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Foresight in the GCARD 2012 process


Limitations of Future Studies. Projections. Use reduced set of variables and loose proxies for real facts. Only as good as available quantitative data and its quality ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Foresight in the GCARD 2012 process

Foresight in the GCARD 2012 process
Mark Holderness GFAR Secretariat
Challenges in planning investing in AR4D for
future smallholder impacts
  • Agriculture is highly context-specific, yet there
    are also common global challenges, so we must
    think at multiple levels
  • Outcome-based planning requires that all enabling
    factors are taken care of and failure-causes
    anticipated and addressed along pathways to
  • Desired outcomes (impact) should shape required
    current research and investment and have to be
    balanced by policy makers weighting positive and
    negative impacts on different sectors
  • Uncertainty about decision and impact can be
    reduced through future studies, such as foresight
    and projections, whose role is to inform, not
    prescribe policies and practices
  • Projections are based on certain assumptions and
    perspectives, which may not be shared by others,
    in particular by the communities concerned

Some key features of foresight and projections
  • Foresight Projection
  • Mostly qualitative Quantitative
  • Scenario-based Simulation-based
  • Anticipate and explore Calculate and predict
  • Deals with trends and ruptures Deals with trends
    and alternatives
  • Multi-dimensional variables Economic, technical
    and bio-physical

hypothetical sequences of events constructed to
focus attention on possible contrasting
evolutions and decisionpoints that can shape
trends towards one or another. They help manage
uncertainties in social, political, institutional
dimensions and challenge the presumptions held
by different actors
what if? simulation uses selected variables
(e.g. IFPRI 3 population/income scenarios x 4
climate change scenarios) to help draw attention
to critical situations and inform strategic
decisions based on assessment of risks and
returns, within the parameters used
Limitations of Future Studies
  • Projections
  • Use reduced set of variables and loose proxies
    for real facts
  • Only as good as available quantitative data and
    its quality and coverage
  • linear/deterministic approach (what-if)
  • contradictory/different findings/divergences
  • Influenced by external events
  • Foresight scenarios
  • Still a limited set of variables
  • Contains inherent subjectivity that requires
  • influenced by external events
  • usually lack quantitative development to predict

Reconciling two families of future studies
Projections The. Production, consumption,
resources. FAO, Rome, Italy Using long-term
outlooks to highlight constraints, prioritize
investments and evaluate impacts., Washington,
DC, USA The Future of Agriculture and Food in
the Mediterranean Countries. Paris, France UK
Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming
Futures. Government Office for Science, London,
United Kingdom Scenarios and Challenges for
Feeding the World in 2050. Paris-Montpellier,
  • assessments and projections
  • Assessments
  • World Development Reports, WB
  • SCAR 2nd Foresight Exercise, EU
  • Ruralstruc WB/CIRAD
  • GCARD 2010 Regional priorities
  • foresight
  • Anticipatory scenario building
  • Socioeconomic scenarios, IPCC
  • SCAR 1 2007,EU
  • Mediterra 2008, CIHEAM
  • Agrimonde, INRA, CIRAD
  • Millenium Ecosystem Assesment
  • Southern Africa Agriculture, IISD
  • Energy scenarios 2050, Shell
  • The Future of the Global Financial System, WEF
  • Projections/forecasts
  • Outlook to 2030/2050, FAO
  • Food Security , Farming and CC, IFPRI
  • Threshold 21 , Millennium Institute.
  • Global Future of Food and Farming, UK
  • A vision of the future
  • Green Growth Strategy, OECD
  • Greening Economy with Agriculture, FAO
  • Agrimonde 1
  • APEC 2050 Low-carbon Society
  • Rural Ireland 2025

Choosing the preferred scenario
Highlighting the likely scenario
Why more coordinated forward thinking?
  • Not for predicting what the world will be in 2030
    or 2050 or 2080...
  • For deciding in what kind of world we would like
    to see in 2030 or 2050 or 2080...
  • The research we choose to begin now must address
    tomorrows needs and impact is not instant
  • Two underlying postulates
  • The nature of the process in co-producing
    knowledge among stakeholders is a stronger
    determinant of influence than the final outputs
  • Impact here is the ability to change mindsets, it
    is a long process
  • A concept of coordination
  • An open and inclusive mechanism seeking
    complementarities so that all stakeholders
    involved in the future of the rural world can
    have their say in shaping preferred futures
  • Application
  • Forward thinking for agricultural research to
    meet the future needs of the rural world The
    Global Foresight Hub

The Global Foresight Hub
Forward Thinking Platform
  • A permanent opportunity to develop collective
    thinking supported by commitment of its members
  • An annual inclusive venue (Foresight Exchange
    Workshop) for sharing results, comparing methods,
    and discussing controversies arising from field
  • Facilitate dialogue between scientists, policy
    makers and civil society
  • Give room to the voices of society, especially
    small farmers, to be incorporated in shaping
    research orientations
  • Region by region, starting with Sub-Saharan
  • Develop the skills and capabilities of young
    professionals to shape their own futures

Policy Dialogue Platforms
Foresight Academy
Key issues calling for coordination
  • We are faced with different questions in a
    complex agriculture different stakeholders and
    different regions different institutional
    perspectives and different tools methods
  • 3 key themes were thus prioritized in the
    Beijing meeting of the Forward-Thinking Platform
    of the Global Foresight Hub
  • What is the future for smallholder farming? (e.g.
    What are the farming patterns of the future?
    Who will be making a living from agriculture? Who
    will be living in rural areas?)
  • How will we use our land in the future? (e.g.
    Who owns the land? Who decides on how the land is
    used? How to value food vs fuel, or staples vs
    commodities? Impacts of urbanization?)
  • How will consumption shape future production?
    (e.g. implications of protein demands, wastage,
    food safety. How can we achieve both national
    food security and household nutrition?)

