Building State Capability: PDIA in Action

In order to better understand and respond to implementation failure, it is instructive to start with a big picture summary of what we think most people believe “development” to be. In this introduction video, Michael Woolcock discusses how a society undergoes a four fold transformation in its functional capacity to manage its economy, polity (political systems represent the aggregate preferences of citizens), society (rights and opportunities are extended to all social groups) and public administration (organizations function according to meritocratic standards and professional norms), becoming “developed” over time.

For more see bsc.cid.harvard.edu or visit our blog buildingstatecapability.com/

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Building State Capability: PDIA in Action

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The Building State Capability (BSC) program at the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University researches new strategies and tactics to build the capability of public organizations to execute and implement. We are exploring the potential…


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The Building State Capability (BSC) program at the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University researches new strategies and tactics to build the capability of public organizations to execute and implement. We are exploring the potential of a Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) approach which rests on 4 core principles: local solutions for local Problems; pushing problem Driven positive deviance; try, learn, Iterate, Adapt; and scale through diffusion. This video series highlights the key elements of our approach.

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