Empathy's Surprising Role in Recovery
September 18, 2020 by
In times of crisis, no one is in a better position than public servants to ensure communities stay safe, calm, and healthy.
Public leaders at all levels of government have faced unprecedented challenges this year. As communities work through the recovery from COVID-19, address civil unrest, and a slate of other challenges triggered this year, the need for coordinated approaches, evidence-based policies, and cooperation among jurisdictions is crucial.
Socrata users across the U.S. are sharing their best practices, lessons, and strategies as they’ve spent the year responding to crisis, addressing emergencies, and working to close gaps in equity in their communities. To join the conversation, attend our next Socrata Performance Community of Practice.
Know Your Data Team
From U.S. Senate hearing to city council webcasts, data-use has become a critical piece of the puzzle at all levels of government. What’s also emerging are the cracks caused by weak data governance frameworks, siloed systems, and gaps in our ability to simply talk about data with a range of stakeholders.
While data has become part of daily conversations around COVID-19 recovery strategies, there is value in continuing to make it a part of our everyday conversations outside of the pandemic. Your organization’s data analysists and data stewards can play a role in nearly every facet of government work. Meet them and build a relationship, and make data part of your every day.
Build Partnerships Across Jurisdictions
Interactions between the public and their governments is closer than it’s been in a long time. Open data portals are emerging as the instrument-of-choice to keep the public engaged and informed.
We’re seeing Herculean efforts in organizations rapidly standing up new open data portals to give the public, community partners, and others access to real-time, authoritative insights. They’re tracking COVID-19 tests and outcomes, sharing details on tax payment extension programs, and monitoring the financial impacts of the pandemic.
The examples above are only possible with the cooperation of government agencies and departments working together to share information with the public and other stakeholders.
This year has shown us a lot about being human. At the end of the day, it’s crucial we don’t lose sight of being a human first.
As we navigate how to share the dining table with our students, our spouses, and our work families; how to celebrate life markers while practicing social distancing; and how to adjust to this “new normal,” take time to practice empathy.
Perhaps your city or county reconfigured its trash pick-up teams and now the bulk waste schedule is a month behind — as one participant in the Community of Practice experienced — or some street repair projects have been deprioritized as a result of budget shortfalls.
Be patient with yourself and with others. And remember, you’re solving problems with people, not for them.