Tobacco Control Is a Wicked Problem: Situating Design Responses in Yogyakarta and Banjarmasin

Publication Type:
Journal Article
She Ji, 2019, 5 (4), pp. 261 - 284
Issue Date:
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© 2019 Tongji University and Tongji University Press Tobacco use is a persistent social issue worldwide. The World Health Organization has found that policy change and regulation are the clearest paths to resolution. In Indonesia, where smoking is increasingly common, tobacco control has become a wicked problem, plagued by conflicting stakeholder interests, public mistrust of science and government, and the lack of a clear path to a nationally applicable approach. At the local level, however, social change can take many forms, and involve diverse communities, individual citizens, businesses, NGOs, and multiple levels of government in dynamic stakeholder configurations. By treating tobacco in Indonesia as a wicked problem, and taking an iterative, collaborative approach to resolution, we demonstrate how locally-organized, youth-focused anti-tobacco campaigns are less about finding a single solution to tobacco use and more about identifying, connecting, and supporting local stakeholders working together towards preferred futures. We argue for the inclusion of locally-focused design research programs when rethinking complex issues such as tobacco control in places where national regulation is failing.
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