In a world where systems change and interact unpredictably, there's a growing interest in using complexity science to tackle questions in international development. Our director Melissa Leach spoke last month at a UKCDS workshop on complexity science and international development (Melissa's slides are on our Slideshare). Ben Ramalingam, visiting fellow at IDS, has written some reflections on the day:
The ideas and concepts of complexity science do have considerable potential relevance for development work. Areas highlighted as worthy of further exploration included economic growth, innovation, institutional change, sustainability, implementation and networks.
There were also some common caveats. Complexity sciences should not be seen as a new 'flashy' technical approach to developing the right answer – instead, it should be seen as vital that this agenda is taken forward in a way that acknowledges and respects diversity of perspectives, cultures and opinions, especially across the so-called ‘North-South divide’.
You can read more of Ben's post on the UK Collaborative on Development Studies website.
Ben also blogs at Aid on the Edge of Chaos.