The way aid works
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The way aid works The way the world works The way aid could work

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The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

The way aid works

The way the world works

The way aid could work


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

“…the smallpox eradication effort evolved over time in response to the practical realities in the field, the development of new approaches through research, the active involvement of local leadership and peoples, and imaginative quality control measures and supervision. It developed different approaches and strategies

adapted to local conditions...”

DON HENDERSON, DIRECTOR OF SMALLPOX CAMPAIGN


Cognitive and operational biases in aid

Cognitive and operational biases in aid

Systems

Relations

‘…where machines work well.Such approaches would be ideal where there is a straightforward task to perform, a stable context and operating environment, identical, duplicable products, and compliant, predictable and reliable parts – which includes the human ‘components’...”

Behaviours

Dynamics


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

“…All malaria programmes were obliged to adhere rigidly to a highly detailed, standardised manual of operations. It mandated identical job descriptions in every country and prescribed specific charts to be displayed on each office wall at each administrative level. The programme was conceived and executed as a military operation to be conducted in an identical manner whatever the battlefield... the premise of the programme was that the needed knowledge and technology was available and that success depended solely on meticulous attention to implementation detail. Research was considered unnecessary and was effectively suspended from the launch of the programme…”


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

“...The Newtonian model is staggering about the global stage like a mortally wounded Shakespearean actor...”


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

The way aid works

The way the world works

The way aid could work


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

The problems we face in science and policy

  • Organised simplicity

  • Disorganised complexity

  • Organised complexity


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

Complex

Adaptive

System

Many interacting agents and organizations of agents

Designs and strategies evolve over time

Macro patterns emerge from micro behavior

The world is rife with ‘complex adaptive systems’


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

Complexity science helps development scientists better understand systems, networks, behaviours and dynamics

  • Diverse networks

Emergent systems

Adaptive behaviours

Dynamic change


Compare to the institutionalised operating assumptions of aid

(Compare to the institutionalised operating assumptions of aid)

Systems

Relations

Behaviours

Dynamics


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

The way aid works

The way the world works

The way aid could work


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

SYSTEMS

  • Systems thinking approach to malaria reduction (IWMI)

  • Holistic management of anti-desertification programmes in Zimbabwe (Operation Hope)

  • System dynamics in conflict (UWM)

  • Social ecological systems (Indiana)

    BEHAVIOURS

  • Agent-based modelling in agriculture (French Development Agency)

  • Agent-based models of national political economy (World Bank)

  • Evolutionary approaches to dealing with malnutrition (Save the Children)

  • Problem-driven iterative adaptation (Harvard, Bank)

    NETWORKS

  • Complexity, networks and growth (Harvard Center for International Development)

  • Social network analysis of disaster responses (Red Cross)

  • Global economic fragility (IMF)

  • Irrigation and water temple networks in Bali (Santa Fe)

    DYNAMICS

    Non-linear epidemiology (Sahel)

  • Emergent education (NIIT, IFC)

  • Mhealth approaches in Africa

  • Scaling up health interventions (Future Health Systems Consortium)


Network analysis from atomised actors with formal relations to informal social cliques and groups

Network analysis: from atomised actors with formal relations to informal, social cliques and groups


Case study atlas of economic complexity

Case study: Atlas of Economic Complexity

  • A network-based approach to economic development

  • Networks of productive knowledge condition and shape the development of nations

  • The structure of network explains growth and stagnation

  • Best predictor of national growth available


The product space

The product space


Ghana vs malaysia

Ghana vs Malaysia


Ghana vs malaysia1

Ghana vs Malaysia


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

What complexity research brings

Distribution

Systems

Behaviours

Relations

Dynamics

Organized simplicity

Organised complexity

Disorganised complexity

Humans are adaptive tinkerers;

subject to

errors and biases; self-organize

and co-evolve with system and each other

Relationships, networks, flows, ties, values, beliefs are vital. Are path dependent and historical

Systems are open, dynamic, interconnected and interdependent. Macro patterns emerge from micro behaviors and interactions

Change is non-linear, unpredictable, with phase transitions, characterized by power laws and discontinuities

What complexity research brings


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

What complex systems research brings to development sciences

Systems

Behaviours

Relations

Dynamics

Sciences of simplicity

Change is direct result of actions; proportional, additive and predictable

Actors can be treated as independentand

atomized

Systems and problems are closed, static, linear systems; reductionist

Individuals use rational

deduction; behaviour and action can be specified from top-down

Systems are open, dynamic, interconnected and interdependent. Macro patterns emerge from micro behaviors and interactions

What sciences of complexity bring

Relationships, flows, ties, values, beliefs are vital. Are path dependent and historical

Humans are adaptive tinkerers;

subject to

errors and biases; self-organize

and co-evolve with system and each other

Change is non-linear, unpredictable, with phase transitions, characterized by power laws and discontinuities


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

Closing thoughts


The way aid works the way the world works the way aid could work

‘We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking

we used when we created them.’

ALBERT EINSTEIN


Thank you

Thank you!


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