September 22, 2020
How Sherlock Holmes would have handled Covid-19
If we want to build back better, we need a systems thinking approach
This article is written by Hodan Abdullahi, Head of Exploration UNDP Somalia Accelerator Lab and Najoua Soudi, Head of Solutions Mapping UNDP Morocco Accelerator Lab
It doesn’t take a system thinker to point out that the pandemic has impacted every aspect of people’s lives, but it does take a system thinker to make sense of the underlying complexity of these connections, that too often go unnoticed, misrepresented, or unconsidered.
As the pandemic wears on, we are fast approaching the wickedest global economic recession. In the span of weeks, countries had to make hard decisions and many complex tradeoffs. Tradeoffs between citizen’s health and their data privacy, between the pace of medical innovation and its safety and, perhaps even more poignant, between Covid and non-Covid-19 deaths.
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In our view, these choices made by policymakers everywhere often fall short of drawing upon a shared understanding of the new post-pandemic realities, let alone the new unintended effects and outcomes.
A systems thinking approach to the pandemic
Systems are, by definition, profoundly interconnected. To deal with systems effectively, we need new real-time and comprehensive ways of approaching them.
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