KPMG lauds the Saudi government's agile Covid-19 response

28 July 2020 2 min. read

Rapid and decisive measures taken by the Saudi government have helped the Kingdom limit Covid-19’s impact on its economy. This is according to Ismail Daham Alani, KPMG Saudi Arabia’s Head of Government & Public Sector.

Alani’s comments come against the backdrop of real time analysis that KPMG is conducting across seven key global markets – Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US – to compare response mechanisms and gauge best practices from across the globe.

Factors being considered by KPMG include the organisational design changes, new government service offerings, human resource policies, evolving risk assessment strategies, and supply chain management. Despite being hit by the double blow of Covid-19 and the consequent impact on oil prices, Saudi Arabia appears to have performed particularly well across these key metrics, which Alani attributes to the country’s institutional framework.

“The Saudi government managed to respond to the pandemic through the agility of the multi-institutional committees, most notably, the cross-ministerial and functional collaboration between healthcare, public finance, economy & planning, technology, and transport entities,” said Alani.

KPMG lauds the Saudi government's agile Covid-19 response

The agility in this case was perhaps most evident through the government’s approach of taking quick decisions while perfecting the details as an ongoing process. Leveraging this agile mechanism, the government was decisive in establishing new service channels, work structures, temporary hospitals, and incentive structures that could support the Saudi economy through the crisis. 

Saudi Arabia’s leadership was particularly active in the digital sphere, marked by the quick roll out of two critical apps, which together allowed people to track Covid-19 data in real time, have an overview of mobility permits, as well as diagnose their own symptoms and report their situation to aid a broader tracing system.

“These digital services were rapidly designed for maximum user experience and simplicity, keeping all the heavy data filling, integration and exchange to the back-end. This was probably aimed at making sure adoption reaches as high as possible, with customer-centricity becoming a native design necessity,” said Alani.

Having rapidly put these mechanisms in place, the Saudi government is now turning its attention towards an economic recovery strategy. According to Alani, a similar focus on light, agile and efficient systems will be critical to a strong recovery, given that consumers will expect a much higher degree of reliability and convenience.