Abstract for: Developing conceptual models from qualitative data: a method with audit trail

Conceptual models about problem structures are usually developed from information obtained from relevant stakeholders. While the use of Group Model Building (GMB) is popular, other methods have been developed. Many of these other methods address situations where the stakeholders cannot be gathered together at a single location to obtain a shared mental model (as obtained in GMB). Some of them use Dephi method or some form of coding, etc. Delphi method relies on the sustained interest of the stakeholders which may not always be available. One of the coding methods, on the other hand, is reductive in design. This paper describes a method for building causal loop diagrams (CLDs) from qualitative data. It presents a conceptual model with a robust audit trail from qualitative interview data. This method is demonstrated using the safety problem of commercial motorcycle operation in Nigeria. It identified some problems within the system as well as their feedback structures. This method strengthens confidence in the conceptual model developed and makes up for some limitations of earlier methods including where they cannot be adopted.