Apr 25, 2016

Governments' call for “Reflection with Velocity”

Claudio Santibanez , Senior Economist

Decision-making throughout the policy implementation process requires developing systematic strategies to better understand, adapt and intervene in dynamic local contexts. How can practitioners become better prepared to deal with such complexity common to development processes?

To address this and related questions, the Global Delivery Initiative (GDI) co-organized a “Learning, Iterating and Adapting to Achieve Change” event with clients and partners last January at CEPAL’s  headquarters (Santiago, Chile) to facilitate the sharing of experiences and lessons learned on how governments and development organizations are introducing a more adaptive implementation strategy for closing the gap in public service delivery.

Let me highlight one relevant ‘aha moment’ we had in Chile.

When discussing how the development community can better support governments to close the gap between reform and implementation, one Ministry of Finance’s representative made an insightful comment highlighting the relevance and sense of urgency to support implementation. He said:

“Nowadays implementation timings are the ones that should adjust to the pace of political ones. We should learn to live with – and respond to - citizens’ pressure for better delivery. Thus, initiatives such as GDI come today as very necessary ones, bringing us the challenge to make reflections with velocity and to make sure that what we learn from our reflections is taken into account when making political decisions.”

This is a very pertinent call for action made by the Government to enhance the set of meaningful options available to navigate more effectively throughout the change process. Reflect with velocity.

We advanced some answers during the event: such as developing an experts’ platform to be readily activated upon request for a timely discussion on how to tackle a delivery challenge appearing in the process; or the need to pilot (to later scale-up) learning platforms for innovative public policies.

Can you share lessons learned and ideas on how governments can ‘reflect with velocity’ towards closing the gap in public service delivery?