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Developmental Leadership Program (DLP)
We are an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development
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COVID-19 Leadership Observatory

09 March 2020

Image: People wear masks to prevent transmission of COVID-19, iStock.

With over 40 featured resources, the DLP Leadership Observatory is for individuals and organisations interested in learning more about how COVID-19 impacts on developmental leadership.

Each month we summarise a selection of useful resources for understanding leadership in a time of COVID-19. Additional resources are also featured on Twitter via @DLProg using #LeadershipObvs.

The Leadership Observatory runs alongside our original opinions page, exploring women’s leadership, localisation in a time of corona, leader choice, Pacific island responses, legitimacy and compliance, and leader immunity.

Sign up to receive our summary, delivered directly to you inbox via our mailing list.

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Issue 11, 17 August

  • Sam Kinyanjui and Sharon Fonn, ‘Africa’s research capacity is growing. That’s good news for pandemic response efforts’, The Conversation, 21 July 2020.
  • Sugandha Parmar, ‘South Asia’s women leaders on gender equality and COVID-19’, SOAS, 17 July 2020.
  • Kenneth P. Ruscio, ‘Leaders like Trump fail if they cannot speak the truth and earn trust’, The Conversation, 8 July 2020.
  • Eleanor Ainge Roy, ‘New Zealand beat COVID-19 by trusting leaders and following advice – study’, The Guardian, 23 July 2020.
  • Edward Lemon and Bradley Jardine, ‘Across Central Asia, Police States Expand Under the Cover of COVID-19’, World Politics Review, 14 July 2020.
  • Anna Naupa, ‘A tale of two sectors: Women leaders bridging the formal and informal sectors during Vanuatu’s COVID crisis’, Griffith University, 28 July 2020.
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs and Moizza Binat Sarwar, ‘ODI: inclusive leadership responses for COVID-19’, ODI, 30 July 2020.
  • Anthony F. Pipa and Max Bouchet, ‘How to make the most of city diplomacy in the COVID-19 era’, Brookings, 6 August 2020.
  • Jaime Faustino, John Rider, and Tracie Yang, ‘Thinking and Working Politically, a Conversation with Jaime Faustino’, The Asia Foundation, 22 July 2020.

Read Issue 11

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Issue Ten, 10 July

  • Kate Maclean, ‘Women leaders and coronavirus: look beyond stereotypes to find the secret to their success’, The Conversation, 29 June 2020.
  • Sarah Fuhrman and Francesca Rhodes, ‘The Absence of Women in COVID-19 Response’, CARE International, March 2020.
  • Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Avivah Whittenberg-Cox, ‘Will the Pandemic Reshape Notions of Female Leadership’, Harvard Business Review, 26 June 2020.
  • Nicholas Kristof, ‘What the Pandemic Reveals About the Male Ego’, The New York Times, 13 June 2020.
  • Becca Cattlin, ‘Female leaders during COVID-19: do women lead differently?’, IG, 22 June 2020.

Read Issue Ten

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Issue Nine, 24 June

  • Salem Solomon, ‘Coronavirus Poses Leadership Test for Africa’s Heads of State’, VOA News, 11 June 2020.
  • Rebecca Ratcliffe, ‘Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam… How some countries kept COVID at bay’, The Guardian, 14 June 2020.
  • Dhrubaraj BK, ‘In Nepal, Federalism, Health Policy, and the Pandemic’, The Asia Foundation, 10 June 2020.
  • Ewelina U. Ochab, ‘Calls For Action Amid Growing COVID-19 Pressures on Religious Communities Globally’, Forbes, 3 June 2020.
  • Jenness Gardner, Benjamin van Rooij and Liam Smith, ‘Why do people comply: Exploring Regulation During COVID-19’, ANZSOG, 5 June 2020.
  • Richard Summerfield, ‘More than a health crisis: leadership amid coronavirus’, Financier Worldwide, June 2020.
  • Andrew Green, ‘How Germany failed to live up to its global health ambitions’, Devex, 11 June 2020.

