Public Private Partnerships in Emergency Response: A Case Study of Milwaukee’s Civic Response Team

The Covid-19 pandemic was an all-hands-on-deck moment. As communities were jolted into emergency response on many fronts – health, jobs, housing, education, child care, food, and mental health – collaboration and coordination became essential.

In this new case study, we learn more about Milwaukee’s Civic Response Team and how it united local governments, philanthropy, and nonprofits to collectively manage response and recovery. In just weeks, they housed hundreds of people, delivered tens of thousands of meals, built and promoted a COVID-19 testing system, distributed hundreds of thousands of masks, provided families with technology to connect to school, rescued child care providers, and soothed anxieties and grief.

This new paper studies how the public-private partnerships within the Civic Response worked during their first year, and what we can learn from them to support better partnership and emergency response in the future.