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Exploring the Science of Complexity Exploring the Science of Complexity in Aid Policy and Practice ODI, London 9 th July 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Exploring the Science of Complexity Exploring the Science of Complexity in Aid Policy and Practice ODI, London 9 th July 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring the Science of Complexity Exploring the Science of Complexity in Aid Policy and Practice ODI, London 9 th July 2008

2 Policy Processes Identify the problem Commission research Analyse the results Choose the best option Establish the policy Evaluation Implement the policy

3 Monitoring and Evaluation Agenda Setting Decision Making Policy Implementation Policy Formulation Policy Processes Civil Society Donors Affected Legislative Ministries Private Sector

4 Complexity science A loosely bound collection of ideas, principles and influences from –fractal geometry –cybernetics –complex adaptive systems –postmodernism –systems thinking –chaos theory Discovery of similar patterns, processes and relationships in a wide variety of phenomena –related to the nature and dynamics of change Some fantastic images

5 Chemical reactions…

6 Genetics and cells…

7 How the brain works…

8 Animal populations and social structures…

9 Human settlements…

10 Global financial markets...

11 The formation of cyclones...

12 The evolution of galaxies...

13 Efforts to apply ideas Arthur, Ormerod - Economics Stacey, Mitleton-Kelly, Snowden - Organisations Jervis, Urry, Cutler - Intl relations De Mancha - History Gilchrist - Community development Education policy - Sanders and McCabe Health policy - Zimmerman Government reform - Chapman Strategic thinking - Saunders

14 In aid and development... Uphoff, 1990s Chambers, 1997 Sellamna, 1999 IDRC, Outcome Mapping, 2001 Warner, 2001 Rihani, 2002 Lansing and Miller, 2003 Inclusive Aid, 2004 ECDPM, Eyben, 2006 Guijt, various Davies, Network Analysis, various

15 Questions remain... What do we mean when we say complexity science How can the concepts be utilised in aid policy and practice? What practical methods enable the concepts to be utilised? What implications are there?

16 Today we have... Leading thinkers in complexity –Eve Middleton-Kelly; Ralph Stacey Complexity science and development –Ben Ramalingam; Robert Chambers; Chris Mowles Open space on methods –Rick Davies; Vicky Cosstick; Sean Lowrie; Simon Hearn and Harry Jones; Enrique Mendizabal Peer assist on applications –Plan International; Tearfund; Vietnam Academy; IDS


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