Systems Thinking, Big Data and Public Policy

Article by Mauricio Covarrubias: “Systems thinking and big data analysis are two fundamental tools in the formulation of public policies due to their potential to provide a more comprehensive and evidence-based understanding of the problems and challenges that a society faces.

Systems thinking is important in the formulation of public policies because it allows for a holistic and integrated approach to addressing the complex challenges and issues that a society faces. According to Ilona Kickbusch and David Gleicher, “Addressing wicked problems requires a high level of systems thinking. If there is a single lesson to be drawn from the first decade of the 21st century, it is that surprise, instability and extraordinary change will continue to be regular features of our lives.”

Public policies often involve multiple stakeholders, interrelated factors and unintended consequences, which require a deep understanding of how the system as a whole operates. Systems thinking enables policymakers to identify the key factors that influence a problem and how they relate to each other, enabling them to develop solutions that more effectively address the issues. Instead of trying to address a problem in isolation, systems thinking considers the problem as part of a whole and seeks solutions that address the root causes.

Additionally, systems thinking helps policymakers anticipate the unintended consequences of their decisions and actions. By understanding how different components of the system interact, they can predict the possible side effects of a policy in other areas. This can help avoid decisions that have unintended consequences…(More)”.