System Dynamics-based Development Planning Course

January - April 2021 | ONLINE

Five years following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, world leaders are continuing to explore avenues to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, now made more challenging because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For nations to build back better and achieve the SDGs, understanding the complexity of sustainable development and developing a coherent view of the pathways to achieve it are paramount. System Dynamics stands out as a critical approach to achieve a holistic view of the factors that drive development and to illuminate the specific country dynamics that impact achievement of policy objectives.



Through case studies and practical exercises, participants will develop expertise to understand, map, and analyze complex sustainable development challenges; and to determine the best approaches to solve them using a systems perspective. Participants will gain knowledge about robust multi-sector and multi-disciplinary strategy development, policy design, and decision making in national contexts. The course is also an introduction to the Integrated Sustainable Development Goals (iSDG) planning framework developed by the Millennium Institute.


Development professionals responsible for developing policies and programs aimed at meeting the SDGs, especially policy analysts, advisors, and implementation and evaluation specialists from government agencies, policy research institutes, and international development agencies.​


The course is offered free-of-charge, but participants are required to pay a semester fee of 590 Norwegian Krone (about $65) to the University of Bergen. Millennium Institute or the University of Bergen does not offer scholarships to attend the course.



Complete the application form and return with all supporting documentation to Fully completed application must be submitted by November 20, 2020.


The critical-thinking pedagogical approach is what I like most. It challenged us to think critically and systemically, to learn from others with diverse backgrounds, and to take an active role in learning.

We were  involved in the creation of a model for a virtual country. It was extremely helpful to see modeling step-by-step, which helped us to better understand development dynamics. It is exactly what is called 'learning by doing'.

The course was very interesting. It was a good opportunity to  apply prior knowledge of development issues in practical ways using a method that I was previously unfamiliar with, but that I now think is key for effective national planning.