Time, space, and movement with SDGs   (Published: 04.05.2020)

Starting points for development management

(I) The Bible begins with a description - “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was desolate and empty, darkness covered the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the waters”. The first two verses, like many other verses, are significant instructions and interpretations of life, of the world, and of right and wrong, for the past and present man.

The last three verses of the Bible tell of Elijah, the forerunner of the Lord— “Remember the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded him at Horeb: the commandments and the statutes, which I commanded all Israel. / Hear! Before the day of the Lord comes, great and terrible, I will send you the prophet Elijah. He turns the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. Then I will not condemn the land when I come.”

(II) The document influencing the development of the present way of life is also the Constitution of the United States, adopted on September 17, 1787, which was the first decision of its kind by a significant sovereign state. Its new approach was the threefold division of power. The US Constitution identifies the so-called the principle of control and balance, according to which the branches of state administration control and balance each other's actions:

1. The president leads the government but is bound to obey the law.
2. Congress shall enact laws, but only with the consent of the President.
3. The President shall elect the Judges, but only with the approval of the Senate. The judges have       jurisdiction, the president, on the other hand, has the right to pardon.

Later, the division of labor between the various institutions was supplemented by the principle that the Supreme Court supervises legislative work by deciding on the constitutionality of laws.

The constitution was written as an open document, allowing additions to be made. The first ten additions (Bill of Rights) 1789 are a list of civil rights. Although the constitution contained restrictions on democracy, it had a strong democratic side that American John Adams considered essential to all free systems of government. The document has been deliberately drafted in such general terms that the central government could take over the rights that the states held as their own when the crisis or historical change so required.

(III) In today’s global thinking, planning and managing development is based on the Final Act adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015, which approves the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. The approved action plan is an action plan for the benefit of people, the planet and well-being, consisting of 17 objectives and 169 sub-objectives.

The goals are a cohesive, indivisible whole, balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economy, well-being, and the environment. Over the next 15 years, the goals and sub-goals will encourage action in areas that are crucial for humanity and the planet.

These three regulatory models that affect the lives of modern humans in the global regulatory platform of the Earth, including their numerous derivatives at different levels, are issues that also affect the regulatory mechanisms and content of sustainable development in terms of both baseline and outcomes.

The current regulation of sustainable development differs from the two other examples above in that the regulation of controlled processes evolves simultaneously with the perception of problems and the development of human perceptual capacity. These two examples and the whole historical perspective have a major impact on the choices made in sustainable development, reflecting the values ​​and perceptions of the actors and other stakeholders involved in the program about the future and the past.

The doctrinal structure of sustainable development took shape in the aftermath of the collapse of the world’s first socialist state. The leadership of the Soviet state, together with its Western counterparts and the leadership of the states, together with the university world, e.g., the “Harvard sons” and various “Think Thank” institutions, ended up privatizing the means of production and business as a means of achieving justice and “law and order” in the economic transformation programs of the former Soviet Union at the expense of other social developments.

No proper social analysis was ever made of the structure and functioning of the socialist state system. Neither party in the transition economy left to export forward alternative change management models, such as the concession policy that had been applied in the early stages of the socialist economy during the NEP period.

In the situation analysis, political reasons weighed more than socio-economic realities in change management. Prior to the break-up of the Soviet Union, multinational companies in the country have not actively participated in the intergovernmental transition program but have driven down their businesses and representations in the country in a “wait-and-see” mode. As a result of Russia's own policy, there has been no foreign investment like in the late 1980s. Time has stalled in Russia and several CIS countries.

The current perception of time in the world

Time has two realities: an individual time perspective and a communal conception of time. The two conceptions of time must be compatible and co-dimensional to be related to each other. Time can be thought of as a linear phenomenon, making it possible to predict things.

The individual conception of time consists of the time cycles of human life, in which time in different cultures is divided into smaller entities childhood, youth, middle age and old age. There are different time periods in the planning of society. For example, in education / teaching planning, the individual and community time dimensions are one and the same thing.

The content of the communal conception of time is much broader than the individual conception of time. The communal conception of time developed at a stage when human communities were much more dependent on the implementation of ecological principles. The cyclical concept of time was formed according to the realization of nature's own developmental phenomena, which varied greatly in different parts of the globe.

According to the linear conception of time presented by Aristotle, the cyclic element was associated with it under different cultural conditions by the names of seasons and months at different stages of temperature and high-water circulation. It is interesting to note that the Bible mentions the existence of water in two priority verses. Ecological thinking is bringing cyclical thinking into the management of the environment, if the environment and its laws are better known.

Understanding the state of the world

In environmental matters, the importance of space has been one of the most important things in current thinking. The Club of Rome was the first to present its argument for the limits of growth, which has given rise to a growing number of followers and action and development programs between CSOs and states.

In the past, after the conceptual liberation of the Renaissance, the natural sciences and higher education institutions and their scholars had begun to speak of territory thinking. Every living being has its own state in the natural order it is entitled to defend.

