From master plans to knowledge-imbedded development problem solving - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

From master plans to knowledge-imbedded development problem solving

From master plans to knowledge-imbedded development problem solving

By Aalaa Halaka


Dr. Xavier Briggs is the Vice President of the Ford Foundation. He was a panelist on the 1st plenary session of our 25th annual conference in Kuwait. Following the theme of the plenary session “Knowledge, Economic Networks, and Development Policy”, Dr. Briggs addressed the importance of understanding in how far knowledge networks tackling development planning have evolved since the post WWII “large scale development planning” rhetoric.



The general direction of International Organization following WWII, argues Dr. Briggs- has been predominantly focused on promoting master plans for economic and social transformation through direct coordination with governments. Decades later, today’s transformed economies -whether better or worse off- have a different set of demands for an effective development dialogue; they require a good deal of adaptation, iteration, and collaboratory rediscovery involving both policymakers and implementers.


To that end, Dr. Briggs highlights the important role for research produced by knowledge networks to be imbedded in the process of problem solving. He argues that this is becoming increasingly relevant around the world, where research is regarded as a credible source of insight and pragmatism in producing solutions -especially among the young generations that have lost faith in institutions.


The Economic Research Forum’s 25th Annual Conference is held in Kuwait City, on 10-12 March, 2019, under the theme of Knowledge, Research Networks, and Development Policy. . Visit the conference website to find out more about the event and access papers, videos and blogs.