The Systemic Approach to Change, Innovation and Development (SACID) is a revolutionary specific working methodology that observes, analyses and manages each object and action, during the project design, implementation and management, by contextualizing them within a specific system and its environment, and by referring to the functioning rules, common to all systems, set out by the General Theory of Systems
(Ludwig von Bertalanffy General Theory of Systems, 1968).
The General Theory of Systems is the science of the structures, any kind of structure, which has analysed and brought to light the cross-cutting properties that are common to all the existing systems. The Theory reveals, in an extremely clear and concrete way, by which mechanisms a system arises, develops its own identity and characteristics, reacts to inner or external change stimuli, reaches certain goals regardless of starting conditions, fails, behaves, builds relationships, self-organises, responds to its belonging environment, remains stable or changes, keeps on balance or collapses.
Summarising, the General Theory of Systems clearly explains how a system works, and the integration of its properties into any step of the project design and management provides professionals, who are engaged in whichever sort of change process, with strategic knowledge and tools to develop and implement effective, relevant, fair and sustainable interventions.
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The utilisation of the SACID as working methodology to design and manage projects for change, innovation and development, gives a three folds positive impact:
This essentially means that interventions result fully integrated, built inside the implementing framework, specifically tailored, feasible, effective and relevant to the real identified needs and available recourses, sustainable, significant as positive short and long term impact, attentive to local balances and diversities, and measurable in terms of possible risks during and post implementation.
This means that projects are structured on the basis of a number of core cross cutting pillars, such as the harmonisation with the natural, economic and political local environment, the utilisation of appropriate technologies, the replacement of linear models with circular ones, the inclusion of socio-cultural issues and cultural heritage, the approach to local identity as permanent point of reference, the full consideration of transnational ethical must, the building of structural cross cutting capacities for strengthening local autonomy, responsibility and self determination, the multiplier and multi-sector positive effects of development, and the central importance given to communication, organisation and relationships management.
Intervention expenditures that are necessary to reach the objectives decrease thanks to the inclusion of local integrated existing resources, to the endogenous development of the change process, empowerment and strengthening of local autonomy and responsibility, the construction of inner strategic capacities, the harmonisation and synergy with natural, socio-economic and political local environment, and the accurate assessment and mitigation of comprehensive risks.
The utilisation of the Systemic Approach to Change, Innovation and Development provides each crucial step of project design and management with specific important added values:
Needs and resources analysis
SACID leads to a comprehensive overview of the key needs that have to be met and the core resources that can be exploited for shifting from the current problems perspective to the future one of the possible objectives. A clear understanding of needs and resources, contextualised for each of the involved system, represents a central asset for the strategies analysis.
SACID provides the opportunity to select the project strategies as well as the system(s) in which to make the change, to assess positive and relevant impact of the actions and evaluate possible related risks at any level.
Analysis of analysis
SACID stresses the crucial importance of the analysis phase for the comprehensive quality of the project and its positive impact on target systems. For this reason, the Systemic Approach includes a final analysis assessment, to check and confirm the real validity of the on-going process and its related outcomes.
During the definition of the project objectives and the design of the whole intervention, SACID provides professionals with a set of innovative important tools to elaborate actions that:
Concretely make possible the realisation of an effective, relevant, proper and sustainable change process;
Enable to properly change the dysfunctional rules/dynamics/behaviours, which create and maintain inside the systemic structures the problem/situation that the project intends to deal with, through their substitution with new mechanisms that are effective vis-à-vis the achievement of the objectives;
Do not jeopardise, by no way, the short and long term equilibriums of the involved system(s) and their environment, do not threaten the core systemic identity pillars and do not risk to unleash local conflicts;
Belong to a conceptual and practical development/change framework, which can be easily and naturally owned by the involved system/s;
Are concretely relevant to the detected needs and based on the identified local comprehensive resources;
Build and develop, within the target context, structural cross cutting capacities with the double goal of both being functional to reach the specific project objective and empower the involved systems by strengthening their possibility of choice, autonomy, self determination and responsibility.
During the project implementation phase, SACID provides professionals with practical tools for:
Building effective and functional communication and relationship mechanisms, to optimise the management of human resources and target systems, and to guarantee permanent information flow, participation, cohesion and collaboration among stakeholders;
Monitoring the level of stability of the involved system/s during any step of the change process. Should the system’s equilibrium seem to be at risk, SACID gives indications on how to rearrange the project schedule to restore systemic balance;
Constantly referring any management procedure and tool to target systems (not anymore to single groups) and to circularity (not anymore to a linear-causal development).