This article reflects on the experience of the Crisis Watch initiative.
This established a network of organisations and individuals who were involved in monitoring and acting on the ongoing effects of the 2008 financial crisis at the grassroots level. It provided a basis for understanding the ongoing human impacts of crisis and for sharing lessons on how to generate evidence quickly for policy consideration. The interplay between the financial crisis and other ongoing crises meant that people often experience a compound crisis. In this context, the attribution of specific impacts to the financial crisis alone is difficult and can lead to inappropriate simplifications for policy. The experience from Crisis Watch urges us to reimagine the relationship between crises and development in terms of a systems approach, which draws on complexity thinking. This focus on relationships between people represents a significantly different starting point for development policy thinking.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 42.5 (2011) Reimagining Development through the Crisis Watch Initiative