Doing Problem Driven Work

47 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2015

See all articles by Matthew Andrews

Matthew Andrews

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Lant Pritchett

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Center for Global Development

Michael Woolcock

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); Harvard University - Kennedy School of Government; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: December 7, 2015

Abstract

We often observe that more successful efforts to establish complex state capabilities are problem driven; focused relentlessly on solving a specific, attention-grabbing problem. This is the first principle of Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation, which we are introducing in pieces in a series of working papers over the coming months. The current working paper starts with a discussion about why problems matter as entry points to complex state capability building challenges. It then offers practical ideas and tools to help those trying to use problems to foster change (given the need to construct problems, deconstruct problems and then promote problem driven sequencing). The working paper should help readers who wonder why we emphasize problems as entry points and positive motivators of change (we don’t agree that problems demotivate or disempower) and how we work practically to define and tackle problems.

Keywords: Governance, Management, Capacity-Building, Change Management

Suggested Citation

Andrews, Matthew and Pritchett, Lant and Woolcock, Michael, Doing Problem Driven Work (December 7, 2015). HKS Working Paper No. 073, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2700308 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2700308

Matthew Andrews (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/matt-andrews

Lant Pritchett

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4562 (Phone)
617-496-2554 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~lpritch/

Center for Global Development

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Michael Woolcock

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

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Mailstop MC3-306
Washington, DC 20433
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202-473-9258 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/mwoolcock

Harvard University - Kennedy School of Government ( email )

Littauer-G-11G
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-0911 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ksgfaculty.harvard.edu/michael_woolcock

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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