Foresight in International Development

Institute of Development Studies (IDS) Bulletin Vol. 47, Nr. 4, September 2016

150 pp. 1.8 MB

Looking to the future is or certainly should be at the core of development studies. While the benefit of looking back to look forward is well recognised, foresight is more akin to looking forward to look forward. It is striking that foresight approaches and methods do not figure prominently in policy-oriented development research. This publication suggests two possible explanations. First, most social science disciplines are more comfortable with the analysis of the past and the present than the future. Second, the model of the large, well-funded public sector foresight programme simply does not reflect the realities of much policy-oriented development research.

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