Denise Sumpf

I work with the United Nations to improve economic governance, institution-building and development planning in the Arab region. By training I am a behavioural economist with complementary experience in political science who lived and worked in diverse geographical contexts (Asia-Pacific, Africa, Middle East). 
On the research-side, I focus on political participation, perceptual biases in decision-making, competition and behavioural factors influencing development planning processes. I also design capacity-building programmes for politicians and public sector decision-makers and I teach at Humboldt University in Berlin.
What cannot be learned?
Probably everything can be learned with the right amount of time and effort, however no amount of time nor effort can make up for the unexplainable 'magic' necessary to align quality, timing, value and functionality (be they aesthetic or pragmatic-practical or else) into something remarkable.
What can people learn from you?
Development cooperation faces the challenge of political will (specific behavioural patterns of decision-makers subject to their own motivations and incentives), therefore I try to work with/work around such constraint by designing research and capacity-building measures that involve different perspectives beyond the narrow institutional discourse and connect directly to the motivations/incentives.
What do you want to unlearn?
A gradual, somewhat inevitable tilt to preferential use of instruments, tools and processes due to years of experience

Under the patronage of

Deutsche UNESCO Kommission

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