Responding, building and transforming collaboratively in Barking and Dagenham

The Covid-19 crisis has challenged everyone, not least local government. Many councils have struggled to cope with the fallout from the virus, while others, like Barking & Dagenham, have managed it with purpose, speed and agility. 

In a newly published paper, based on interviews with some of the key players in the borough, Neal Lawson tells the story of what happened, why, and how Barking and Dagenham was able to deal so effectively with crisis. 

The essential ingredient in this response was the already developed relationship between the council and civil society, helped by the creation of the BD Collective. This infrastructure enabled everyone to move quickly to help those who were most vulnerable and in need. 

Indeed the energy, vitality, relationships, and learning from this moment have been incredible, not just in East London but across the country. But the danger is that outside of the crisis these lessons and advances will be lost. The paper asks some key strategic questions about how these new collaborative institutions and practices can thrive and continue after the virus. 

Read and download From Paternalism to Participation here.

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