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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Scholz

New resource: #PDIAtoolkit

You might have read on our website that we use something called Problem-Driven Iterative Adaption (PDIA) for our deep systemic change approach.

PDIA has been developed by the Building State Capacity program of the Center for International Development at Harvard University. Yesterday, they have published a new resource: the PDIA toolkit. Just like the excellent book which provides an extended introduction into the approach, the toolkit is available for free under a Creative Commons Licence.

Why do we think the toolkit is awesome?

The toolkit is basically a supplement workbook to the book. Yet, it is not just that. Oftentimes, when we tell people about PDIA, they are interested, but confused. The idea to get beyond logframes and to enter a reform journey rather than rolling out a plan is fundamentally different to orthodox reforms. As everything new, people tend to stick with the old, even though the limitations of this old way of doing it became obvious long ago.

The toolkit will allow us to stress that there is a worked out way of how to do PDIA. Instead of referring to the whole book, we can now point to the toolkit as a hands-on resource. It will certainly come in handy in many occasions and make PDIA more attractive to the administrators and the government.

A page from the toolkit

I'm more a video guy. Do you have something to offer apart from reading?

Yes. For people like you, they have prepared a whole series of videos which will guide you through the different steps. Take a look:

Are you importing things from Harvard to Patna?

Yes and no. Obviously, PDIA has been put together in Harvard, but it has been built less as a blueprint than a collection and systematic arrangement of what actually works on the ground. This generalized and stylized way of presenting an approach is useful for structuring our own reform journey. Yet, this journey will start and end in Bihar. Plus: The team around Matt Andrews (the Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School who is behind this whole project) actively seeks feedback and ideas from the practicioners. So maybe we can sooner or later export insights from Patna (or Muzaffarpur or Gaya or your village?!) to Harvard.

Bottom line: The PDIA toolkit makes the whole approach yet more attractive. For non-profit, pro-people think-tanks like us, it helps immensely to get a foot into the door and to build capacity, internally and externally.

Thanks a lot from Patna!

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