System Dynamics Modelling

for Collaborative, Evidence-Based Design of Interventions to Reduce Tuberculosis Transmission in South African Health Facilities

Principal Investigator: Justin Parkhurst
Start Date: 01 May 2019
End Date: 30 April 2021
Regions: Africa
Countries: South Africa
Keywords: Tuberculosis, policy making, modelling, transmission, drug resistance, health care facilities


This project aims to engage South African policy makers and practitioners to use system dynamics modelling (SDM) methodology to map the drivers of transmission of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). This will serve as a case study in the use of this method to translate complex research-derived knowledge into a format accessible to policy-makers and practitioners at various levels of the health system, toi nvolve policy-makers in evidence generation, and to facilitate evidence-based decision-making.

The specific objectives of this project are to:

  • Develop an incipient system dynamics (causal loop) model depicting systems relating to TB and DR-TB transmission in health facilities in South Africa (particularly KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape) to bring together quantitative and qualitative data to identify promising ‘leverage points’ affecting DR-TB transmission in PHCs – to be done during workshops via active engagement with policy makers and practitioners
  • Train South African research organisation partners in the use of system dynamics methodology, in particular group model-building workshops – to be done via training sessions (remote prior to the workshop and in-person)
  • Conduct a systematic review of theliterature around the use of system dynamics modelling to synthesise evidence and opinion and to inform policy decisions
  • Use this project as a case study to assess the potential for SDM as a way to engage policy-makers with evidence generation and as a knowledge translation tool.

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