The pandemic is in many ways a crisis of governance. Its magnitude and mitigation are determined by the nature of policy responses and crisis management by leaders and governments, and existing socioeconomic inequality has led to a disproportionate impact on some groups.
The pandemic has created a set of unique challenges that underscore the need for governments to collect revenue more efficiently and equitably; and to spend it more inclusively, transparently and accountably, especially on the most vulnerable and marginalised populations. It has revealed that many governments around the world have limited state capacity to respond in these ways, especially in fragile contexts, and that state–citizen relations may weaken as a result. In this paper we suggest a set of governance interventions to help create conditions for positive change and support efforts to build back better.