Systems Analysis for Development Decisions : Applicability, Feasibility, Effectiveness and Efficiency.

by Yehezkel Dror

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A caveat against the use of systems analysis to aid current economic-development decisionmaking. Systems analysis rationally identifies the preferable alternative through comparison of expected results in terms of goals. It is inapplicable to many factors implicit in development decisionmaking that lack clear goals, predictable results, or numerous alternatives--e.g., value judgments, technically preferable but politically infeasible policies, and socio-political policies concerned with consensus, nation building, coalition maintenance, power attainment, system change through shock rather than controlled direction, and social experimentation with learning feedback. Moreover, developing countries lack most agents and conditions requisite to good systems analysis--e.g., availability of professional analysts, data for analysis, absence of acute crises, and readiness to innovate. To prepare for systems analysis in and to improve development policymaking, government and civil service operations should be restructured and refined, professional social scientists and systems analysts consulted regularly on policy issues, and policy-oriented research conducted. 27 pp.

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