Community-Based System Dynamics (CBSD) is a participatory method for engaging and working with communities and organizations to address complex issues. Developed from group model building and system dynamics, CBSD is now being used around the world, both in research and practice, to engage diverse communities and organizations. This 5-day course provides an introduction to CBSD, with opportunities for participants to receive feedback on preliminary designs for their own CBSD work. Participants will build capabilities relevant to CBSD, including qualitative causal mapping skills, exposure to system dynamics simulation models, skills on identifying issues appropriate for CBSD, assessing community readiness, convening a core modeling team, workshop design and facilitation.
While no prior training or experience in group facilitation, group model building or system dynamics is required, participants currently working with or planning to work with groups (e.g., classrooms, community meetings, focus groups, coalitions, and workgroups) will find the content more relevant.
After completing this course, participants will be able to:
- Understand what CBSD is and how it fits into the larger space of systems science, systems thinking, and system dynamics approaches.
- Learn how to identify and structure problems in CBSD.
- Develop skills for reflecting the structures underlying complex issues using system dynamics diagramming conventions.
- Understand the role of simulation models in CBSD projects.
- Learn best practices in CBSD workshop planning and facilitation and where to access relevant resources for additional practice.
- Practice facilitation skills including presenting model structure and incorporating revisions from others.
- Learn about meaningful ways to engage communities and researchers in the process of CBSD.