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Discussion Paper: State Capability, Policymaking and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Do Knowledge Systems Matter?


This paper is the result of a collaboration between a group of organisations, interested in the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on policymaking process and the production and use of knowledge to inform those policy processes. The organisations are: Capability (Finland), Demos Helsinki (Finland), HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (Switzerland), Politics & Ideas (global), Southern Voice (global), UNESCO Montevideo and Using Evidence (Canada). An early draft of this discussion paper was used to kick start a panel discussion at the Think Tank Initiative Exchange in Bangkok in October 2018, chaired by Andrea Ordoñez of Southern Voice and Leandro Echt of Politics & Ideas. These are the first steps of a collaborative policy research project that we want to undertake in different countries, bringing together policy makers, practitioners and policy researchers to explore the changes in the capabilities of governance and knowledge systems in middle-income countries as a result of the imminent Fourth Industrial Revolution.

I have written a blog with Vanesa Weyrauch about the paper and the main questions we pose in it which was published on Helvetas’ Mosaic: The 4IR Is Here. Do We Need to Design Development Initiatives Differently?

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