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Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/36165
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Global Futures aims to improve the capacity of the CGIAR centres to evaluate and prioritise research investments, and to support the decision-making of international development partners and national policymakers by giving those who work in agricultural development the kinds of information they need to make the best decisions to support small farmers so they can boost their yields, increase their income, and develop a better understanding of how to adapt to climate change. Lead institution: IFPRI IFPRI’s mission focuses on identifying and analysing alternative international, national, and local policies in support of improved food security and nutrition, emphasizing low-income countries, poor people and the sound management of the natural resource base. Key areas of priority that support agriculture are; contributing to capacity strengthening of people and institutions in developing countries that conduct research on food, agriculture, and nutrition policies; and actively engaging in policy communications, making research results available to all those in a position to apply or use them, and carrying out dialogues with those users to link research and policy action. Climate communication aims: The communication aims of this project are to help policy makers better understand climate impacts through visual modelling and scenarios. Feedback from policy makers is shared with the modellers for new iterations. IFRI have a specific focus on modelling climate change impacts on agricultural crops and shape their scenarios around this. Different variables are introduced to the model like trade and openness. Communications/social learning characteristics: Global Futures is an amalgamation of a number of different tools and projects that has ambitions to reach out beyond researchers to policy makers and eventually to farmers. The initiative takes a number of climate modelling tools that have been developed by IFPRI and others and is experimenting how these tools can be combined to better engage with policy and practice. Tool 1 – IMPACT (International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade) a software based economic model that projects the future production, consumption, and trade of key agricultural commodities, and can assess the effects of climate change, water availability and other major trends. Started in the 1990’s looking at a few commodities across a few regions, it evolved to the current version which has 40 commodities across 115 national areas and 281 food production units. It is also being ported to a lighter web-based version. Tool 2 – D-SAT A tool developed by the University of Florida that models crop yields with respect to changed environmental conditions. This has been integrated/combined with the IMPACT tool to produce a wider set of available variables for modelling. Tool 3 – Food security CASE maps are interactive web based Climate, Agriculture, and Socio-Economic Maps that present IFPRI’s latest research on the future of food security, farming, and climate change to 2050. The principle idea behind Global Futures is to provide all the rights kinds of information to support small farmers so that they can boost their yields, increase incomes and build better lives. This is essentially a top down, information supply mechanism on a global scale which can be tailored (using the ICT tools) to regional areas. It is an example of a “push” project which has elements of “pull” by holding workshops and dialogues with policy makers, where data is presented and discussed in a regional context using visually appealing formats. While there have been good attempts at bringing findings and dialogue to farmer communities it is not clear that the datasets or research agenda has been built through an assessment of farmer’s needs and their adaptation to difficult environments. Although this project is engaging at national policy level and has aspirations to reach community level, it does not demonstrate what we are calling “triple loop learning”. Audience: Global Futures states that that it aims to benefit small farmers, providing them with information so that they can make better decisions to boost yields and improve livelihoods (the assumption here is that increased yields automatically assume improved livelihoods). There is also a research and policy audience as part of the chain of support for farmers and it appears that policy makers, rather than farmers, are currently the main target. The theory of change assumes there will be spill-down from the national level to farmers. IFPRI have aspirations to target farmers more directly but it is not clear how the farmers will receive this information as much of it is presented through an online platform and would need some interpretation for context and use of local language. Getting research into use (how this case study does or does not contribute to that): Global Futures represents a good example of one of the key challenges faced by CGIAR centres and CCAFS. It is a challenge faced by similarly large, sophisticated, and well- resourced scientific/technical institutions. Researching, gathering and collating sophisticated & comparative datasets that can stand up to rigorous comparison the world over can end up by providing “lowest common denominator” information at the local level because it lacks context, and no easily accessible means of interpreting the data. The scenarios workshops however are an encouraging way to bring this information, more visually, in to a dialogue setting. The challenge is how to bring this to the local level (at scale) and create learning loops that impact the model itself by building in local learning and context. Evolution of the project (how has the project evolved or developed if known): IFPRI has evolved these tools from focusing more on climate change researchers (IMPACT) to also engage more with policy makers (CASE maps). The Global Futures initiative has held a number of workshops in East Africa testing out a participatory “scenarios building” exercise which maps out different futures scenarios based on different start conditions e.g. good transport/bad transport, open markets/protected markets to allow more nuanced discussion based on numbers that can be made visual for easier interpretation e.g. what would a 10% increase in trade barriers due to farmer costs and hence consumer prices? What would be resultant impacts on demand taking in to account modelled climate change impacts.
Describes experience of: IFPRI