Stronger together: how to boost a nation’s resilience

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September 21, 2023

Governments face unprecedented challenges in the 21st century. From pandemics to inflation, public and civil servants have had to respond to massive challenges at pace – a problem that is set to continue as global uncertainty intensifies.

As a result, governments need to increase their resilience to match the challenges, with the OECD highlighting that “one of the biggest lessons of the pandemic is that governments will need to respond to future crises at speed and scale while safeguarding trust and transparency”.

To boost preparedness, some countries have formed resilience forums to improving communication and collaboration on risk, emergency preparedness, crisis response and recovery, while others have passed laws to improve the crisis planning and recovery efforts of federal agencies.

This webinar looked at how governments around the world should work to boost their resilience. It looked at how public sector organisations can work to boost their collaboration on areas like risk, emergency preparedness, crisis response and recovery.

Join this webinar to find out:

  • Where in government should responsibility for identifying novel, unforeseen or complex crises and how central government should be structured to respond to crisis.
  • How public sector departments and organisations can understand and measure uncertainty.
  • How governments can boost cross-sector collaboration to improve national resilience.


Caroline Douglass, Executive Director, Flood and Coastal Risk Management, Environment Agency, United Kingdom

Caroline is the Executive Director for Flood and Coastal Risk Management for the Environment Agency and is responsible for making this country a better place by protecting and preparing homes and businesses from flooding and coastal change and creating climate resilient places for the future.

With over 25 years’ experience in the public service, Caroline worked with the State Government in Victoria, Australia prior to moving to the UK in 2011 and has been an Area Director and Director Incident management and Resilience in EA.

She is an experienced senior executive with a background in land and natural resource management and emergency management covering both policy and operational areas.  Her experience in emergency management and incident response includes bushfire and flood response in Australia, the United States and the UK, including the 13/14, 15/16 and 2020 flood events in England.  In 2008 she was the first female to lead a contingent of Australian and New Zealand firefighters to support the United States in Northern California with bushfire response.  Caroline appeared as an expert witness at the Royal Commission into the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. 

Caroline has an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the University of Melbourne and completed the Senior Executive Programme at the London Business School in 2012. 

Chad Nelson, Principal Advisor, Infrastructure and Environment Policy, Infrastructure Canada

Chad serves in the role of Principal Advisor, in the Adaptation and Resilience Division of Infrastructure Canada. With over 23 years of federal public service experience; he currently leads a team responsible for the creation of climate resilience funding requirements under Canada’s new National Adaptation Strategy. Since 2016 at Infrastructure Canada, he has led research, policy and program advances to address climate resilience and natural infrastructure; including creation of a Climate Lens federal funding requirement, and Natural Infrastructure and Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation funding programs. He oversees funding for the National Research Council and Standards Council of Canada related to preparing climate resilient infrastructure guidance. This includes on ground-breaking future climate design engineering values, tools, best practices, national guidelines and standards to inform national codes updates. He co-chairs a national working group with over 130 members to exchange leading practices on climate resilient infrastructure and serves on the Canadian Standards Association’s Construction and Civil Infrastructure Strategic Steering Committee.

Chad has a M.A. (Planning) from the University of British Columbia and a B.A. from Trent University. He has also held posts at Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, and Health Canada. Chad has worked in five provinces for municipal and provincial governments, and research institutes; including the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the former National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. In 2023, he was interviewed in the America Adapts podcast to provide an overview of efforts in Canada.

Conor Das-Doyle, Economist, Public Governance Directorate, OECD

Conor Das-Doyle is an economist with the OECD Public Governance Directorate. He works on public sector performance issues, and led the OECD Government at a Glance reports “Fit for the Future: Strengthening Government Resilience” and “Build, reinforce and protect: Democratic resilience in an era of multiple crises”. Conor previously worked with the UK Department for International Development, where among other roles, he led analysis of the fiscal and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. He has previously held roles in economic policy and research in the UK, Asia and Africa. His interests include international development, public governance, policy evaluation and public finance.

Webinar chair: Richard Johnstone, Executive Editor, Global Government Forum

Richard Johnstone is the executive editor of Global Government Forum, where he helps to produce editorial analysis and insight for the title’s audience of public servants around the world. Before joining GGF, he spent nearly five years at UK-based title Civil Service World, latterly as acting editor, and has worked in public policy journalism throughout his career.