Friday, April 2, 2010

Policy and AM

I've been reading Kai Lee's classic "Compass and Gyroscope" from 1993 - squeezing in a bit of reading in between the frantic writing and meetings of "March Madness" (nothing to do with Basketball, in my case). In the section on whether or not learning can occur at the same time as conflict, Lee makes a concise statement of why AM practitioners must think about policy:
Theories of public policy are a sensible focus for this inquiry because if social learning is to occur in a durable way it must be reflected in policy.
Two key items - learning in AM is "social learning" - learning by the institutions and stakeholders. Second, it needs to be durable - to persist and affect decisions in the future. It is of little use if I learn something but that does not get passed on to the next manager, or better, incorporated into the institutional framework of which I am a part. Building opportunities for durable learning means making good public policies that allow for it.

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