In response to multiple outlays of funds to help address the impact of the pandemic, states have used federal recovery funds for a diverse set of activities, including to replenish lost revenue, address negative economic impacts, and improve program outcomes. This diversity of uses reflects the extraordinary and broad-ranging impacts from COVID-19.
This new report analyzes how a shock to the system of this magnitude
has impacted governments’ ability to use emergency dollars for public
services, and draws on this analysis to develop recommendations for how
states can use future recovery funds to help deliver key services during
critical times of need. The report brings a broad-scoped analysis together
with examination of three state-based cases, to explore how the alignment
and effectiveness of funded activities are measured, and to identify
lessons to guide states in deploying resources to address future transformational
The authors’ work complements our Center’s ongoing initiative to develop
research to help governments in preparing for and responding to “future
shocks”—systemic crises including health events as well as cyber incidents, climate
changes, supply chain disruptions, and workforce shortages. The future
shocks initiative includes numerous reports and related publications, issued in collaboration
with the National Academy of Public Administration, IBM Institute for
Business Value, and other partners.
This report also continues the Center’s longstanding research and recommendations around using performance
information to improve government operations.
We hope that state and federal leaders and stakeholders find this report helpful in developing strategies to
address increasingly common transformational crises.