The Billion Dollar Solution that Isn't: How systems modeling in foreign aid could save billions and serve the poor

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Monika Aring and Bobbin Teegarden argue that much of the foreign aid for economic and job growth in poor countries cannot work because the underlying assumption – that outside experts can fix the problem – is misguided. They suggest that aid could achieve far better results if donors could distinguish between two opposite problem archetypes – technical and adaptive systems problems. Technical problems are problems for which societies have already developed solutions that work. Adaptive systems problems are new problems for which a society has not yet developed a sustainable solution. They argue that the lack of jobs to sustain livelihoods is an adaptive systems problem that has to be solved by the system's stakeholders, supported by outside experts.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2012

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