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The Future of Government: How will governments prepare for future crisis?

November 17, 2021




  • The devastating impacts of COVID-19 have underscored a lack of preparedness by governments. It is also clear that COVID is unlikely to be the last crises that countries will face, with increasingly frequent extreme weather events, elevated financial vulnerabilities and rising levels of conflict in some countries. Investing in preparedness rather than waiting for the next crises to hit can help to prevent human and economic losses. The final Future of Government Disruptive Debate discussed how governments can prepare for future crises. The panel addressed questions like: What lessons are there from past crises to help guide future preparedness efforts? How can governments increase their resilience and improve their responses to crises? How can governments ensure that preparedness efforts are inclusive, and no one is left behind?

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    Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao

    Managing Director, Resource Mobilisation, Private Sector & Partnerships & Innovative Finance Department, Gavi

    Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao is Gavi’s Managing Director of Resource Mobilisation, Private Sector Partnerships & Innovative Finance. Marie-Ange is a senior executive with a relentless drive for results and a 20-year track record in strategic leadership, policy development, innovative finance and resource mobilisation in emerging markets and globally. Since joining Gavi in 2011, Marie-Ange’s leadership was instrumental in raising the largest amount of resources ever for Gavi – close to US$ 18 billion by 2015. She is the lead negotiator with G7 and G20 leaders, corporations and high net-worth individuals in the expansion of Gavi’s investor base. In her capacity, she also drives the strategic resource mobilisation of the institution, aligning Gavi’s priorities with those of public and private investors and leveraging diverse financial instruments – such as the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), and the Gavi Matching Fund – to attract private sector investment and expertise. More recently, Marie-Ange has been driving new private sector investments to scale innovation for impact: she has spearheaded Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunisation (INFUSE), an investment marketplace platform launched at Davos in 2016, to provide low-income countries with access to vetted and tested innovations that can be adapted and scaled up for efficient healthcare delivery. Prior to joining Gavi, Marie-Ange held several senior management positions ranging from the development of new ventures to management of flagship initiatives in international investment banks and multinational development agencies.


    Laura Chinchilla

    Former President, Costa Rica

    Laura Chinchilla Miranda was elected the first female president of the Republic of Costa Rica on February 7, 2010, for a constitutional term of four years. Her election as President of the Republic of Costa Rica was preceded by a successful political career which began with her appointment as Minister of Public Security between 1996 and 1998, thus making her the first woman to hold that position. While in that role, she also served as President of the National Immigration Board and the National Drug Council. Between 2002 and 2006 she was elected member of the National Congress where she chaired the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Committee on Narcotics. In 2006 she was elected Vice President of Costa Rica, assuming office as the Ministry of Justice at the same time. Finally, in 2010 she became president. Her efforts in the promotion of the rights of women, on the protection of children, and on environmental sustainability, especially in the protection of the seas, earned her two important international awards: the “Excellence in National Management of the Ocean” Peter Benchley of 2011, and the “Award of the Shark Guardian of the year “in 2013. Along with her public career, Chinchilla dedicated part of her professional career to the international sector. She has worked as a consultant in Latin America and Africa with various international organizations in the area of institutional reform, with particular emphasis on judicial and public security reform. Relevant tasks performed include diagnostics on the justice sector for the Agency for International Development (USAID); coordination of studies and projects on judicial reform for the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) and assessments and advice on police reform to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). She has been part of a number of initiatives to promote reforms in citizen security and human rights throughout Latin America. She has lectured at various forums and has several publications in both Spanish and English on topics related to the administration of justice, public security, and police reform. She holds Honorary Doctorates from the University for Peace of the United Nations, Georgetown University, and Kyoto University of Foreign Studies.​ She also headed the Organization of American State´s Observation Electoral Mission during the 2015 electoral process in México. Also, she is inviting professor at the Government School at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, were she is leading the Latin America Class on Democracy and Citizenship. She is a political scientist and graduated from college at the Universidad de Costa Rica. She also holds a Master's in Public Policy from Georgetown University.


