Andrea recommends Duncan Green’s book review of The Power of Positive Deviance as a useful starting point for understanding the concept of Positive Deviance.
Positive Deviance can be seen as quite a different way of working for many researchers and practitioners but there is increasing evidence that identifying and learning from outliers leads to really novel, and effective solutions.
The Positive Deviance concept also relates to the Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) approach which is based on the core principles described in a Center for Global Development working paper by Matt Andrews, Lant Pritchett and Michael Woolcock:
* PDIA focuses on solving locally nominated and defined problems in performance
* It seeks to create an authorising environment for decision-making that encourages positive deviance and experimentation
* It embeds this experimentation in tight feedback loops that facilitate rapid experiential learning, and
* It actively engages broad sets of agents to ensure that reforms are viable, legitimate, relevant, and supportable.