Presentation on theme: "MLD 102: 2014Class 10, October 6, 2014 PDIA: Principles to get things done (and out of the big stuck) Matt Andrews Harvard Kennedy School."— Presentation transcript:
MLD 102: 2014Class 10, October 6, 2014 PDIA: Principles to get things done (and out of the big stuck) Matt Andrews Harvard Kennedy School
So far We have gaps in many development interventions – Where implementation does not happen – De jure is better then de facto – Concentrated is better than deconcentrated, etc. We have many strategies/tools to close these gaps – Both policies and management mechanisms Management tools: Mostly classical administrative and NPM But the gaps fester, despite the tools – Largely because of capability traps Organizations/governments are in a Big Stuck Chasing external answers that give external legitimacy – Good, better and best practice policies and management solutions – That often fail to offer real solutions and improved functionality – Because they are beyond abilities (external load bearing) or are adopted simply for external support (isomorphic mimicry)
The Big Stuck as I see it: Too much development =isomorphic mimics or effervescent bubbles Functionality (achieving goals with the right people and participation) External legitimacy (maintaining External support By complying with Procese agendas) Where we start Zombeta…assuming functionality will follow? But no improvement in functionality…so A mimic without results Nomburo…assuming legitimacy will follow? But no legitimacy: effervescent bubble
So…what’s next? Today’s class How do you get out of a Big Stuck? Let’s consider the two experiences of policy and management reform in the case reading – Malaysia and Burkina Faso Discuss your answers to the following table in your teams:
They are ‘finding and fitting’ a solution using a fitting strategy we call PDIA: (i) Start with problems, (ii) Iterate with experiments, trying different things, with much experiential learning, (iii) Building authority and engagement as you proceed, (iv) Producing contextually relevant hybrids that deliver Functionality and legitimacy (through functionality)
PDIA: Basic principles in a picture Functionality (achieving goals with the right people and participation) External legitimacy (maintaining External support By complying with Procese agendas) Where we start i.Identify a problem where authority allows some action; Take a small step to improve functionality ii. Build authority And legitimacy based on early results iii. Learn from first step, build with new intervention iv. Repeat. Until problem solved.
PDIA: a contrast with conventional approaches
Do we always need PDIA? No. sometimes you can just move ahead with an external solution It depends on the nature of your task: Is it simple, complicated, or complex? (Allen, Glouberman and Zimmerman)
You address simple and complicated tasks with ‘solutions+rational management’….But complex tasks demand a different approach How you address complicated tasks How you address complex tasks Role defining – setting job and task Relationship building – working descriptionswith patterns of interaction Decision making – find the ‘best’ choiceSense making – collective interpretation Tight structuring – use chain of command Loose coupling – support communities and prioritise or limit simple actionsof practice and add more degrees of freedom Knowing – decide and tell others Learning – act/learn/plan at the same what to dotime Staying the course – align and maintain Notice emergent directions – building on focuswhat works Taylor, Weber, much of NPM
My view of development We have done pretty well with the simple and complicated stuff But complex tasks, problems, systems still confound us – Challenges with learning in our schools – Gaps with polio vaccinations – Getting civil servants to use shiny new systems, best practices So we need something like PDIA – To help us find and fit policy and management solutions – That fit the contexts in which we are working
Others have argued similarly… Chris Pollitt suggests lessons from past reforms tell us that… 1.Big models, such as NPM or ‘good governance’ or ‘partnership working’, often do not take one very far. 2. The whole idea that there is one model or set of principles that can or should be applied everywhere is suspect. 3. Task differences really do matter. 4.Change is always political as well as managerial/organizational. 5.Change is usually saturated with vested interests, including consultants/advisors, and the existing public service staff. To conceptualise it as a purely technical exercise would be naïve. 6.Successful PMR is frequently an iterative exercise, over considerable periods of time. 7.It does work sometimes!
And many of the principles of PDIA are not new… Korten: participatory development (1980) – Contrasts ‘blueprint’ and ‘learning process’ – Emphasizes working in the context, learning what fits through action engagement, and then diffusing the new solutions Rondinelli: the changing face of development problems (1982) – Noted that problems were getting more complex – Asks: “If control-oriented planning and management procedures are neither effective nor appropriate in coping with the complexity and uncertainty inherent in development activities, what alternatives do international development organizations and governments in developing states have for dealing with these problems more effectively?” – Suggests: “Effective development administration requires managers who can facilitate rather than control the interaction of those individuals and groups who have the bits of knowledge and resources needed to change undesirable conditions, and the experience and judgment to define what the undesirable conditions are. It calls for skilled people who can act as catalysts, mobilizing those whose support or commitment is needed to make projects relevant and successful. it demands technicians and administrators who can respond creatively, appropriately, and quickly to changes, who are willing and able to seek out and correct mistakes as they are discovered, and who can plan and manage simultaneously.” And many theories of change influence our thinking…
Next class…context A key issue in PDIA – Finding and fitting solutions that fit context So what is it about context that matters? And how do we ‘see’ it? We will look at a contemporary (new) case of regulatory policy reform in the USA – Where govt. is not ‘getting it done’ – And we will ask ‘why?’ – What contextual factors get in the way of reform? And we will think beyond this to a basic approach to understanding what it is that matters about context…