Today, Joana Bento, Programme Manager for the Building Public Finance Capabilities (BPFC) programme joined the Western Cape government Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) coordination team as a guest speaker for a PDIA Learning and Review session.
The Western Cape government started their PDIA journey back in 2019 with a three-month pilot project and later introduced the approach into their processes. The approach was adopted with the aim of having an intergovernmental aspect across all departments including civil society. Currently, with six teams working on the PDIA approach, the session gave the teams an opportunity to reflect on the progress, challenges, and lessons learned as a collective. It further aimed to initiate a community of practice with those using the PDIA approach for action driven problem solving and improving implementation of government programmes.
Now in its 7th year, the BPFC programme uses the PDIA approach to support Public Financial Management (PFM) reform. Reflecting on the implementation of applying the approach within the public sector, Ms. Bento shared the salient points when applying the PDIA approach:
- Problems matter as they are likely to bring application and movement.
- Sometimes authorisers do not hold the necessary authority for applying change.
- When tackling complex problems, progress isn’t going to be linear as going from Point A to B.
Officials from the Western Cape government highlighted that since their engagement with the PDIA approach, it has been a challenging process which resulted in different approaches being identified to find solutions, and often, more capacity is needed as progress is made with the fishbone diagram. Overall, the lesson learned is that it is only when teams start to apply the PDIA approach that problems emerge. However, by dissecting the problem, teams are also learning and, that too, is progress.
Learn more about the BPFC programme.