The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has always existed to equip political leaders with practical support and policy solutions and works with many governments around the world. At this critical time, we have switched our entire focus onto the extraordinary challenge of Covid-19.
In Africa, we are directly supporting leaders on the ground. Prior to Covid-19 the Institute had 100 staff embedded within 14 governments in Africa and many are staying in-country to provide practical support. The focus of our work varies according to the needs, and some current examples include:
Advising on overhauling the national emergency hotline in Burkina Faso
Supporting the repurposing of textile manufacturing operations in Ethiopia to produce personal protective equipment
Helping to identify critical supply needs for PPE, respirators, ventilators and test kits as well as supply solutions across Africa
Providing analysis and insights on the evolution of the pandemic in Africa to offer rapid lessons to leaders
Supporting crisis response coordinators in several presidencies to establish crisis management structures, including in the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Togo
In addition, all the Institute’s Covid-19 Tools for Government compendium is free to share and download.
In the UK, TBI policy teams are providing policy advice and analysis, publishing briefings and research papers to help inform policymakers and stimulate the public debate. Our policy work is shaping the agenda, with a particular focus on approaches to the exit strategy and mass testing.
In Covid-19 Testing in the UK: Unpicking the Lockdown, Tony Blair recommends the UK Government appoints a Minister for Testing and a new oversight of the testing operation outside of Public Health England. The second paper in our series argues that the only way out of the crisis is mass testing, and development of a clear exit strategy involving testing and tracing together with the use of technology.
The economic impact of this crisis will be enormous. The challenge is not only to save lives but also livelihoods. Our economists have developed an Economic Policy-Response Observatory which maps the latest developments in countries around the world as they respond. This will inform our briefing and advice to governments on their economic approach to help mitigate the impact of the crisis on their economies.
Our paper on Exit Strategies outlines options and trade-offs on the road to ending lockdown measures that limits the health damage while allowing the economy to revive.
Technology and Innovation
Technology is a vital tool in the global response. It has an important role to play both in terms of monitoring, responding to and ultimately eradicating this disease, and in how we are adapting the way we live and work to the new normal.
Our briefings on Mass Community Testing and Contact Tracing examine the critical role technology has to play, while the paper Technology and the Response to Covid-19 sets out our approach to how technology can both help fight the virus and cushion the impact it has had on the way we live and work.
Our Generation Global team have turned their expertise to help address the challenge of home schooling. The Institute is supporting UNESCO to find innovative solutions for mass distance learning.
Our extremism policy unit has produced a snapshot covering how extremists are exploiting the crisis, along with geopolitical analysis. The Global Extremism Monitor methodology (GEM) is being adapted to track Covid-19 linked public unrest and communal violence.