Abstract for:Structuration through practice: overcoming the institutionalization gap

National development planning is a complex, strategic decision making process

requiring technical capacities to evaluate policies. The Millennium Institute

develops a system dynamics model with clients and trains governments to apply it

to support this process. Unfortunately, not all governments are equally able to

sustain the model or method following projects. These difficulties are similarly

witnessed in other system dynamics projects and the wider setting of capacity

building projects. Behavioral components which influence success of projects

have been investigated, however a framework which links this with sustaining

practice has not been developed. This study develops a dynamic hypothesis of

institutionalization to understand why successful intermediate outcomes of

projects do not always lead to sustained capacities. The research follows an

inductive, explanatory research approach by conducting three case studies of

past projects, and converges insights from reports, interviews, and relevant

literature into a system dynamics model. The model comprises the organizational,

behavioral, and project factors that influence the process of

institutionalization. The analysis indicates the importance of building a

balanced foundation of knowledge and routines satisfying an organizational need

in order to enable clients in maintaining outcome quality and commitment, and

thus sustain practice beyond the project.