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Why Development is not about solutions, it’s about problem-solving systems

September 14, 2013

Development happens thanks to problem-solving systems with rich feedback and accountability. Development is the gradual emergence of a problem-solving system.

The problem-solving system is adapting solutions to local circumstances: A system that allows many different individuals to use their particular local knowledge and expertise to attempt many different independent trials at solutions, coordinate the actions of many different suppliers to solve the problems of demanders.

A problem-solving system coordinates the efforts of many different problem-solvers. When you have a large number of independent trials, the probability of solutions goes way up. Good systems make the private returns to decentralized problem-solvers close to the social return

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