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Jeph Mathias

Jeph Mathias


: Dehradun, India ( Show location on map)

Job title

: Development Consultant for complexity.



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Professional profile

Sector experience


About Jeph Mathias

Much of my working life has been in complex, often unstable situations. I am comfortable in (in fact I enjoy) such contexts. I specialise in the "human-environment interface" and my preferred domain is complexity (for me all of development is in complex or chaotic domains). If your project/programme falls within a broad definition of "human -environment interface", if it\'s nested in complexity or if your context is fragile or unstable I would be delighted to talk to you. I offer: Project and programme planning and design, Participatory monitoring, Project and programme evaluation, Team building for complex contexts and Staff capacity in complexity theory and practise- from the practical level for field staff to ideas and concepts at central office.

Interest in OM

When I "discovered" OM it resonated deeply, felt natural maybe because it formalises (and adds to) how I think and what I\'ve learned about development, about people and the world. A mantra is "Outputs are changes in things, Impact is a change in the world and outcomes are changes in people" Development, is all about people.


My primary skill- being comfortable, resourceful and a good communicator in a wide variety of situations- derives from a working life often in complex, unstable or insecure situations. I\'ve been privileged with study in New Zealand and Cambridge and to have lived in slums in Delhi, Phomh Penh and Belo Horizonte, to have directed a hospital Emergency department in New Zealand, taught in South Africa, trapped crocodiles in the Amazon, played football in a favela, and worked in conservation in New Zealand. Talking to a High commissioner in Delhi, sharing beer with a guerrilla in a Colombian rainforest, chatting over chai with mother Teresa or treating a scared 6 year old with malaria all force one try to understand another human being, her/his values, aspirations hopes and fears. It is a tremendous privilege.

Alongside this wide social and geographic experience is my ability to think in different ways. Medical training and work as an emergency doctor is high level training in rational, hypothetico-deductive problem solving. A masters in ecology and conservation widens that and an MA in philosophy and MPhil in development deepen my human and social understanding. GIS (at masters level) is a different paradigm again. For me to simultaneously approach a context from multiple perspectives and in alternate ways is critical to navigating complexity.

More definable skills I bring with me are being an Emergency doctor, a good writer and my extensive experience in alpine climbing, wilderness and expedition leadership..
I am good at teaching:medical students, post graduate doctors, development studies students, field workers and regional and country and international NGO staff- I enjoy them all.

In complex, unstable situations I\'m often surprised at skills my variegated history has somehow furnished me with. I love it.

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: Tuesday 06 September 2011

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