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Zimbabwe crackdown: "Small" intervention, unforeseen consequences

This Event Map displays the unforeseen consequences of an action by the government of Zimbabwe.

People in Zimbabwe are facing a tough time. While living costs are soaring the government decided on the 12th of January to double the prices of petrol and diesel. While the effect of blocking social media communication to prevent protests is somewhat doubtful the consequences were direct and painful. 

The Event Map is a visualisation of the past: what happened, what were the consequences and what were the causes. Those are 3 of the 5 building blocks of a causal visualisation to analyse problems. But there are more opportunities:

  • What contributed to these problems?
  • If any? What should have prevented the problems?
  • What can we do to prevent this for the next time?
  • What new barriers can we implement to prevent the consequences?
  • And where could this failure mechanism also be in place?

The last question opens the opportunity to take this single incident as an example and ask: : “in what situation could the same failure mechanism also be applicable?”.

In this Event Map the causes and contributing circumstances go in tandem to create bigger problems. This real-life example shows that deviations, changes (upcoming technology) and existing conditions can cause problems no one ever thought of.  For example, the use of is this Event Map can be extended to think about the risks that come with the dependence on new technologies (5G, IoT).

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