Dr Brian Levy is a Public Sector Governance Advisor at the World Bank, andused to head up the unit responsible implementing the Bank’s governance and anti-corruption strategy. In this guest post, cross-posted from here, he explores the relevance of complexity theory insights for South Africa. A fascinating read. The edge of chaos is the balance […]

With the latest round of UN climate talks  underway in Durban this week, many are rightly concerned about the agreements that will be reached (if any), and whether it will be a case of too little, too late (quite probably). The challenges of achieving global public policy consensus aside, new research is highlighting a range […]

Ricardo Hausmann of Harvard and Cesar Hidalgo of MIT (whose work I have blogged about previously here) have just published the deeply impressive Atlas of Economic Complexity. It is built around an innovative, network-based methodology for understanding economies and their potential for  growth. It represents perhaps the most systematic and in-depth application of the ideas […]

One of the areas where complexity thinking has entered the mainstream of development policy and practice is in resilience thinking. Much of this work owes a debt to C.S. ‘Buzz’ Holling, whose work on resilience of ecologies in the 1970s provided the intellectual underpinning to much recent work. Holling was recently awarded an honorary doctorate […]

Following the Japanese earthquake, the Philippines government have announced plans to explore the use of complexity science in better understanding disaster vulnerability and risk. The effort is to be taken forward by the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering, in collaboration with the Philippine Disaster Science Management Center. Senator Edgardo Angara, Chair of Congressional Commission […]

Positive deviance (PD) is a fascinating approach, a decade and a half old, and the focus of growing interest in health, education and numerous other sectors in domestic public policy. Interestingly, given PD saw first widespread application in an aid programme, it is still less well known than it should be across the international community. This post […]