System dynamics (SD) is a method for understanding, designing, and managing change. It models the relationships between elements in a system and how these relationships influence the behavior of the system over time. For example, how do aspects of culture, livelihood, education, and environment impact the adoption of a new public policy or prevention or treatment program?
What we often find is that many of the causes of social and public health problems have their roots in well-intentioned policies that have unintended consequences, ignore the implications of feedback, nonlinear interactions, delays, and accumulations over time.
Community based system dynamics (CBSD) is a participatory method for involving communities in the process of understanding and changing systems from the endogenous or feedback perspective of system dynamics.
Using community based system dynamics, we can help people frame problems, visualize the system, identify potential leverage points, develop skills for communicating system insights, analyze policies, and ultimately design more effective and sustainable solutions.