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System Dynamics-based Development Planning Course

30 January - 26 February 2023 | ONLINE
9 - 31 March 2023 | BERGEN, NORWAY

We are at the half-way point of the Sustainable Development Goals, and while progress has been made, it is clear that much still needs to be done to achieve any of the goals, especially in light of the setback caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


As the global community continues to manage the pandemic's lingering impacts, leaders are faced with questions such as what are the effective and cost efficient solutions we should adopt to increase the resilience of our social and economic systems to future shocks, while also protecting finite environmental resources. Understanding the complexity of sustainable development and developing a coherent view of the pathways to achieve it are paramount if we are to achieve the SDGs.


System Dynamics-based planning stands out as a scientific method to achieve a holistic view of the factors that drive development and to illuminate the specific country dynamics that impact achievement of development objectives.



Through case studies and practical exercises, the course 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) simulation tool developed by the Millennium Institute.


Professionals involved in national development planning, in particular developing policies and programs for achieving the objectives of development frameworks such as the SDGs, Paris Climate Agreement, and Sendai Framework. Typical participants include 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 $60) to the University of Bergen. Participants are also responsible for their travel, accommodation, and living expenses while in Norway. An average student budget in Norway is about USD1,500 per month for most expenses including university housing, food, study materials, transport, and activities. 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 December 19, 2022.


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.

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