    Kevin Ossah

    Executive Director, Organization of Youth Engaged for Sustainable Development (OJEDD)

    Kevin Ossah has been a climate activist since November 2014. Holding a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management, with a background in youth mobilization. He specializes in supporting local authorities and collectivities in integrating climate change issues into community development plans and projects in the social and solidarity economy. He is the executive director of the Organization of Youth Engaged for Sustainable Development (OJEDD), engaged to sustainable and inclusive development in Togo and sub-Saharan Africa. OJEDD is a development association, which works to provide innovative solutions to impact vulnerable communities affected by climate change in Africa.


    Aggrey Tisa Sabuni

    Former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of South Sudan

    Hon. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni is a former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of South Sudan, a position he held between 2013 and 2015. Hon Sabuni also served as Presidential Advisor on Economic and East African Community Affairs following independence. He has been a prominent and consistent figure in the management South Sudan’s economy and public finances, an economy which has endured multiple shocks including those resulting from oil shutdowns, conflict and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. He was instrumental in South Sudan gaining membership of international financial institutions, including the IMF and the World Bank and the East African Community, and is a leading advocate for South Sudan joining the World Trade Organization. Prior to independence in 2011 Hon Sabuni was Under Secretary of Economic Planning in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in the Government of South Sudan and instrumental in building the institution from scratch. He is from Kajo-Keji County in Equatoria State.


    Alex de Waal

    Executive Director, World Peace Foundation, Research Professor, Fletcher School at Tufts University, and Professorial Fellow, London School of Economics

    Alex de Waal is executive director of the World Peace Foundation, Research Professor at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, and Professorial Fellow at the London School of Economics. He has worked on the Horn of Africa and on humanitarian issues since the 1980s as a researcher and practitioner, with a focus on famine and humanitarian response, conflict and peacemaking, and human rights. He served as a senior advisor to the African Union High Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan. De Waal’s recent books include: The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War and the Business of Power (Polity 2015), Mass Starvation: The history and future of famine (Polity 2018), and New Pandemics, Old Politics: 200 years of the war on disease and its alternatives (Polity 2021).


    Melinda Crane

    Chief Political Correspondent, Deutsche Welle

    Melinda Crane has given speeches and moderated events and discussions for a wide range of international organizations and firms. She is a frequent guest and commentator on German television and radio and regularly analyzes U.S. policy for the news broadcaster n-tv. An experienced TV anchor, she is chief political correspondent at DW TV and also hosts the DW talk show “Quadriga”. In 2014 she was awarded the Steuben-Schurz Media Award for her service to transatlantic understanding. Her journalistic experience includes work for the New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, The Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor and German newspapers and magazines.


    Edward Olowo-Okere

    Global Director, Governance Global Practice, World Bank Group

    Ed Olowo-Okere, a Nigerian national with three decades of experience working on governance issues around the world, leads the World Bank’s Public Sector and Financial Management team in the Governance Global Practice. This group is focused on helping countries build capable, effective, accountable, transparent, and inclusive institutions that deliver citizen-centric services, facilitate private-sector growth, and build trust in Government. The group provides expertise on governance issues, ranging from public financial management, domestic resource mobilization, state-owned enterprises reform/ corporate governance, public institutions reform, decentralization/subnational governance to anti-corruption policies, fiduciary assurance, political economy analysis and GovTech (i.e. leveraging technology to modernize the public sector and improve service delivery to citizens and business, and increase efficiency, transparency and accountability). Mr. Olowo-Okere joined the World Bank in 1998 and has held various positions in operations, including Director of Governance overseeing Africa, MENA and ECA regions, Senior Advisor in the Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions practice group, and Director of the Core Operational Services Department in the Africa region. Before joining the Bank, Ed held public- and private-sector positions in Nigeria, Britain, and New Zealand. Ed holds a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honors) Degree in Accountancy from the University of Maiduguri and a Masters’ Degree in Accounting, with Distinctions, from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He has a Ph.D. in Management with a specialization in Change Management and Public Financial Management from the University of Bath, United Kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). He has researched and published in reputable international journals and lectured at undergraduate and graduate levels in Nigeria and New Zealand on accounting and finance.