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Wicked Problems Paper Notes POLT 500

Wicked Problems Paper Notes POLT 500 - Wicked Problems...

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Wicked Problems Notes Abstract and Intro - No definable solution or basis to confront a social policy problem, “wicked” problems - Science was developed to solve “tame,” or definable problems - All of the social problems have been solved – efficiency is now challenged by equity o Awareness of pluralism has created this shift in values - “juncture where good formulation, problem-definition and equity issues meet” -> recipe for social policy issues - “the professionalized cognitive and occupational styles that were refined in the first half of this century… are not readily adapted to contemporary concerns with equity.” Goal Formulation - The search for explicit goals - “Must learn to look at our objectives as critically and as professionally as we look at our models and our other inputs” - Systemic analysis: “what do the systems do? “rather than “what are they made of?” - PPBS “requires explication of desired outcomes” and “to build systems of social indicators” - “goal-finding is one of the central functions of planning” o First step, yet very difficult - “participants in these revolts were seeking to restructure the value and goal product systems that affect the distribution of social product and shape the directions of national policy” o Changes to the policy system - “clarification of purposes for a redefinition of problems, for a re-ordering of priorities to match stated purposes, for the design of new kinds of goal-directed actions for a reorientation of the professions to the outputs of professional activities rather than to the inputs into them, and then for a redistribution of the outputs of governmental programs among the competing publics” - “optimism in American thought seems to have been propelling these diverse searches for direction-finding instruments” - Pessimists see that “planning for large social systems had proved to be impossible without loss of liberty and equity” - “whether the social professions are equipped to do what they are expected to do” Problem Definition - “during the industrial age, in common with the idea of professionalism was dominated by the pervasive idea of efficiency” - “we have come to think about the planning task in very different ways in recent years. We have been learning to ask whether what we are doing is the right thing to do” - “we are now sensitized to the waves of repercussions generated by a problem-solving action directed to any one node in the network … and so we have been forced to expand the boundaries of the systems we deal with, trying to internalize those externalities” - “by now we are all beginning to realize that one of the most intractable problems s that of defining problems (of knowing what distinguishes on observed condition from a desired
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condition) and of locating problems (finding where in the complex causal networks the trouble really lies” - “as we become more sophisticated about the complex workings of open societal systems,
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