The Millennium Project - 1998 Global Lookout Study
 
 Results  of  Round 2


 
The first and second rounds in this series of questionnaires answered by the Global Lookout Panel, and interviews with policy experts produced important contributions to the Millennium Project study of policy impediments and the changing priorities of global issues opportunities.

Below are the results to:

Question 1: Impediments to Action

Question 2: Information Leading to Decision Making
 


Question 1: Impediments to Action

In Round 2, respondents were presented with a list of factors that could affect the time of response to early warnings. They were asked to review the list, judge the relative importance of each item, and to add new factors to the list. The following table is a summary of the panelís judgments about the factors presented earlier.

 
Impediments Reviewed by Respondents in Round 2
Import
2. Institutional: the fact that no one has responsibility to act; lack of adequate coordination among responsible ministries and agencies; institutional inertia.
4.15
1. Financial: lack of funding or the fact that the people who ought to pay are unwilling to do so.
3.93
19 Disinterest in the future: near term issues gain more attention than those that have more distant future consequences.
3.93
12. Strategic: lack of clear-cut strategy and goals, lack of coordinated actions among nations.
3.84
16 Planning inadequacy: lack of a long-term view.
3.83
3. Political: the action interferes with national interests or it has been proposed by a political opponent; lack of involvement of regions, corporations and specific groups.
3.80
14 Lack of consensus: differing interests and ideology among key actors, politicians, public, and particularly lobbying groups in society.
3.77
11. Complexity: lack of understanding of the magnitude of problems; lack of models showing complex interdependence of events and policies; lack of understanding of consequences of actions; stereotypical thinking.
3.75
7. Personnel: lack of decision skills - decision-makers do not understand the complexities of the issues about which they must decide; lack of professionalism of policy makers; lack of trained personnel; lack of an inventory of national and regional capacities; reduction of brain drain.
3.74
6. Information: lack of accurate, reliable and sufficient data and information, or the uncertainty of the risk; conflicting information; lack of coordinated scanning.
3.58
17 Lack of receptiveness: lack of a crisis atmosphere; conflicts between effective actions and ideology of policy makers and between proposals and tradition.
3.40
10. Communication: inadequate reports - unduly complex or too long for decision-makers.
3.27
8. Resources: lack of required natural resources, including biological resources; lack of adequate technology transfer, particularly between developed and developing countries.
2.94
15 Complacency: public complacently; the growing cult of leisure; materialism; lack of a sense of dedication and sacrifice and changing attitudes about the value of hard work. 
2.93
9. Legal: lack or inadequacy of necessary laws and appropriate regulations.
2.91
21 Inadequate time available to study the issue; press of other matters.
2.90
18 Moral lapses: loss of morality in decision making; taking the easy way rather than the right way.
2.89
13 Technological: lack of required technology or unwarranted trust in technology.
2.79
20 Criminal activities: corruption and bribery. 
2.79
5. Psychological: the fear of making a mistake or looking silly.
2.53
4. Cultural: roles of men vs. women, racism, or ethnocentrism.
2.45
 



Question 2: Information Leading to Decision Making
 

The previous rounds and interviews in this study asked respondents to think about situations when early warnings were given and timely actions followed. For these situations we asked the interviewees to identify the type of information that had been important to effective decision making and to add others to the list. The table below displays average values of the responses in Round 2.
 
 
Information Leading to Decision-Making 
Reviewed in Round 2
Usefulness if available
1. Information that demonstrates unequivocally that a crisis is pending.
4.59
13. Sufficient information about what is required to implement various policy options: e.g. manpower, systemic effects, technological change, etc.
3.82
16. Simple, clear, precise information in political, cultural and social (non-technical) terms, connected to goals and strategies
3.82
14. Attention paid to the issue by the media.
3.78
6. Information about the success or failure of other institutions and countries that have similar problems and have attempted to implement policies; inspiring success stories.
3.71
5. Development and popularization of appropriate indicators; coordination of indicators among institutions that rely on cooperation to design and implement policy.
3.66
2. Testimony of eminent scientists. 
3.65
11. Information about probability and risks associated with issues and their policy solutions.
3.64
7. Popularization of issues through public communities, business, research institutions, individuals under leadership and guidance of government.
3.42
4. Intended actions of other ministries, countries or decision-makers.
3.41
12. Creation and use of accurate simulations and training which make clear the consequences of actions.
3.38
3. Accurate projections of computer models.
3.34
8. Popularization of visions showing the consequences of and possible outcomes of the issues; cooperation between artists (e.g. Spielberg) and futurists. 
3.29
15. A set of long-term scenarios, ranging from dreadful to positive.
3.24
10. Information about (or derived from) corporate lobbying that could influence decision making by institutions and governments.
3.04
9. Knowledge about criminal activities that could adversely influence decision making by institutions and governments. 
2.89
 


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