Abstract for:Facilitating policy development, decision-making and evaluation: Which tools to use when

System dynamics tools are valuable for helping global, national, state and local stakeholder groups learn with and from each other. They can stimulate deepened system insights and facilitate thoughtful, appropriate use of evidence toward shared aims – whether developing policies, making decisions, or evaluating interventions. Challenges lie in matching the right tool to a given application – especially so when time or financial constraints inevitably enter the equation. Our organization has used a full range of system dynamics tools, in numerous ways, with groups addressing complex challenges. This presentation highlights brief and extended engagements with legislators, executive branch leaders, philanthropists, and other collaborating groups representing diverse sectors. We describe the application of tools ranging from systems thinking question prompts and behavior over time graphs, to causal loop diagrams, stock and flow maps, and simulation models. We focus on methods and considerations for choosing the right tool to maximize leverage, sharing insights from an expert panel convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2015 for dialog on system dynamics tool use. Along with questions, additional examples from participants’ experience will also be welcomed.