it works for everyone.

Partner with us


Bridget Nurre Jennions, Centre for Public Impact

+44 7387 522788



Inclusive leadership: Five lessons in crisis response for digital government leaders

Beatriz Cano Buchholz and Shaheen Warren share insights from CPI's recent report on European cities' rapid and creative reactions to the pandemic.

Originally published by Cities Today.


At the start of 2020, very few of us would have predicted that the driving force behind the overwhelming digitisation of government services was going to be a global health pandemic. As some of us know too well, many government teams across the world have been striving to move their services online and employ new technologies to meet the increasing demands of citizens for digital services that are smooth, efficient, user friendly and impactful to help complete the more mundane tasks of life.

In part, governments who have fared less well during the pandemic are those relying heavily on paper -based systems and face-to-face meetings within government agency offices. Through CPI's work with local governments across Europe, we have seen that those who have long invested in digitising their systems endured less disruption, and those that have not are discovering how useful it would be if a lot more official business took place online. Certainly the political support needed to drive digital transformation across city halls in Europe is now stronger than ever.

But as our recent study of innovative responses to the crisis has shown - it's not enough for services to be hastily moved online. There are numerous examples we can cite of where digital transformation has missed the mark - from the mistakes of big tech giants, to the blunders of government efforts to have technology make the big decisions and implement new systems without proper thought for inclusivity in design. The governments who are at the forefront of the unprecedented wave of innovation we are seeing in cities across Europe are those that have taken a values-led approach to their crisis response.


Read the complete piece on Cities Today.


About the Centre for Public Impact

The Centre for Public Impact is a not-for-profit founded by Boston Consulting Group. Believing that governments can and want to do better for people, we work side-by-side with governments—and all those who help them—to reimagine government, and turn ideas into action, to bring about better outcomes for everyone. We champion public servants and other changemakers who are leading this charge and develop the tools and resources they need so we can build the future of government together.