Harvard Kennedy School
The RISE Podcast: Matt Andrews on Getting Real about Unknowns in Complex Policy Work
Through a novel due diligence strategy that examines 25 essential policy questions and cites real-world examples in Mozambique, this podcast explores a paper offers policymakers a practical way to engage with public problems in the presence of unknowns.
This episode is cross-posted from the Building State Capability (BSC) at Harvard University’s podcast series and features BSC Director Salimah Samji in conversation with Matt Andrews, who is BSC Faculty Director and the Edward S. Mason Senior Lecturer in International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School. Together, they discuss Matt’s paper “Getting Real about Unknowns in Complex Policy Work”, which uses a novel due diligence strategy to examine 25 essential policy questions, citing real-world examples from policy reforms focused on girls’ education in Mozambique from 1999 to 2020. In his paper, Matt offers policymakers a practical way to engage with public problems in the presence of unknowns—one which demonstrates the need for a more modest and realistic approach to doing complex work.
- The original episode: “Getting Real about Unknowns in Complex Policy Work - A Conversation with Matt Andrews”
- Getting Real about Unknowns in Complex Policy Work. RISE Working Paper Series. 21/083.
- BSC at Harvard University’s podcast series
- The Building State Capability Programme at Harvard University
- What is PDIA- Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (Video)?
- PDIA Toolkit - A DIY Approach to Solving Complex Problems (Guide)
- Improving Public Sector Management at Scale? Experimental Evidence on School Governance in India [RISE Working Paper], by Karthik Muralidharan and Abhijeet Singh
- When the Devil’s Not in the Details: The System Failure of a Large-Scale School Management Reform in India [Blog], by Jason Silberstein
This episode was first published on the Building State Capability at Harvard University Podcast Series and has been cross-posted with permission. RISE is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Programme is implemented through a partnership between Oxford Policy Management and the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. The Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford supports the production of the RISE Podcast.
Building State Capability at Harvard University. Edited and reposted by RISE with permission.
RISE blog posts and podcasts reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation or our funders.