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Systems Thinking

The Iceberg: A metaphor for the level at which individuals interact with a system.

The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) recognizes that communities’ health issues are often multifaceted in origin and require new ways of thinking and acting, in productive dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders. Systems thinking is an effective approach to design high-leverage interventions to address the most stubborn health policy issues.

Systems thinking acknowledges that a set of interconnected factors underlie most of the complex issues we face in population health. By identifying these elements and their connections, policymakers can overcome siloed thinking to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the system and identify high-leverage opportunities for significant and lasting change.

Systems thinking is at the root of the Georgia Health Policy Center’s (GHPC’s) work in health in all policies, health system transformation, and legislative education. GHPC uses systems thinking tools as an aid to foster critical thinking and multistakeholder conversations. These tools include:

  • Behavior-over-time charts
  • Stock and flow diagrams
  • Causal loop diagrams
  • System dynamics models


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Meet the Experts

Learn more about our staff of experts available to assist you.

  • Glenn Landers
    Glenn Landers is an assistant research professor in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and the director of health...
  • Jane Branscomb
    Jane Branscomb is a senior research associate at the Georgia Health Policy Center. She is actively involved in policy...
  • Debra Kibbe
    Debra Kibbe is a senior research associate at the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC). For almost two decades she...