Emerging Tech

What Do Complex Adaptive Systems Look Like And What Are The Implications For Innovation Policy?

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Executive Summary

This paper explores the use of complex adaptive systems theory in development policy analysis using a case study drawn from recent events in Uganda. It documents the changes that took place in the farming system in Soroti district during an outbreak of African Cassava Mosaic Virus Disease (ACMVD) and the subsequent decline in cassava production - the main staple food in the area. Resultant adaptation impacts are analysed across cropping, biological, economic and social systems each of which operate as an interlinked sub-system. The policy implications of this story suggest a policy agenda that recognises adaptation capacity as the life blood of complex adaptive systems.

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