It is only with the spread of the Club of Rome and ecological thinking that this principle has been questioned in the world. It has been considered to lead to the destruction of the world's living conditions unless it can be regulated according to nature's own principle of "justice and fairness".

The rise in awareness and Galileo Galilei’s flying phrase “It still rotates” has changed people’s perception of their own place in the middle of the universe. Sensory perception and reasoning are the means that man has at his disposal for the world around him, both at the macro and micro levels.

Deviating evaluation of Agenda 2030

Much work has been done in the preparation of the program announced in 2015, already during the MDG program and two years before the launch of Agenda 2030 for SDGs in its preparatory working group. The result was the largest in the history of development cooperation a single program.

The Finnish consulting firm Asumer Oy has been an expert in developing Aid Coordination / Effectiveness methods in several donor development projects since the late 1990s before planning and publishing Agenda 2030 in 2015. Asumer Oy's operations are related to the methods and standards used in classical systems analysis.

Since 2015, many texts and evaluations have been published on this website about the functionality of the SDG development concept and Agenda 2030. Asumer Oy's methodological criticism has focused on the suitability of the PCM / LFA platform in use for managing such an extensive program, in which digitization is also strongly involved in the implementation of issues.

Systems thinking as a platform for Agenda 2030

Systems thinking provides an alternative implementation model for Agenda 2030, making existing development measures available:

1) Existing SDG material (LFM format) can be used, where appropriate, in a new type of program implementation. Logical Framework materials are transformed into business process descriptions, workflows, to identify own data structures and mutual information exchange in Functional Review (FR) descriptions under an umbrella of 17 SDGS reduced into four Clusters.

2) Clarify the governance framework for clusters (international agreements, laws and regulations and other regulatory implications) by completing and complementing existing descriptions of regulatory mechanisms and creating a new governance mechanism.

In addition, as part of the platform for systems thinking, the following measures will be taken to ensure the integrity of program implementation, the quality and internal coherence of individual data, and external compatibility:

3) Analyze a baseline situation that better measures reality than the content of the whole program / its newly grouped cluster objectives based on the Octal matrix, a description of the initial situation of SDG objectives at different levels of the program.

4) Analyze and refine the implementation priorities of the 17 SDG objectives based on the results of the Octal matrix and clustering to identify synergies.

5) Formulate a Synergy Ellipse at different levels of the project with a vertical dimension and indicators in the activities of the four clusters and a horizontal dimension to weigh the different implementation options and make a choice about the SDG objectives and the scope of their implementation.

6) Prepare system descriptions and other documents related to the selected implementation program in accordance with the description standards. The description material will be accepted and transferred to the technical design phase in order to create measurable SDG objectives, where there may be several alternative implementations, from which the most viable option will be selected according to priorities and competition criteria within four operational units:

(a) The choice of standards for the ICT platform and information management requirements.
b) Competent procedures and realization of synergies.
(c) The financing of operations and the establishment of a historical equalization procedure.
d) By activating internal/external communication as part of the SDG program emphasis.

7) The earth rotates, is not circular, but an ellipse prone to disturbances.

8) Change management must be done in a measurable reality.

SDGs methodology and its IPR rights

Asumer Oy has published numerous materials on the issues described above over the years. Such material cannot be equated with “Public Domain” material of international organizations and individual states in the sense of copyright. The same applies to the English-language material on the structure of the former Soviet Union, the operation of planned economy and information technology skills, published by Asumer Oy and in the early 1980s and 1990s in its own name and with its partners. The information needs determination algorithm in the MIS system for human resource management, based on the signed system analysis, is a scientific publication in Finnish, approved by the University of Helsinki in 1974.

Asumer Oy treats materials collected and handed over to it by international co-operation organizations and individual states as Public Domain materials, unless otherwise specified in them on the basis of encryption and confidentiality regulations. Since 2014, Asumer Oy's website has published a wealth of exclusive methodological material related to East-West trade and technical assistance programs, but not the methodological descriptions themselves. Some of the methods have been developed in EU / WB / UN funded projects / EU employment, in which case the IPR rights holder is the IFI institution. Asumer Oy's archive materials (I, 7 TB on-line and 40 shelf meters of paper archives) can send their expressions of interest to the address below.

Access to Asumer Oy's east-west trade and development methodology archives and additional material is related to the LoI letter. Alternative sustainable development materials are the intangible assets of Asumer Oy. Only those who submit a Letter of Interest (LoI) letter may be granted access to and use of additional material under a separately agreed General License procedure. In any publishing / product development activity, a “IPR Protection / Non-Circumvention” agreement will be concluded between the parties, the content and validation of which will be agreed between the parties.

P.S. The system diagram describing the interrelationships of the above presentation is no longer included in this public domain text.

© Asumer Oy / Heikki K. Auvinen, 2020 - All rights reserved.

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