Kadambari Shah and Prakhar MisraOn March 22, at 5 pm, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s request, millions of Indians flocked to their windows and balconies to express their gratitude towards healthcare professionals, police and other essential services providers who are working tirelessly to keep the rest of us safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their daily challenge is now their biggest strength: the need to constantly adapt to shifting ground, work in contingencies in the absence of protocols, and develop redress mechanisms along the way. However, they need support from policymakers to help them further leverage their strengths.Political scientist Michael Lipsky termed frontline workers — doctors, nurses, school teachers, police officers and so on — as ‘street-level bureaucracy’. Described as “public service workers who interact directly with citizens in the course of their jobs, and who have substantial discretion in the execution of their work”, this line of bureaucracy liaises between policymakers and the general public to implement policy objectives.Close The defining feature of their jobs is that they are tasked with drawing conclusions and making on-the-spot choices without complete information. In the ethos of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no time to waste. Data, best practices, and processes are unavailable… Read full this story
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