With a little foresight, development cooperation agencies hope to improve planning, strategy and outcomes
A lecture by Bart Édes, Professor of Practice, Institute for the Study of International Development.
Abstract: As the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent overlapping crisis have made clear, international development agencies need to be better prepared to function in a world characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. In this new normal of constant and unpredictable change, they can empower themselves by embracing Strategic Foresight. Strategic Foresight is a structured, systematic way of using ideas about the future to anticipate and better prepare for change. It involves exploring different plausible futures that could arise in the medium- to long-term, and the opportunities and challenges they could present. Using a range of tools and methodologies, Strategic Foresight helps organizations test the validity of assumptions underpinning current policies, collect and interpret data and information, and spot weak signals of emerging change that are harbingers of something greater. This seminar presentation will highlight the growing use of Strategic Foresight by international development agencies, like the IMF, UNDP, Global Affairs Canada and Asian Development Bank, and provide insights into how it can help such agencies adapt their operations to provide more relevant services to targeted communities in low- and middle-income countries.