Abstract for: A Design Framework for Community-Engaged System Dynamics Practice

Applications of participatory system dynamics, including qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches, continue to grow. Since the emergence of participation in modeling there have been ongoing efforts to document and more effectively support participation processes. These tools and techniques include scripts and Scriptapedia for documenting and sharing group model building activities and facilitation roles; ScriptsMaps for script sequencing; and creating core modeling teams. However, there are additional nuanced design decisions to consider and there is no cohesive framework for describing these design components. Grounded in our practice and existing literature, we present a framework for design of community-engaged system dynamics practice. The framework is organized into 4 nested levels: 1. Project, 2. Session, 3. Script, and 4. Sub-script. Each level specifies design decisions, their potential impact, and possible assessment approaches. Preliminary work with a broader group refined the framework, and a Delphi process will further diversify input. Inclusion criteria for the Delphi process have been developed to ensure a baseline level of experience while also encouraging diverse participation. The framework contributes to the field by providing design support to practitioners, enabling standardized reporting, inviting new evaluation approaches at multiple levels, and opens the door for new practice guidance.