John Young of the Overseas Development Agency starts off by saying that he is impressed with the attempts to use complexity in development. He wants to focus on one area in the field to see how complexity would apply, namely the link between research and policy. Makes it clear that policy processes are either linear, nor cyclical in nature. A very clever slide showing how multiple interest groups start to interfere with processes. The screen is now full of red arrows! Its very difficult to say that policy is chaotic, people react badly. This is a delightfully ironic and understated presentation that I can’t really do justice to here. References the five Ss that prevent policy makers understanding the use of evidence: Speed, Superficiality, Spin (in the sense that you can’t change your mind every five minutes), Secrecy and Scientific Evidence.
Raising the issue of intent, and linking it to motivation
Takes about a 6 step model
I got a copy of his slides and you can find them here. He finishes off the theory by arguing that you need to be a good researcher, an excellent story teller, a good networker, a good engineer and a political fixed. Then goes on to illustrate this on a groundwater project in India and another in Indonesia.
I like this, it has value and I think it will be interesting to walk it through with a complex systems perspective. If I can get a copy from John I will do that.
Several questions, one very interesting one about power: coercive, persuasive etc.
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