Applying systems thinking to reduce food bank dependency

This solution addresses dependance on food banks in Canada for local residents

Problem Description

"Global health and Education are two key areas among the several areas of focus while considering the application of systems thinking methodologies. Several international development organisations and NGO’s deal with the problems associated with health and education in several parts of the world. While their efforts are commendable, it is intriguing to note that advancements in technology have not quite given the necessary tools to tackle these issues. We try to work around these problems part by part, analysing carefully how each sub part can be solved. While such an analysis is crucial to develop appropriate solutions, we fail to recognise the interdependent relations between several such subsystems. The understanding of these dependencies and relations is another such specialisation that can be better understood from a systems thinking lens." Quote from: https://www.indecs.eu/2014/indecs2014-pp99-107.pdf

Building Blocks

Story

"The research provides a case study of how Systems Thinking was applied to a local
community project. One of the food banks in the city was selected. The primary objective
that was being addressed was how to reduce dependency on the food bank.
The research focus can be categorised as follows:
 examining the risks that result in dependency,
 exploring barriers; what prevents people from finding a better job,
 alleviation strategies; Moving people from dependency to independency,
 designing a system to prevent dependency."

Quote from: https://www.indecs.eu/2014/indecs2014-pp99-107.pdf

Resources

Contributed By

  • Juwaeriah Abdussamad, University of Ottawa

Solution Stage

One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
STAGE SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING FINANCE REQUIRED KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED GOAL
Developing and testing3
Mix of design and implementation skills
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Service, product and process design
  • Co-design
  • User-design
  • Light-touch evaluation
  • Cost-benefit modelling
  • Randomised control trials
  • High failure rate should be an explicit expectation
  • Visible senior leadership essential
HIGH
  • Grants, convertible grants/loans
MEDIUM
A stronger case with cost and benefit projections developed through practical trials and experiments, involving potential users
Demonstration that the idea works, or evidence to support a reworking of the idea
Activity