Using an Evolutionary Learning Laboratory approach to establish a World First Model for Integrated Governance of Haiphong, Vietnam

Thanh V. Nguyen, Ockie J. H. Bosch, Nam C. Nguyen


We manage the systems we are part of in a highly compartmentalised structure. Government departments are a typical example of how society operates in silos. However, complex political, environmental, socio-economic, and business-financial issues tend to transcend the jurisdictions and capacities of any single government department, which adds significantly to the difficulties in finding systemic management solutions and effective governance plans. This lack of cross-sectoral communication and collaboration in complex national and global environments compromises the leaders and policy makers in government, leading to centralised protocols and siloed departments that undercut local responsiveness. The Government of Haiphong City (HPC) decided to establish an Evolutionary Learning Laboratory (ELLab) to enhance communication and collaboration between the different departments in order to develop an integrated and systemic Governance Plan for HPC.

Workshops and specialist forums were held to gather the mental models of representatives of different Government departments. The "learning" process started with integrating the various mental models into a systems structure using Causal Loop Modelling and continued during the steps of interpreting and exploring the model. A deeper understanding of the potential implications of actions, strategies and policies lead to the identification of leverages and systemic interventions that will contribute to the development of a sustainable HPC.

A series of Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) management models is developed for each of the identified systemic interventions, determining the requirements for their implementation, the factors that could affect the expected outcomes; and the order in which activities should be carried out to ensure cost-effectiveness and maximum impact. The models are combined and used to develop a refined systems model, which forms at the same time a systemic strategic and operational plan for integrated governance of HPC.



systems thinking; sustainable development; complex problems; management models; Ecological Cities as Economic Cities (Eco2 Cities); ELLab

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