The outcome is always the result of the process
it depends on who decides on the question, on the
relevant variables, on the methodology, on the
desired futures...
Aims of Forward-thinking sessions at GCARD2
  • The aim is not to produce one universally
    applicable answer, but to build better
    understanding of the implications of different
    agricultural choices
  • The session should
  • Define clear actions to improve our
    forward-thinking and its impact in research/
    implementation prioritization and informing
  • Run over three half-days, with specific
    sub-themes intended to trigger more collective
    and coherent actions in a step-wise process.
  • Focus on impact through both content (what can
    forward-thinking studies tell us about
    agriculture in the future?) and process (how can
    we achieve more effective analyses of our future
    needs and trigger required research now?).
  • Bringing together and finding common ground among
    diverse analyses and perspectives on future
    needs, recognizing the assumptions being made in
    each and how these influence research
  • Set out what is required to develop a more
    coherent and integrated use of diverse forward
    looking, anticipatory approaches, so that
    investments made now are based on more robust
    viewpoints and better targeted to the particular
    needs of resource-poor smallholders.

The writeshops
  • A worldwide inventory has been conducted of
    forward-looking, anticipatory work over recent
    years, in national regional and global studies,
    including the work of the CGIAR
  • This yielded more than 50 relevant and
    documented cases directly related to
    agriculture and rural development.
  • Case-based evidence will be brought together by
    the authors concerned, into a common format and
  • The writing workshops are designed to provide the
    appropriate environment for this purpose and
    considering issues specific to each region.
  • Cases will combine the content and the process
    and assumptions used for these studies, so that
    lessons can be learned from each case and from
  • These cases will provide the substance and
    information required to inform the GCARD2
    foresight session on the current state of
    foresight, its content and process.
  • They should help enable learning on how
    foresighting can be made more effective and how
    resultant research take best account of future
    societal needs. 

Each case study will explore
  • Content gathering and analyzing information on
    topics, visions, emerging challenges and methods,
    focusing on the following question
  • What role could smallholder farmers play in
    meeting the future needs in food and nutrition
    security, poverty alleviation and sustainable
    management of natural resources? This question
    calls for particular attention to three key
    thematic issues identified by foresight
    practitioners in the Beijing workshop
  • What is the future for smallholder farming?
  • How will we use our land in the future?
  • How will consumption shape production? This will
    feed sessions 1 and 2a and b.
  • Process why and how have these studies developed
    and what assumptions have been made in these
    processes in coming to their views? What can be
    inferred from this in terms of the partnerships
    and capacities required for their impact? This
    will feed sessions 3a and b.
  • Impact the outline will seek to provide
    information and an analytical background on how
    these studies have affected prioritization of
    research, policy decisions and ultimately,
    farmers livelihoods. This will feed session 1.

Regional considerations
  • Sessions provide opportunity for regional needs
    identified through GCARD 2010 consultations and
    now in some cases being updated (e.g. S. Asia,
    Latin America), to be brought together with the
    perspectives of the identified case studies.
  • Engagement of the Regional Fora in the write
    workshops, will enable existing regional reports
    produced for GCARD 1 to be re-visited and
    synthesized into benchmark cases stimulating
    collective reflections on future needs.
  • This will aid identification of new challenges,
    revisiting of priorities and needs, adjusting
    actions and show where further anticipatory
    studies may be required

Wider stakeholder e-consultations
  • Regional e-consultations should follow on the
    write-shop products, prior to the GCARD 2
  • Constituency perspectives on the conclusions
    being drawn from the diverse analyses,
  • Implications of the state of foresight for their
    own actions and
  • What they are themselves prepared to do to
    improve foresighting processes to better meet
    their needs.

  • More effective foresighting is seen as the key
    need for improving the Strategy Results
    Framework for investments being made in the CGIAR
  • The assumptions in the CRPs and the SRF will be
    articulated into the GCARD 2012 foresight
    process, enabling public debate and bringing in
    the perspectives of their intended beneficiaires
    and end-users to directly shape and strengthen
    the action plan for implementing the SRF .

What and how?
Action 1. Stock-taking about who has engaged in
thinking forward (next 10 to 20 years) using the
question of the future of farming systems as a
case and 2) identify what ideas, scenarios,
challenges, long term visions have resulted of
their work
Consortium and CRP partners to review and
document their own forward-thinking analyses
and the perspectives, projections and scenarios
established with regard to future farming
patterns as a case in the CRP context and
identify ideas, visions and key challenges and
how programmes and partners have responded to
those priorities
Nov 2011- Feb 2012
Mapping diversity
All stakeholders though Internet with support of
Exploring diversity
Action 2. identify visions and key challenges and
how organizations have responded to those
April 2012
Throuh Fora, Farmer Org, NGO and CSO, CGIAR
Action 3. Preparation of background documents on
progresses and results on 1) and 2)
Through Fora, Farmer Org, NGO and CSO, CGIAR
Highlighting diversity
May 2012
This is were we are and what the writeshops will
Through Fora, Farmer Org, NGO and CSO, CGIAR
Action 4. Joint preparation of a progress report
and results on 1) and 2)
Reporting diversity
June-Aug. 2012
Action 5. GCARD consultation progress report and
implications actions on priorities, partnership
and capacity building
Key participants from Fora, Farmer Org, NGO and
27-28 oct 2012
GCARD 2 Turning diversity into actions
Action 6. GCARD 2 Foresight Session Plenary
progress report by contributors Working group on
priorities, partnership and capacity building
29 oct 2012
All GCARD participants Special Foresight
Action 7. GCARD agenda of action for improved
1 Nov 2012
GCARD participants
Research priorities
Capacity building
Thank You