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17:00 - 18:30 13 June 2013

Complexity, Development and Policymaking


Archaeology Lecture Theatre G6 | Gordon House (link Map)
31-34 Gordon Square | London | WC1H 0PY | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Owen Barder, Owen Barder is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Director for Europe. He is establishing a European program for CGD. Barder is also a member of the International Development Sector Transparency Panel, which will seek to influence and advise the UK's Department for International Development on their approach to international development. Barder was a British civil servant from 1988 to 2010, during which time he worked in the UK Treasury, No.10 Downing Street and the Department for International Development. He was Private Secretary (Economic Affairs) to the Prime Minister and previously Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the Department for International Development he was variously Director of International Finance and Development Effectiveness, Director of Communications and Information, and head of Africa Policy Department.

Owen Barder will talk about why some societies have seen rising living standards and some have not. We often treat development as the sum of the well-being of the members of a society; but Barder argues we should see development as a property of economic and social systems. Policy-makers have not paid enough attention to systems, partly because complex systems can be hard to analyse. Other disciplines, notably physics and biology, have made good progress understanding the common properties of complex adaptive systems. There are many lessons for policy makers about the way we design and implement policy, both for development and more generally for social and economic progress.


Alexandra Skinner
+44 (0)20 7679 4999 | alexandra.skinner@ucl.ac.uk


School of Public Policy Seminar Series