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29 Apr. 2020 | Comments (0)

The public sector is scrambling to address the massive public health and economic crisis driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. As policymakers and bureaucrats at all levels of government have sought to ameliorate harm and spur an effective response, the performance of many government programs and systems—in terms of meeting demand for fast changes, increased use, and more flexible operations—has been rocky at best. New legislation designed to provide trillions of dollars in relief has met, at least initially, with several challenges that may be reducing the speed and effectiveness of intended aid. Hana Schank (https://www.newamerica.org/our-people/hana-schank/) Director of Strategy for Public Interest Technology at New America, a former member of the US Digital Service, and co-author of a forthcoming book on public interest technology and the recent essay “Why the rollout of the $2 trillion CARES Act was a colossal mess” (https://www.fastcompany.com/90491891/why-the-rollout-of-the-2-trillion-cares-act-was-a-colossal-mess), joins to discuss why the rollout of relief has been a challenge, the roots of the public sector’s struggle to deliver aid more effectively, and what Congress and other policymakers can do to improve future performance.

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