Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Resilient communities


By Matthew Hardwick, Zurich Municipal

Zurich Municipal LogoToday, the public sector is changing faster than ever – and with change comes risk. Public services are increasingly confronted by a growing range of new areas of vulnerability, such as complex supply chains. 

The public sector works increasingly with third party organisations to deliver services. Fully understanding these providers and their risks is key to having a full scope of an authority’s risk profile. 

Staff responsibilities for managing commercial ventures need to be considered and valued when exploring alternative service provision. 

The interconnectivity of new technology

We are already witnessing the continuation of the fourth Industrial Revolution with robotics and AI supporting organisations. However, are we fully aware of the risks these pose and understanding of the applications? Who is accountable for them in the event of a failure is one area of risk which other organisations are exploring to better understand. We have also seen cases of unconscious bias built into AI which impacts on the usability of data harvested by AI.

Funding reductions and civil unrest

Our communities are increasingly feeling the strain of market conditions. Coupled with a desire to know more and expect more there is an increasing burden on local authorities to get service provision right first time. Managing an increasingly vociferous customer base is vital to establishing and maintaining a positive reputation. 

Environmental risks

This year’s edition of the Global Risk Report from the World Economic Forum highlighted a dramatic and sustained shift in the profile of environmental risks impacting on our society. With the local impacts of recent storm damage still being dealt with in parts of the UK we will also consider future risks associated to the climate change agenda and solutions to ensuring these risks are being monitored and mitigated suitably.

This ‘perfect storm’ scenario poses real risks to the long-term resilience of our public services in responding to major challenges in the future.

Explore more

  • Attend Zurich's session - Resilient Communities - at CIPFA Public Finance Live Scotland 2020. Running on both days. Matthew will review the current Global Risk Report, explore those macro risks and how they are likely to impact on a micro scale for organisations. Whilst exploring the likely risks, the session will also look at solutions to risk including horizon scanning workshops and how to build and maintain a positive risk culture within organisations.