CSART – harnessing computer simulation for better decision making

We know: in a complex world the solutions we invest in don’t often lead to the change we strive for

We understand: we need to evolve from the rudimentary analytic tools used over the past half century to achieve significant, lasting impacts for complex global challenges such as poverty, food insecurity, mental illness, crime, substance abuse, domestic violence, chronic disease and many more

We believe: a genuine commitment to open science holds the key to tackle these complex problems

CSART has supported its partner institutions to secure over $18.2 million in grants and commissioned work


  • A not-for-profit organisation working to build global capacity in the use of computer simulation and advanced research technologies to support policy and planning decisions
  • Working at the intersection of computer, data, systems, health, behavioural and citizen science to put better analytic tools in the hands of decision markers to solve complex problems
  • Creating the necessary human, technological and systems infrastructure to enable widespread use of computer simulation to evaluate policy solutions before they are implemented in the real world
  • Using innovative technologies to address practical real-world challenges, saving time and resources


A world where human health and wellbeing are enhanced by providing policy makers and system planners more intelligent tools to facilitate better decisions by:


Next generation computational modelling methods that integrate best evidence, expert and local knowledge and advanced data collection technologies


Sustainable investment in workforce and infrastructure development


Innovation through a transdisciplinary approach and commitment to open science


Ongoing partnership, collective learning, and action


Research & Development Labs

Centres of excellence in Canada, Australia and Switzerland are undertaking consolidated, coordinated and synergistic research and development activities to realize technical innovation, efficiency and training opportunities that would be difficult to achieve alone.

Model repository & curation

We are working to establish an Open Source repository of models, modules, and metadata that will be made available to researchers and practitioners to advance population health and social sciences and facilitate the development of customized decision support tools.

Policy applications & placement opportunities

Commissioned computer simulation models to support real-world policy and planning decisions are increasingly being undertaken across our international sites, providing placement opportunities for capacity building.

Transdisciplinary Academic Programs

We are supporting our partner institutions provide a range of transdisciplinary boot camps, short courses, and more intensive training relevant to the application of computer simulation and advanced research technologies in the health and social sectors.


Partner Institutions

CSART is an organization focused on capacity building and open access innovation from research and development activities. As such, CSARTs activities may provide Partner Institutions improved availability and access to workforce and/or training opportunities, innovation arising from our R&D activities, and infrastructure that will support provision of decision analytic services to improve population health and wellbeing. In return, Partner institutions support CSART activities in a variety of ways including in kind contributions, access to professional networks, and opportunities for placements / professional development in commissioned applications of computer simulation to support policy and planning. 

We additionally welcome as Partners a range of policy agencies, NGOs and other organisations tackling complex health and social problems who wish to benefit from access to our national and international network of service providers across the spectrum of systems thinking, modelling & simulation, human behavioural modelling & simulation, participatory modelling & consensus building for collaborative action, implementation of advanced data collection, research & evaluation technologies, and short courses. There are no financial barriers to becoming a Partner Institution of CSART and we welcome partners from all over the world. Contact us for more information.

CSART does not enter into partnership arrangements with organisations whose interests and activities are in conflict with our mission and values. CSART considers any form of funding from organisations that are involved in activities and/or products that present a direct hazard to population health and wellbeing as being inappropriate. Some examples include companies involved in the production and sale of tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverage products.

Testimonials from policy makers using computer simulation to inform policy and planning

'The simulation modelling that we’re using to inform our decision making in Tasmania brings systems thinking to life. It combines different systems science methods in an applied way, enabling us to quantify what will happen over time if we pull different policy levers simultaneously.

It brings together key stakeholders and different agencies responsible for implementing policies and programs. They get us all on the same page, guiding our thinking to see the big picture.

This is perhaps the greatest advantage of systems tools.'

Manager, Partnership Development, Public Health Services, Tasmanian Dept. of Health
Systems modelling & simulation to inform reduction of alcohol-related harms (work undertaken by Jo-An Atkinson, Mark Heffernan, Geoff McDonnell & Jacqueline Davison through The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, The Sax Institute)
'It’s a glass box rather than a black box, which is important in terms of believing the model…the thing that is important for me is that it’s robust, that it involves clinicians, prevention practitioners and academics in building the model, and locates the evidence to support the model – it’s credible.'
Executive Director, Centre for Population Health, NSW Health
Systems modelling and simulation to inform reductions in childhood overweight & obesity (work undertaken by Jo-An Atkinson, Mark Heffernan, Geoff McDonnell, Nick Roberts & Vincy Li through The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, The Sax Institute)
'The model is proving to be a useful decision-support tool. It is providing robust, substantive information that we can use to guide and select the most effective approach for smoking reduction.'
Senior Health Promotion Officer, Department of Health, Queensland
Systems modelling & simulation to inform reductions in smoking prevalence (work undertaken by Jo-An Atkinson, Adam Skinner, Pippy Barnett, Mark Heffernan & Geoff McDonnell through The Sax Institute)
'It is an understatement to say that this is truly excellent. Over the years I have watched so many health-related projects unfold in our region that seem to have little or no basis in evidence, and that have instead been founded on somebody’s ‘good idea at the time’. It is refreshing to see that the evidence around suicide prevention interventions has been pulled together to help direct service delivery that maximises outcomes.'
Chair, Clinical Governance Council of a rural Primary Health Network
Systems modelling & simulation to inform suicide prevention & mental health service planning (work undertaken by Jo-An Atkinson, Adam Skinner & Andrew Page through The Sax Institute)


CSART is grateful for the generous financial and in-kind contributions of the following foundations and organizations:



For questions or further information, please contact us.