Why Complexity should be Embraced for Transparency – Phoensight – Medium

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Why Complexity should be Embraced for Transparency – Phoensight – Medium

Why Complexity should be Embraced for Transparency

Audrey Lobo-Pulo

Audrey Lobo-PuloFollowingJun 25 · 6 min read

Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

Every policymaker’s manual has some fine print on‘complexity’ — and if you’re lucky, you might find a chapter or two about it. There’s an unspoken reluctance to open the Pandora’s box on complexity to the wider public. Why? There may be a multitude of reasons on the checklist, but you’ll find ‘explainability’ featuring strongly in there somewhere — like a prickly cactus no one wants to touch.

The nature of complexity means that it’s difficult to end up at a pre-determined outcome by following a prescribed path — assuming that outcome even solves the problem you’re working with. Yet, in a world where countries aspire to provide more transparency in government complexity is often side-stepped or hidden behind a series of political slogans, announcements, action plans or reduced to tables, charts, dashboards and fancy infographics — or worse, cited as a reason for a lack of transparency!

Now, don’t get me wrong — there have been many successful action plans, and visual representations have been invaluable in helping people better understand and explore information. But if we take a step back to the issues of concern, there are many questions that need to be asked at the outset — “How have the issues been framed?”, “How do we determine what information is relevant?” and “How does the way we scope a problem affect the solution?” amongst others.

And this is where the ‘taming’ of the complexity is actually taking place…

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Why Complexity should be Embraced for Transparency – Phoensight – Medium