Collaborative public service provision archetypes in healthcare emergencies: a case of COVID-19 administration in Sri Lanka
Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management
Article publication date: 4 January 2022
Issue publication date: 26 April 2022
This paper examines how the properties and patterns of a collaborative “networked hierarchy” incident command system (ICS) archetype can provide incident command centres with extra capabilities to manage public service delivery during COVID-19.
The paper illustrates the case of Sri Lanka's COVID-19 administration during its “first wave” (from 15 February to 1 September 2020). Primary data were collected through in-depth interviews with government officials who were directly involved in the administration of the COVID-19 outbreak. Secondary data sources were government publications and web sources. The data were analysed and interpreted by using narrative analysis and archetype theory respectively.
The findings highlight how Sri Lanka's public sector responses to COVID-19 have followed a collaborative “networked hierarchy” ICS archetype. More specifically, the government changed its normative ICS “properties” by incorporating a diverse group of intergovernmental agencies such as the police, the military, the health service and administrative services by articulating new patterns of collaborative working, namely, organisational values, beliefs and ideas that fit with the Sri Lankan public service context.
In responding to high magnitude healthcare emergencies, the flexibility of a collaborative networked ICS hierarchy enables different balances of organisational properties to be incorporated, such as hierarchy and horizontal networking and “patterns” in public service provision.
Jayasinghe, K., Wijesinghe, C., Wijethilake, C. and Prasanna, R. (2022), "Collaborative public service provision archetypes in healthcare emergencies: a case of COVID-19 administration in Sri Lanka", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 391-410. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-12-2020-0191
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