ODI Seminar: Exploring the Science of Complexity in Aid Policy and Practice

Date: July 9th 2008
Venue: ODI, London

Dear All,

I am very pleased to be able to share with you all the agenda for the forthcoming Seminar at ODI on “Exploring the Science of Complexity in Aid Policy and Practice” (see below). [July 9th, ODI, London] The aim of this first Seminar is to bring together practitioners and researchers to discuss the key ideas of complexity thinking, and the relevance they have for those working in the international aid sector, and to identify some concrete and practical ways to take this area of work forward, both collectively and within our individual organisations.

We are honoured to have two distinguised speakers to start the event – Eve Mittleton-Kelly and Ralph Stacey, of LSE and University of Hertfordshire respectively, who will share substantive findings of their ongoing work in this area.

There will then be a Panel Discussion on the Working Paper published by ODI in February 2008, in which I will present the findings of our work. Robert Chambers and Chris Mowles will be on the Panel.

The afternoon will comprise of an Open Space session on methods and approaches related to complexity, and a number of you have kindly agreed to share ideas and experiences in this session (I will be in touch with contributors shortly).

We will then finish with a World Cafe session, in which we will work collectively to generate concrete ideas for taking forward this exciting area of work.

The day will be chaired by John Young, Director of Programmes at ODI. The meeting will take place at the ODI offices [in London] between 0930-1730 (directions can be found here: http://www.odi.org.uk/directions.html).

We aim to have a maximum of 25-30 participants, which means that there are around 15 places left to fill. Please do share this with anyone else who you think may be interested – the criteria are an active interest in complexity thinking approaches, a willingness to explore new territory, and some scope to apply these ideas in practice.

The Seminar Agenda is as follows:

  • 0930 – 0945 Welcome by the Meeting Chair, John Young, Director of Programmes, RAPID
  • 0945 – 1100 Leading Thinkers in Complexity: Presentations from Eve Mittleton-Kelly and Ralph Stacey followed by discussions
  • 1100 – 1115 Break
  • 1115 – 1230 Exploring the Science of Complexity: Presentation by Ben Ramalingam and Panel Discussion. Panel to include Robert Chambers and Chris Mowles. See Working Paper for more details: http://www.odi.org.uk/rapid/publications/RAPID_WP_285.html
  • 1230 – 1330 Lunch
  • 1330 – 1500 Open Space Session on Methods and Approaches related to Complexity:- Outcome Mapping; Social Network Analysis; Adapting the LFA; Scenarios; Complexity, Power and Relationships
  • 1500 – 1530 Break
  • 1530 – 1700 World Cafe: Ideas to take forward in Aid Policy and Practice
  • 1700 – 1730 Next Steps and Wrap Up

I hope you all have a good month, and look forward to seeing you all on July 9th, if not before! By the way, we are planning to follow up on this with a second seminar in October – more details will be announced at the July meeting.

Best wishes,Ben
Ben Ramalingam, Head, Research and Development,
email: b.ramalingam@alnap.org
Tel: + 00 44 (0) 207 922 0372
Fax: + 00 44 (0) 207 922 0399


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