A macro decision frame is a collective decision frame for all members of a constituency that is used to decide macro journeys at the local, over national to international Level of scope.

The frame that all in the group adopt for their collective decisions is influenced by the frame's elicitation process, including communication about shared values and indicators[3] to measure a territory's condition.

A Country-level results framework is a part of a national decision frame, with the country's inhabitants as the members of the group (collective), and the country's territory as the work system.

A decision frame provides a context in which Constraints to macro journeys limit what is accessible.

Constraint Families

Sustainable development is constrained by what is accessible. In his famous report to the Balaton Group, Hartmut Bossel [1] identified several families of constraints that constrain development.

At the macro level supply-side constraints are important, including norms of behaviour, and their combined impact for stakeholders in development situations. In Garcia (2008) [2] the relevant constraints are called: …multi-faceted supply-side constraints such as policy barriers, poor infrastructure, limited access to finance and technology, etc.

Because it is usually unrealistic to address all needs and required reforms and changes simultaneously, good prioritisation is a critical step in designing development interventions.

Garcia (2008) [2] lists these prioritisation approaches to identify major bottlenecks in an economy's interface with international trade:

  • Asking the constrained - by having a dialogue involving the stakeholders;
  • Cross-country comparisons based on economic literature findings concerning the determinants of trade growth and on benchmarking exercises such as the Costs of Doing Business or other available indicators on competitiveness, investment climate or logistics;
  • Analysis of economic fundamentals and sectoral economic expertise.

The focus on knowledge commons enabling sustainable development suggests these generalizations of those approaches that must be supported by the dictionary:

  • Constraints faced by smallholders: The interest in an eco-system is related to the system's capability to create outcomes (value) for its dwellers and other stakeholders. In the sustainable livelihoods framework several kinds of capital assets have been articulated. Smallholders' perception of constraints with respect to these capital assets are included in the dictionary.
  • Constraints regarding the determinants of sustainable development: In this area our focus will be on the constraints related to the material order (c1, c2, c3, c4, and c8).
  • Constraints to Competitiveness & Innovation: The World Economic Forum publishes every year a Global Competitiveness Report. In these reports the determinants (components) of competitiveness are grouped into 12 pillars: (i) Institutions; (ii) Infrastructure; (iii) Macroeconomic stability; (iv) Health and primary education; (v) Higher education and training; (vi) Goods market efficiency; (vii) Labor market efficiency; (viii) Financial market sophistication; (ix) Technological readiness; (x) Market size; (xi) Business sophistication; and (xii) Innovation. Low scores for these pillars implies constraints for development. These constraints are those of the social order and the techno order (c5, c6, c7, and c9).

Integrated Frameworks: how is Trade Expansion related to breaking constraints?

In the context of the Integrated Framework (Actor Atlas page), Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTIS) have been prepared for several Least Developed Countries (these countries are listed at Actor Atlas (tab: Priority Countries)).

The objective of those DTIS has been to identify key constraints, both internal and external, to the expansion of LD country’s trade, with a focus on how trade expansion could help alleviate poverty (and break constraints). In particular, each DTIS is aimed towards supporting the government of the country in the realization of its national trade policy.

The causal chains linking various constraints must be emphasized in the diagnostic hypothesis for a country or region.

The constraints and causal chains addressed in the DTIS studies should also be included in the constraints dictionary.

1. Bossel, H., 1999. Indicators for Sustainable Development: Theory, Method, Applications. The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). URL http://www.iisd.org/pdf/balatonreport.pdf
2. Garcia, M., 2008. Binding Constraints to Trade and the Role of Aid for Trade, OECD Background paper, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/14/62/41577617.pdf
3. See the Indicator Dictionary for frequently used indicators of development.