Read Issue Nine

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Issue Eight, 11 June

  • Doug Reeler, Desiree Paulsen, Meg Otieno, Bhavika Patel, and Monica Maassen, ‘Leadership in Times of COVID-19: Essential Qualities, Skills, and Practices’ Tamarind Trees Associates and Oxfam International Culture Team, April 2020.
  • Lawrence Hamilton, ‘What sets good and bad leaders apart in the coronavirus era’, The Conversation, 7 June 2020.
  • Rachel Clissold, Karen McNamara, and Ross Westoby, ‘Women as recovery enablers: listening to ni-Vanuatu market vendors’, Devpolicy, 2 June 2020.
  • Mandakini D.Surie, ‘India’s COVID diplomacy’, Devpolicy, 3 June 2020.
  • Kaymarlin Govender, Ayesha BM Kharsany, Gavin George, and Sean Beckett, ‘South Africa must adopt a localised response to COVID-19. What it would look like’, The Conversation, 8 June 2020.

Read Issue Eight

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Issue Seven, 3 June

  • Robin Niblett and Dr Leslie Vinjamuri, ‘Why Democracies Do Better at Surviving Pandemics’, Chatham House, 26 May 2020.
  • Bronwyn Fredericks, Sarah Holcombe and Abraham Bradfield, ‘Reconciliation Week: a time to reflect on strong Indigenous leadership and resilience in the face of a pandemic’, The Conversation, 29 May 2020.
  • Myriam Blin and Jess Auerbach, ‘How Mauritius’ unique political culture helped it beat COVID-19’, African Arguments, 28 May 2020.
  • Emily Wilkinson, ‘COVID-19: a lesson in leadership from the Caribbean’, ODI, 18 May 2020.
  • Saltanat Janenova and Jonathan Fisher, ‘How Central Asia’s authoritarian regimes have used coronavirus to their advantage’, The Conversation, 21 May 2020.
  • Nilima Gulrajani, ‘How COVID-19 can change incentives for development co-operation’, OECD Development Matters, 27 May 2020.
  • Tran Chung Chau, Michael R. DiGregorio, and Nicola Nixon, ‘Vietnam: A COVID-19 Success Story’, The Asia Foundation, 27 May 2020.
  • Christopher Vandome, ‘COVID-19 in South Africa: Leadership, Resilience and Inequality’, Chatham House, 7 May 2020.

Read Issue Seven

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Issue Six, 26 May

  • Helen Sullivan, ‘Leading in and out of the crisis’, Policy Forum, 18 May 2020.
  • Laura Spinney, ‘The coronavirus slayer! How Kerala’s rock star health minister helped save it from COVID-19’, The Guardian, 14 May 2020.
  • Kate Sutton, ‘What ‘good’ COVID-19 leadership looks like, according to experts responding to the pandemic and a tropical cyclone’, Australia Awards Women’s Leadership Institute, 11 May 2020.
  • Lina Srivastava, ‘Post-Pandemic Recovery Will Need Women’s Leadership. Then Again, When Haven’t We?’, MS Magazine, 19 May 2020.
  • Nematullah Bizhan, ‘Fragile states need support to fight COVID-19’, Devpolicy, 19 May 2020.

Read Issue Six

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Issue Five, 18 May

  • Aletia Dundas, ‘Faith and health in the time of COVID-19’, Devpolicy, 12 May 2020.
  • Nic Maclellan, ‘In Depth: Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor’, Islands Business, 23 April 2020.
  • Per Øyvind Bastøe, Wendy Asbeek Brusse and Jörg Faust, ‘COVID-19 and Development Co-operation: we know a lot about what works, let’s use the evidence’, EADi, 12 May 2020.
  • Peter Harrington, ‘COVID-19: Planning for Tomorrow’s Problems Today’, Building State Capability, 17 April 2020.
  • Punit Renjen, ‘COVID-19: How leaders can create a new and better normal’, World Economic Forum, 11 May 2020.
  • Matt Andrews, ‘Listen to our sixth virtual discussion on Leadership Through Crisis’, Building State Capability, 1 May 2020.

