Governing Effectively During Challenging Times


Governments worldwide are facing overlapping crises, including COVID-19, debt, climate change, and conflict, which challenge their ability to provide essential public goods and services to their people, especially the most vulnerable. Fiscal constraints, climate-related disasters, wars, and lack of legitimacy often limit governments’ capacity to act effectively.

Anna Bjerde, Managing Director of the World Bank, emphasized the need for multilateral banks, governments, and NGOs to collaborate with “humility”, share information, and be transparent and innovative, to support governments in delivering critical needs and building resilience to prepare for future crises.

Two Finance Ministers, Sergii Marchenko of Ukraine and Pablo Arosamena of Ecuador, shared how their governments are functioning under challenging circumstances. Marchenko noted that the Ukrainian government continued to pay pensions daily since the Russian invasion began, which boosted morale. Arosamena narrated how Ecuador partnered with the private sector, army, and government to vaccinate 90% of the population quickly.

Other speakers, including Shameran Abed, president of BRAC, and Mirjana Spolrajic of the International Committee of the Red Cross, discussed their organizations’ approaches to addressing economic and social vulnerabilities in different regions worldwide. Abed emphasized the importance of empowering people to take development into their own hands, while Spolrajic stressed the need for humanitarian aid organizations to work with development banks to transition from assistance to socio-economic plans tailored to specific regions.