We need good theories of social change for building the thinking of all
involved in processes of development, as individuals, as communities,
organisations, social movements and donors. The conventional division
in the world today between policy-makers (and their theorising) and
practitioners is deeply dysfunctional, leaving the former ungrounded and
the latter unthinking.
Good concepts help us to grasp what is really happening beneath the
surface. In the confusing detail of enormously complex social processes,
we need to turn down the volume of the overwhelming and diverse
foreground and background “noise” of social life, to enable us to
distinguish the different instruments, to hear the melodies and rhythms,
the deeper pulse, to discover that “simplicity on the other side of
complexity.” We need help to see what really matters.