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A guide for planning and strategy development in the face of complexity

Authors: Hummelbrunner, R. & Jones, H.
Publication date: 2013

This Background Note is a guide, explaining how planning and strategy development can be carried out despite complexity. While it is true that complex situations require a greater focus on learning and adaptation, this does not render plan­ning irrelevant.

The guide builds on academic, policy and programmatic literature related to themes around systems and complexity  and draws on the authors’ experience of advising development agencies and governments in both developed and developing countries.

The note covers three points:

  1. How to recognise a complex situation what challenges it will pose
  2. Principles for planning in the face of complexity
  3. Examples of planning approaches that address complexity