Having in mind the UN reform agenda – and the imperative to meet Sustainable Development Goals – the Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) in Madagascar enlisted UN Global Pulse to help with the integration of system thinking and foresight. The office identified two interrelated goals.

One was to incorporate insights derived from an ongoing national foresight experiment into the system-analysis approach adopted for the Common Country Analysis (CCA). This aims to deepen understanding of Madagascar’s challenges and prospects, enabling more informed decision-making.

The other was to explore the future of youth work, since nearly 63% of the population is under 25. This demographic makes it crucial to prioritise youth and equip young Malagasy with foresight skills and tools to shape their future.

Our impact

For the CCA in 2022, we developed a system-analysis approach, covering the economic, social, environmental and institutional dimensions of sustainable development. For each dimension, we built qualitative causal diagrams, representing the major challenges and their causes. This led to the creation of a final synthetic diagram, providing an overall view of the major systemic challenges for sustainable development.

Further, we analysed the cause-effect relationships of the macro-variables to ensure they were taken into account in policy formulation and planning. We provided a forward-looking, long-term perspective to the CCA and added to the analytical results by considering potential future events.

For youth, we held a foresight exercise on the future of their development, employment and entrepreneurship. Youth coordinators from the country’s regions learnt the basic concepts of foresight and how to use relevant tools.

Our lessons

  • Exploring possible futures comes with a sense of responsibility to build the ideal one. Involving youth in envisioning the future not only promotes intergenerational equity but also contributes to a stable and inclusive society.
  • New methodologies can only come at the speed of participants’ readiness. Creating awareness, fostering understanding and equipping individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge are crucial for the successful implementation of foresight initiatives.

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