Characteristics Shared by Resilient Governments

Monday, June 1, 2015

GFOA President Bob Eichem Speaks about Resiliency at GFOA Annual Conference Opening Session, Monday, June 1
Can you think of someone in your life you would describe as resilient? This was the question GFOA President Bob Eichem posed to the Monday morning opening session audience at GFOA’s annual conference in Philadelphia. Chances are that the resilient people in your life have some common characteristics, like adaptability and the ability to learn from experience.  Eichem observed that financially resilient governments also share many characteristics:

  • They accept uncertainty and embrace change. They learn from past experiences, explore new ideas, and evolve.
  • They build systems that can withstand shocks and stresses. They avoid single points of failure, develop back-up plans, and diversify their risks. 
  • They think broadly about what influences their financial health. Financial health is seen as the responsibility of all public officials and staff, not just finance officers.
  • They evolve to adapt to new conditions and foster collaboration between finance officials and non-finance officials. They can mobilize resources from a variety of sources.

Eichem described the efforts that GFOA has made over the past year to advance the concept of resiliency, including a year-log research project, the results of which were published in the April 2015 issue of Government Finance Review, and a partnership that GFOA has formed with the Rockefeller Foundation, which has devoted $100 million to advancing local government resiliency.

Learn more at The Resilient Government, Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 8:30am to 10:10am, in Room 113.