The Art of Implementing Programs in Complex Environments

© Depositphotos.com/Peter Polkorab © Depositphotos.com/Peter Polkorab

The Good Governance division embarked on a book project in which the implementation experience of GIZ governance programs will be portrayed and discussed. The questions we want to tackle in the publication is

What constitutes a smart implementation in governance?

We have become skilled in portraying what we do in our programs and in conveying the message that we are effective advisors in accompanying partners through complex change processes or even transformations. We have been much quieter in explaining to colleagues and outsiders how we achieve these results. How do we steer and direct (our support) programs in complex environments that are characterized by frequently changing actor constellations, insufficient information for long term planning and decision making, unpredictable political developments and nonlinear progress, where we are faced with setbacks to initial achievements? How do we give a complex process a direction and how do we find the balance between adaptation and keeping the line?

Explaining how we support the implementation of reforms and accompany transformation processes is a missing link in better understanding our trade as advisors and in being convincing to potential customers.

Previous discussions among GIZ staff on political steering in complex situations (e.g. Frenken and Müller 2010) highlight management principles (see concept note for details) and established practices we seem to refer to in our day to day operations. We suggest that these practices are in fact part of smart implementation which we would like to highlight in the planned publication.

We invite you to participate in this endeavor by writing a case study about your implementation experience! How have you managed to find a path through the Jungle? How many setbacks did you encounter and how did you continue afterwards? What are your guiding principles by which you manage and make decisions? How did you overcome setbacks? How did you organize innovation processes and learning when the original programme design has failed you?

For more background information on this project, please refer to the concept note and a first outline of the introductory chapter of the book by following this link. Both documents explain the rational and objective of the project in more detail. Guidelines for writing a case study and two examples of case studies at an early drafting stage are also available to illustrate topics that are being presented.
Or join us on Wednesday morning at 9.00 am in the conference hall where Angela Girz will interview Elke Siehl, Albrecht Stockmayer and Renate Kirsch on the project. We are eager to hear from you and discuss your ideas further.

If we raised your interest and appetite please contact us at renate.kirsch@giz.de. Or join us on Wednesday morning at 9.00 am in the conference hall where Angela Girz will interview Elke Siehl, Albrecht Stockmayer and Renate Kirsch on the project. We are eager to hear from you and discuss your ideas further.

Documents

Konzeptpapier für die Publikation „smart implementation in governance“
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Introduction to smart implementation
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Guidelines for writing a case study on smart implementation in governance
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Form for presenting a case study idea
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