Model Building for the Complex System of International Development Aid

Wu, Belinda; Hanna, Sean and Wilson, Alan (2016). Model Building for the Complex System of International Development Aid. In: Wilson, Alan ed. Global Dynamics: Approaches from Complexity Science. John Wiley and Sons Ltd., pp. 257–270.



The international development aid system is complex. Researchers argue that a new approach embracing the ‘new science’ of complex systems can make aid more relevant, more appropriate, more innovative and more catalytic, where an interdisciplinary approach provides a new way to study regularities that differs from traditional science. This chapter discusses the study method in detail from the aspects of both data collection and model building. The authors have explored various data sources and focused on five main collections of data for this analysis: aid, trade, migration, security and associated geographical data. The main aim of the Enfolding project focuses on explaining, modelling and forecasting global dynamics of various complex systems such as international development aid, international trade, security and migration. A series of regression models have been built to try to improve the correlations between the aid allocation and the important factors.

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