Read Issue Five

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Issue Four, 8 May

  • Dan McGarry and Rachel Mason Nunn, ‘Suffering in Vanuatu: COVID-19, Cyclone Harold and a distracted political leadership’, Devpolicy, 5 May 2020.
  • Sam Hickey, Tim Kelsall, and David Hulme, ‘The politics of responding to COVID-19 in developing countries: PART ONE’ and ‘PART TWO’, Effective States and Inclusive Development, 21 April 2020.
    -Tess Newton Cain, ‘How might coronavirus change Australia’s ‘Pacific Step-up’?’, The Conversation, 27 April 2020.
  • Artemy Izmestiev and Stephan Klingebiel, ‘International (development) cooperation in a post-COVID-19 world: a new way of interaction or super-accelerator?’, Devpolicy, 1 May 2020.
  • Samuel Wilson, Jason Pallant, Sylvia T. Gray, and Timothy Colin Bednall, ‘How the coronavirus pandemic is (finally) resulting in leadership for the greater good’, The Conversation, 24 April 2020.
  • Jonatan A Lassa and Miranda Booth, ‘Are populist leaders a liability during COVID-19?’, The Conversation, 8 April 2020.
  • António Sampaio, Carmeneza Dos Santos Monteiro, Michael Leach, Sharon Bessell, Sue Ingram, and Julia Ahrens, ‘Podcast: Timor-Leste – politics, policy, and problems’, Asia & The Pacific Policy Society, 3 May 2020.

Read Issue Four

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Issue Three, 1 May

  • Arkebe Oqubay, ‘COVID-19 – An Unprecedented Global Threat that Deserves Unprecedented Leadership’, OECD, 24 April 2020.
  • Penny Lawrence, ‘Leading in the COVID-19 Crisis: Tips for NGO Leaders’, Bond, 14 April 2020.
  • Ethan McCoy, ‘Leadership in a Time of Crisis’, The Centre for Effective Philanthropy, 14 April 2020.
  • Sheikh Tanjeb Islam and Yash Nitin Divadkar, ‘How Bangladesh’s leaders should respond to the economic threats of COVID-19’, World Economic Forum, 13 April 2020.
  • Rachel A. George, ‘What Other Sectors Can Show for Women’s Leadership in COVID-19’, Think Global Health, 13 April 2020.

Read Issue Three

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Issue Two, 24 April

  • Michaela J. Kerrissey and Amy C. Edmondson, ‘What Good Leadership Looks Like During This Pandemic’, Harvard Business Review, 13 April 2020.
  • John R. Allen and Karin von Hippel, ‘Where is The Global Coalition to Fight the Coronavirus?’, Brookings, 16 April 2020.
  • Amartya Sen, ‘Overcoming a pandemic may look like fighting a war, but the real need is far from that’, The Indian Express, 21 April 2020.
  • Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, ‘What Do Countries With The Best Coronavirus Responses Have In Common? Women Leaders’, Forbes, 13 April 2020.
  • Malka Older, ‘Why Politicians Ignore Disaster Predictions’, Foreign Policy, 13 April 2020.
  • Graham Teskey, ‘The Worry of Governance: Coronavirus and Emergency Politics’, Governance and Development Soapbox, 3 April 2020.
  • Uri Friedman, ‘New Zealand’s Prime Minister May Be the Most Effective Leader on the Planet’, The Atlantic, 19 April 2020.
  • Matt Andrews, ‘Public Leadership through Crisis 19: How do political leaders commonly structure their roles?’, Building State Capacity, 17 April 2020.
  • Matt Andrews, ‘Managing Crisis Without Resources: Developing Nations Brace for the Coronavirus’, Harvard Kennedy School, 1 April 2020.

Read Issue Two

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Issue One, 16 April

  • Ben Ramalingam, Leni Wild and Matt Ferrari, ‘Adaptive Leadership in the Coronavirus Response: Bridging Science, Policy, and Practice’, ODI, April 2020.
  • Nancy Koehn, ‘Real Leaders Are Forged in Crisis’, Harvard Business Review, April 2020.
  • Anna Powles, Jose Sousa-Santos, ‘Covid-19 and Geopolitics in the Pacific’, East Asia Forum, April 2020.
  • Suzie Bailey and Michael West, ‘Covid-19: Why Compassionate Leadership Matters in a Crisis’ The King’s Fund, March 2020.
  • Luke McGee, ‘Power-hungry Leaders Are Itching to Exploit the Coronavirus Crisis’ CNN World, April 2020.
  • Miranda Forsyth and Gordon Peake, ‘Thinking collectively, acting individually: governance in a time of COVID-19’. Devpolicy Blog, 8 April 2020.

Read Issue One

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To recommend a resource for inclusion in the #LeadershipObvs, please tag DLP on Twitter @DLProg.

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