Desirability The fourth step is to assess the risks and benefits or the desirability of applying the DPPD method using Figure 4 and Tool 1 5 The PD approach entails acknowledging the value of locally sourced solutions the agency of the people you are working with and respecting the right for positive deviants to decide whether they want to share their practices or not Moreover DPPD is about using data responsibly to minimize the risks related to potentially sensitive data especially when that data is personally identifiable As in every development intervention if you think the outcome might disadvantage or even harm the positive deviants their communities or the wider systems they are embedded in it is important to adjust the project or to ultimately not move forward with it Just because the DPPD method is suitable and feasible does not mean it should be applied Unintended consequences This section will guide you through the desirability assessment by helping you identify potential unintended consequences of a DPPD intervention as well as potential risks related to data privacy and protection Positive deviants When applying the DPPD method you can generally assume that positive deviants are not aware of their innovativeness and or of the success of their uncommon practices and strategies In some cases however they may be aware of this and may choose deliberately not to share their strategies with others in their community For example positive deviants might fear losing their competitive advantage over others or depleting a resource they alone are aware of if it were to be shared with others making their solution unsustainable It is important to assess whether it is desirable for positive deviants to share their practices with others Note that this is less likely an issue where cultural norms dictate against competitive strategies such as child malnutrition or health care but it might be problematic in areas where people more overtly compete with one another Is it generally safe to assume that it will be desirable to scale the practice in question Are we endangering the competitive advantage of positive deviants by sharing their practices and strategies with others Might we risk harming a positive deviant by revealing their identity Key questions to ask here include Community In the short term are non positive deviants likely to accept and adopt the PD practice Or might there be issues linked to limited capabilities or cultural factors that will hinder such adoption In the longer term will the adoption of the practices lead to foreseeable negative effects The individual positive deviant s might be supportive of the idea of sharing their successful practices However you should also ask what the likelihood is of these individuals or communities who you intend to be at the receiving end of accepting adopting and embracing such practices Another important question to ask is to what extent a successful practice will really lead to positive effects in the long run For instance identifying and scaling the practice of a positively deviant pastoralist might lead to an increase in pastoral activities and livestock numbers However over time this might result in a shortage of grazing land eventually leading to the obsolescence of the positive practice In other words it is important to consider the sustainability of PD practices Key questions to ask here include Systems While it may be difficult to go beyond the needs and aspirations of an immediate community it is also worth reflecting on potential negative impacts on the environment natural ecosystems governmental and social institutions and other wider political social and economic systems sub systems and institutions 39 40

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