Secretary General of LATO Sigita Struberga: COVID-19 in Latvia: Are we the most successful in Europe?
The lives of Latvian residents have been turned upside down since March of 2020. We have faced unprecedented social, economic and political constraints in less than half a year. The pandemic, like the people of other countries of the European Union, also surprised us unprepared. However, overall statistics show that the number of people affected in Latvia is relatively small, so our country is referred to as an example of good practice for timely and well–organised crisis management. Could the management really have been so successful, and how much trust did the Latvian society have?
A group of researchers from the University of Latvia‘s Institute for Social and Political Studies (LU SPPI) undertook an analysis of the work of the national regulatory authorities and studied the impact of the crisis caused by the Covid–19 pandemic on the State administration with a view to contributing to the development of sustainable and secure, population–friendly services. In the analysis secondary, as well as unique data has been used and obtained by investigating the work of public administrations in the crisis, as well as by clarifying citizens‘ views on crisis management and their readiness to engage in it. With the support of Political Science students from University of Latvia, data was collected on the communication of crisis and compliance with the principles of good governance of public administration institutions, examining the information published on the websites of 115 public administrations (ministries and subordinate authorities) in March and April of this year.
In addition to this, the content of Latvia‘s most popular media was analysed to highlight the specific features of crisis communication in a wider perspective. A public opinion survey of 1012 respondents was also conducted. The preliminary results of the study show a number of important challenges that would need to be taken into account in improving crisis management in Latvia.
Read the publication in Latvian here: