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A Complex Thing! Are measures of complexity an end in themselves to address extreme poverty?

The most prominent goal of development has been to eradicate extreme poverty. Both literally and figuratively this goal has been part of a prescriptive stroll over the past two decades, moving in a linear fashion.

However, along the way, it has become clear that poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon changing across context, thus requiring multiple correspondence analysis and interventions. This is far more amenable to adaptive solutions in social change. It underlies a different vision to address, among others, the interactions between inequality and poverty, primarily to share approaches in different domains, and ultimately to enhance the interconnectedness between institutions to balance social outcomes.

With a number of components, such as behaviors and organizational parameters, needed for development to work, it is important to capture the variability of desired outcomes to adapt social and economic interventions. Proclaiming that social protection programs and job promotion have to “accommodate specificities” is not enough. The transition is to consider how aggregation happens, widening the scope of change by reviewing the relationships between cause and effect to discern how emergent practices can blend to improve rights-based/social justice platforms. This view stresses how change can unfold across converging organizational contexts.

To alter the balance more effectively, interconnections among intervention designs can boost the possibility of generating multidimensional development systems. The idea is to...READ MORE AT OECDINSIGHTS.ORG

This post is from Emmanuel Asomba, a consultant working on poverty reduction, human development and systematic reviews of development polices and programs.

Originally published on oecdinsights.org

Useful links

Applications of complexity science for public policy 

OECD work on gender equality and development

OECD Observer articles on development