The new publication provides articles produced by 26 Insper professors and discusses different lessons from the pandemic for public management
The year 2020 was a challenging one for everyone involved with Public Policy management. The coronavirus pandemic has brought urgent demands for the maintenance of living conditions in all countries of the world. One year after its beginning, it is possible to analyze the different lessons and teachings provided by this global emergency.
With this motivation, Insper professor Laura Müller Machado decided to head the initiative to bring together, in a book, several reflections by professors and researchers who looked into the pandemic’s legacies for Public Policy.
The book “O Legado de uma Pandemia” (“The Legacy of a Pandemic, in a free translation”) brings together texts by renowned researchers in different fields of knowledge, such as Aldo Musacchio, Bianca Tavolari, Carlos Eduardo Lins Da Silva, Carlos Melo, Diego Werneck Arguelhes, Elize Massard, Francisco Inácio Bastos, Gabriela Lotta, Hussein Kalout, Laura Müller Machado, Leandro Gillio , Lucas Novaes, Marcelo Marchesini, Marcos Jank, Marcos Lisboa, Marcos Mendes, Michael França, Milton Seligman, Naercio Menezes Filho, Natalia Pires de Vasconcelos, Paulo Furquim, Pedro Burgos, Ricardo Paes de Barros, Sandro Cabral, Sergio Firpo, and Sérgio Lazzarini.
The book is divided into four parts and began to be written already in the first months of the pandemic in Brazil. The goal was to get at least five authors willing to discuss the topic. In all, a total of 26 authors were involved in writing the book. It has 17 chapters, and each of its four parts discusses an aspect of the pandemic’s legacy for society and public management.
Following Insper’s goal of transforming Brazilian society through knowledge, the new publication is available for free in e-book format (in Portuguese). Thus, all those interested in discussing Public Policy in Brazil can have access to the debates and reflections the book proposes.
Also, to mark the work’s launch and availability for free, the school will host four meetings in webinar format, broadcasted online (in Portuguese). The events will take place on March 1, 2, 3, and 4 and can be accessed here:
March 1: A ordem social (The social order)
Check out our interview with Laura Müller Machado, Insper professor and organizer of the book:
How did the idea for this publication come about?
Already at the beginning of the pandemic, we were in a meeting with several members of the Insper’s Center for Public Policy and Administration (CGPP for its acronym in Portuguese). Then, Prof. Naercio Menezes Filho suggested that we could organize ourselves to write about the pandemic’s impacts on Public Policy. I volunteered to organize the book. I started with the objective of getting five authors to write articles on the topic. However, at the end of the process, we had 26 authors producing reflections for the book. Not only did people want to write, but also they were discussing the subject and inviting more interested people to the project.
The book’s theme is not to assess what had happened in the pandemic — something that is already being written on by other authors — but to think about what the legacy of this pandemic is. It is to look at what happened, whether good or bad, at what is left as lessons learned for Public Policy. Every experience generates learning, whether we are successful in that or not.
How was the book organized?
We realized that, in it, we had several messages organized in a very similar way to how the [Brazilian] Constitution is organized. For example, we have a part about the social order, which opens the book. In the second chapter, we talk about the economic order. That is, how the pandemic regulated the market differently.
In the third part, we look into how the Central State works. Thus, we seek to understand in which aspects the pandemic has changed the way it works and its efficiency. Finally, the fourth set of messages talks about journalism and institutional politics itself. The press played a critical role in communicating the pandemic, and this brought us several lessons. Our politicians were also affected, needing to learn to use evidence and receiving different demands from our society.
How do you assess the challenge of scientifically analyzing the more human side of the pandemic?
It was very challenging, as it was a new situation for everyone. The book was written in July 2020. Thus, we felt both the excitement of thinking about something new and the challenge of formulating thoughts about something that current. Many of the things we wrote about are lessons learned that were already being discussed. We saw that the pandemic accelerated specific processes. One example of that is work from home, which would take years to consolidate.
What impacts do you expect the book and the meetings proposed will have?
Everyone involved with the Public Policy universe has in this book a set of 17 messages that can help to think and do things in a new way. The excitement with the book comes from the possibility of giving information to those who work in the sector so that they can do this even more efficiently. It is the great motivation for holding these debates and publishing the book, whose digital version will be made available for free. That is all part of Insper’s vocation to change Brazil and provide quality information to people.
In your view, what is the importance of a Center of Studies like the CGPP, which is dedicated to research in Public Policy?
In the U.S., they have the Harvard Kennedy School. It is an institution focused on thinking public policies and supporting the government in case the Central State requires support for the work of designing policies to manage the country. The CGPP is a center that has that very goal in mind. All information and scientific evidence available that can help managers to formulate best practices must be coordinated and disseminated in the easiest way for them to have access. What science has to say can be revealing and have a relevant positive impact on society. The CGPP is crucial in this work of generating and communicating that information, training good managers for this work.