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System dynamics modelling and the use of evidence to inform policymaking

Malbon, Eleanor and Parkhurst, Justin (2022) System dynamics modelling and the use of evidence to inform policymaking. Policy Studies. ISSN 0144-2872

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01442872.2022.2080814


In recent years there has been growing interest in the policy community to apply insights from system dynamics modelling to address the complexity of many policy issues. This, however, has occurred in parallel to recent developments in critical scholarship on the nature of evidence use within public policymaking. While system dynamics aims to assist in the analysis and solving of complex policy problems, in doing so it also serves to identify which pieces of data and evidence are considered policy relevant, or how pieces of evidence fit within a complex policy space. In this paper we combine insights from the fields of complex systems modelling and critical policy studies in relation to these issues. Scholars working on the use of evidence within policymaking have explored how policy problems, and their potential solutions, have a range of potential framings and constructions. They further identify how processes undertaken to define problems, apply evidence, and choose solutions can themselves specify which constructions become realised. As system dynamics modelling is increasingly applied as a policy-informing tool, it is critical to reflect on how policy issues and their solutions are constructed or understood, as well as whose values and views are represented in doing so.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 15:06
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2022 11:09

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