written by Matt Andrews, Mark Moore, Lant Pritchett and Salimah Samji
This is a crowdsourcing effort to understand why … and to help foster a common response.
Many governments lack the capabilities to play the roles needed for their countries to work well and prosper. These capabilities are often missing because policy-makers cannot agree on the ‘solutions’ they need, and thus fail to invest in the capabilities they must develop to make needed solutions work.
This manifests in policy passivity, where policymakers fail to identify or resource the policy vehicles needed to address social needs. This then leads to problems that persist over time.
Mass shootings are just such problem, persisting—and even growing—in the United States, where government seems to lack the answers—or even capabilities—to respond.
We don’t usually work on the USA—our focus is on developing countries—but we live in the USA and feel the real grief and helplessness of the citizens affected by this problem, and the many policymakers we see trying to address the problem-; especially in the last few days, given the tragic recent event at a school in Florida. We watched on TV as the superintendent responsible for that school asked for help in finding and addressing ‘the root causes of this problem’.
We have found that there are ways of engaging in these frustrating, helpless situations, and the starting point is usually in identifying root causes of the problem—by convening a broad, evidence-based conversation about ‘why’ the problem is happening. Different groups can come together around hard policy issues and problems when all are asked, ‘Why is this problem being caused? What evidence do you have about the cause? And where does your evidence come from?’
We take the answers to these questions—as inclusively as possible—and include them into graphic descriptions of the problem—like Ishikawa or fishbone diagrams. These diagrams help to show what are always MANY different legitimate and real and important causes of pressing and persistent problems, and allow a broad discussion of these problems in a nonpartisan way. These diagrams also help identify constructive entry points to start solving the problem—one root cause at a time—again in a nonpartisan, practical way.
We would like to crowdsource a broad discussion on the mass shooting problem in the USA to identify these root causes and build a nonpartisan, inclusive, and actionable viewpoint on the problem. And to this end we invite you to help. Please click on this link, and tell us WHY YOU THINK THE UNITED STATES HAS MORE MASS SHOOTINGS THAN ANY OTHER DEVELOPED NATION. You can offer your thoughts as an anonymous commentator or offer your name. We will take your views and add them to others’ views to build a broad picture of the root cause of this problem. We will then see where the discussion goes.