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Evaluating the "whole community" concept based on the national response to COVID-19



Michael Dunaway


This article offers an analysis of the 2020-2021 national response to the COVID-19 global pandemic from the perspective of professional community and state-level emergency managers. The study was conducted by a research team of the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), an executive program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The goal of the research project was to provide recommendations to FEMA leadership regarding national-level guidance and coordination needed by state and local agencies, private sector entities, and communities during the COVID-19 response, and establish a broader foundation for interpreting the FEMA COVID-19 Initial Assessment Report and subsequent after-action reviews. The study further supports a project to develop a "Strategy for Whole Community Preparedness for Smart Cities and Communities," under development by the Global Community Technology Challenge (GCTC), a Smart Cities program sponsored by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).
Public Administration Review (PAR)


Smart cities, COVID-19, emergency management, public health, community resilience, whole community response.


Dunaway, M. (2023), Evaluating the "whole community" concept based on the national response to COVID-19, Public Administration Review (PAR), [online],, (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created August 30, 2023, Updated September 7, 2023