Global Futures and Strategic Foresight Program: third 2014 IMPACT training at WorldFish


by Evgeniya Anisimova

Group Photo 1

The third and final IMPACT training this year (see our report about the previous one here), provided as part of the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight Program (GFSF), supported jointly by the Bill and Melinda Gates FoundationCCAFS, and PIM and organized by the IFPRI’s GFSF team took place at WorldFish in Penang, Malaysia, on April 28 – May 9.  


What is IMPACT?
The IMPACT model is designed to examine alternative futures for global food supply, demand, trade, prices, and food security. IMPACT covers 56 commodities, which account for virtually all of world food production and consumption, including all cereals, soybeans, roots and tubers, meats, milk, eggs, oils, meals, vegetables, fruits, sugar and sweeteners, and other foods in a partial equilibrium framework. It is specified as a set of 159 country-level supply and demand equations where each country model is linked to the rest of the world through trade. The basic IMPACT model is combined with the IMPACT Water Simulation Model (IWSM) in order to estimate the interactions between water supply and demand and food supply, demand, and trade.  See more here.

This time the workshop welcomed our colleagues from the WorldFish Center, Centro Internacional de Papa (CIP), International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), as well as collaborators from four Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan), 14 people in total. The workshop was led by IFPRI’s GFSF and IMPACT experts Keith Wiebe, Daniel Mason-D’Croz, Shahnila Islam, Sherman Robinson, and Miroslav Batka.Workshop participants were introduced to the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight project and its tools, and Keith Wiebe, Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI and leader of the PIM Research Flagship on Foresight Modeling presented an overview of Phase 1 of the project and talked about objectives and deliverables of Phase 2. Sherman Robinson also presented an overview of the recently launched IFPRI's Central Asia Research and Capacity Strengthening Program that will use IMPACT.

Following a detailed training on the use of the updated IMPACT model, the participants ran a number of different scenarios and analyzed their results. Specific focus this time was on modeling cases of new technology adoption, and participants could choose a technology most relevant to their work (for example, a colleague from CIP created a scenario for a new potato variety that would have 7 percent higher yields).

Part of the two week workshop was an open seminar on Global Futures and Strategic Foresight, presented by Keith Wiebe (IFPRI/PIM), Daniel Mason-D’Croz (IFPRI), and Nhuong Tran (WorldFish) to the WorldFish community. The seminar raised awareness and allowed those who were not part of the training to gain a general understanding of the project and its tools, and of possible complementarities with their own research.

Watch and listen to the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight presentation by Keith Wiebe, Daniel Daniel Mason-D’Croz, and Nhuong Tran:

Aditya Sood, workshop participant, International Water Management Institute (IWMI):

“The two-week workshop on IMPACT, organized by IFPRI at WorldFish, was very well prepared and structured. The first week was dedicated to the background and framework of the model, and during the second week we had a hands-on training on the model interface and scenario development. While the first part showed how complex and versatile the model itself was, the second proved how easy it was to work with the interface.”

“The participants of the workshop were from geographically very different parts of the world. Everyone was asked to develop scenarios for their own region, which we then discussed together, and it was very interesting and informative to learn about other regions and compare them with your own.”

“I personally enjoyed the training and found it extremely useful. Although I had worked with the older version of IMPACT, it was helpful to learn about the new features and get familiar with the interface and data behind it. This comes at the right time for me as IWMI is starting a new program, “Water Future” that will focus on water based scenario development. The workshop gave me an opportunity to explore potential synergies between our new program and the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight project.

“As a recommendation for the future, I think a better manual with more detailed description of the model and the interface would be helpful. Special thanks to WorldFish for hosting the workshop and the great city tour organized for us around Penang.”

Nhuong Tran, workshop participant, WorldFish:

“The training was very useful and practical, covering both theory and practice with hands-on scenario development and model running exercises. I am excited to apply the new IMPACT version in my work to analyze and position fish commodities in the contexts of global food production systems”.

“I hope that fish module will soon be included into the new version of IMPACT model so that the WorldFish team can use it to explore impacts of promising aquaculture technologies on future fish supply and demand. It might be also useful to develop satellite models zooming into specific country/commodity and link them to IMPACT to provide more disaggregated projections”.

Teoh Shwu Jiau, workshop participant, WorldFish:

“The training provided a great foundation for IMPACT, covering both theoretical and hands-on exercises and rounding out our skills for applying practical scenarios”.

“IMPACT version 3 has an Excel interface, which makes it much more user friendly than the earlier version.”

Chan Chin Yee, workshop participant, WorldFish:

“The IMPACT model is designed to examine alternative futures for global food supply, demand, trade, prices, and food security. Current training of IMPACT version 3 focused on global baseline projections of agricultural commodity production, trade and malnutrition outcomes. I am looking forward to the development of new IMPACT version on aquaculture”.

Khondker Murshed-e-Jahan, workshop participant, WorldFish:

“Thanks to the IMPACT modeling training organized by IFPRI at WorldFish, I found completely new ways of thinking about agriculture and fisheries. It is a VERY engaging, informative class with good instructors”.

PIM work on Foresight Modeling

PIM’s foresight modeling work analyzes alternative future scenarios to explore how new agricultural technologies and practices can best help reduce poverty and hunger.

The work links biophysical, climate, and economic modeling through improvements in IFPRI’s International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT). The IMPACT model is designed to examine alternative futures for global food supply, demand, trade, prices, and food security. It allows researchers to develop global baseline projections of these variables and to explore alternative scenarios on quickly evolving topics such as bioenergy, climate change, changing diet/food preferences, and many other themes.

This work is led within PIM Flagship 1, currently includes 12 of the CGIAR’s 15 centers as partners, and will be expanded in the future to include partners from outside CGIAR as well.

See more about this research area of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets here. 

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