Development 56.4 explores the dynamics between 'Foresight and Policy'

Development Vol. 56.4, a special issue of the quarterly journal of the Society for International Development, has been produced in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation on the theme of 'Foresight and Policy'

The journal explores the impact of foresight on policymaking seeking to understand whether and how futures' predictions and analysis are taken in considerations in the policy formulation. The journal's authors reflect on the utility of foresight and how, in their view, foresight contributes to improved decisions and outcomes, particularly for the poor and vulnerable citizens of their communities.

Are futurists' insights taken into account by decision makers or does their work merely remain an intellectual exercise? The relationship between foresight planners and the decision-makers is inherently made of frictions. It is true that in many cases foresight work is considered like a set of magical rituals and not taken in serious consideration. It is also true that, by challenging existing norms, mindsets and roles, any futures analysis inevitably finds resistance to its messages within an institution.

However the experiences shared by the practitioners in this journal suggest many of the vital ingredients for its success. There is no single way of doing foresight, neither there are shortcuts. A good combination of different tools and approaches - if practiced and implemented properly - can help governments and both their leaders and citizens to understand how to tackle the broad challenges of the day as well as the opportunities on the horizon.

The journal issue builds on SID's long engagement with futures work. In particular, it follows up on the lessons and the insights emerging from a conference convened in Nairobi last April 2014, to reflect on the impact of the trend monitoring and horizon scanning work of a group of institutions supported by the Rockefeller Foundation working in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the United States that included SID.  

Table of Contents | Editorial | Press release

SID the Society for International Development is a global network of individuals and institutions committed to the promotion of participative, pluralistic and sustainable development. Since its inception in 1957, SID has sought to facilitate dialogue between different development actors and bridge the gap between development theory and practice. The journal Development, now at its 57th Volume, is SID's flagship publication since 1957. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, it enjoys a broad readership within the development community.

The Rockefeller Foundation For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation's mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, the foundation pursues this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by enabling people, communities and institutions to be prepared for, withstand, and emerge stronger from shocks and chronic stresses. The Foundation operates both within the United States and around the world.