Emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic can create tensions between national and local government when these are attempting to apply strategies to manage an urgent or major situation. This policy brief highlights the role of cities during the pandemic in terms of providing a link among citizens, and to the national government. Coordinating and connecting flows of information and resources between actors is essential. The findings in this brief are based on a case study of the cities of Manila and Pasig in the Philippines. Local governments are composed of officials who are also residents and thus are co-stakeholders within their cities or municipalities. They know the locality and its immediate concerns. They can create centres of access for people, lines of flow for resources, and channels of communication in each city or municipality, for the benefit of socially distanced communities.
This policy brief is a result of the ICLD Local Democracy Academy 2020