Abstract for: Proposing a practical design framework for community-engaged system dynamics practice

The past decade has seen a proliferation of approaches to engaging stakeholders in participatory system dynamics modeling, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed approaches. Across purposes of modeling there is a need to more thoroughly capture the design of stakeholder participation in modeling to enable continued practice improvement and research on impact. While some discussions of design and subsequent choices appear in literature, there is no cohesive framework for describing these design components and how they relate to one another, resulting in inconsistent reporting and assessment. We developed a preliminary framework to help further specify design components for participatory modeling. The framework expands on the concept of scripts as the building blocks of a participatory modeling project by elaborating on design components at multiple, nested levels. It includes design decisions, assessment approaches, and significance of design decisions for each component. We will undertake a modified Delphi process to engage experienced practitioners of participatory system dynamics modeling in three rounds of anonymous, dialogical review to iteratively refine and develop a consensus final framework. This preliminary framework suggests a number of potential contributions to the field including enhancing design in practice, supporting development of evaluations, and informing research on effectiveness of participatory modeling.