Decision Support that is useful to national and regional users


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Mark Stafford Smith, Peter Carberry, Mark Howden CSIRO National Research Flagships, Australia. 4 May 2010.

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Decision Support that is useful to national and regional users

  1. 1. Decision Support that is useful to national and regional users Mark Stafford Smith, Peter Carberry, Mark Howden CSIRO National Research Flagships, Australia 4th May 2010
  2. 2. Outline • In praise of Food Systems for delivering food security • Adapting to climate change – Some key concepts in adaptation • Decision support for decision making – Process as much as content • Challenges and opportunities: Food Systems in the Earth System • Link food systems, earth system science, scale issues, users of decision support, and development
  3. 3. Main elements of food systems (GECAFS) FOOD FOOD UTILISATION ACCESS • Nutritional Value • Affordability • Social Value • Allocation • Food Safety • Preference FOOD AVAILABILITY • Production • Distribution • Exchange
  4. 4. Some benefits of a food systems approach • Identifies interactions of global change with food system – Focus on multiple vulnerabilities within the food system – Highlights under-emphasised aspects of the food system such as diverse food types and their sensitivity to climate change – Analyses feedbacks to the earth system from the food system (GHG, biodiversity, biogeochemical cycling, etc) – Highlights embodied water and carbon in food • Allows analysis of multiple food system outcomes – food security – ecosystem services – social welfare (GECAFS: Diana Liverman) • “Cumulative changes, whole supply chains, transformative solutions…” Achim Steiner
  5. 5. Four concepts in adaptation • Linking across scales and users
  6. 6. 1. Different paradigms – but bring together Mitigation Adaptation Earth systemPolicies (e.g. ETS) Development Policies (e.g. drought)Technologies (e.g. clean coal) Technologies (e.g. infrastructure) science? science?Behaviours (e.g. energy efficiency) Behaviours (e.g. water use)Adaptive management (e.g. offsets) Adaptive capacity and management (e.g. urban planning) Participatory action research Regional to local scale Strong in social and economic
  7. 7. 2. Adaptation: multiple scales, purposes, contexts Trade policy Sectors & tradeNational policy Industry mix Regional & industry policy Livelihood optionsAgribusiness & Land use mixNRM extension Alternative management Adoption & practices adaptation Paddock Farm/park Region National Global (Rohan Nelson)
  8. 8. 3. Linking the local to the national+ • Structured approach to extrapolation/scaling up Generalisations & global statements Typology of diverse systemsBased on xclear modelof (different) Categories of regional GEC impactssystemsfunctioning ⇓ Broadly predictable sets of responsesacross scale Complex sets of case studies without generalisability Seeking necessary but sufficient complexity to inform decisions
  9. 9. 4. Brazil IGBP/ESSP-IAV meeting • São José dos Campos, Nov 2009, mostly funded by Brazil • ~89 attendees, from 24 developing countries (+5 OECD) • Emphasised the importance for developing countries of: – Understanding the adaptation options arising from (and defining) vulnerabilities – Recognising adaptation to climate change may mean development in a different direction (not just more ‘20thC’ development) – Building the links between adaptation, mitigation, development – Looking for real opportunities – e.g. leapfrogging technologies in communications, power systems, management standards, etc – Importance of genuine appraisal of local knowledge and its use where appropriate • (Report at:
  10. 10. Four concepts in adaptation • Linking across scales in space and process… – Risk of work at one scale only, without methods to scale up/down • …and in time – Avoid maladaptive development through planning over time • Lenses… Adaptation decision making and choices Evaluation, adaptation pathways, risk modes, etc Adaptation outcomes Adaptive capacity Adaptation options and institutions and technologies Behaviours, incentives, Cultivars, materials, barriers, vulnerabilities, etc farming systems, etc
  11. 11. Decision Support • A process, more than a computer model – GECAFS experience • Who for?
  12. 12. Who are the ‘stakeholders’? • Ultimately: clearly (rural) people of developing countries • Proximately, users of DS are mainly framed as: – National decision-makers – International decision-makers • These are not only government decision-makers – NGOs involved in supporting agriculture and livelihoods – Food distribution system and businesses – International trade, environment, market chain decision-makers – Even those influencing food aspirations of next generation – Global adaptation negotiators • Policy is made in many places – Interest in MDGs, not ag. production per se
  13. 13. Decision support for policy • Tends to emphasise methodology development over delivery – Churchman ’71 – “… tendency on designing inquiring systems is to bolster science & its research as it is conceived today” – Hammond ’96 – “our main efforts have been directed towards developing better research methods for science … not been direct towards the needs of policymakers” – van Keulen ’07 – “The examples still largely bear an academic character” – Rossing et al. ’07 – “focus on methodology development rather than answering questions of specific clients” (Peter Carberry)
  14. 14. Decision support for policy • Tends to emphasise methodology development over delivery • Tends not to be timely – Hammond ’96 – “doubt over usefulness (of models) to policymakers largely because of length of time between initiation & appearance of results” – Hengsdijk et al. ’98 – “Information comes too late and is not in line with the proposed policy plans” – Rossing et al. ’07 – “… often come up with solutions for problems of yesterday due to the time needed to update data and rewrite models to new questions” (Peter Carberry)
  15. 15. Decision support for policy • Tends to emphasise methodology development over delivery, • Tends not to be timely, • And hence tends to have limited impact – Hengsdijk et al. ’98 – “The contribution of QSA tools to the policy process is more difficult to assess, but seems less than glorious” – Rossing et al. ’07 – “limited attention for model evaluation and impact analysis” – van Paassen et al ’07 – ”… but the exchange with stakeholders did not yet lead to a critical learning system approach” – van Keulen ’07 – “The probably biggest challenge is to transfer the methodologies developed in land use studies to the unruly practice of land use policy formation and implementation” (Peter Carberry)
  16. 16. Decision support for policy • Tends to emphasise methodology development over delivery, – Tends not to be timely, and hence tends to have limited impact • Despite all this: – Sterk et al. 2009. The interface between land use systems research and policy: Multiple arrangements and leverages. Land Use Policy 26: 434-442 – Reviewed success (etc) of 11 policy/science DSS in ag. production / ecosystem services – Identified 5 different modes of effecting policy-science linkages – Related to primacy of science or policy, and convergent or divergent preconceptions of the role of science and policy
  17. 17. Decision support for policy • Tends to emphasise methodology development over delivery, – Tends not to be timely, and hence tends to have limited impact • Despite all this: Sterk et al. 2009 – Identified 5 different modes of effecting policy-science linkages • Critical point: need to know which mode(s) in operation – And use identified leverage points • reputation of research institute and/or scientists; • raise and balance expectations; • communicate and invest in the scientific basis of the modelling; • participation in model development; • heterogeneous and extensive social network in policy domain; • institute mandate that secures availability of ‘stepping stones’.
  18. 18. Summary - failings in Decision Support • Being driven by science alone (i.e. no clear users) • Targeting the wrong decision-makers as users, or the right ones in the wrong way • Failing to work across scales, given much source work in local case studies • Omitting to identify and use the modes of engagement and leverage points
  19. 19. Yield Prophet® - a yield forecasting system for Australian graingrowers • Internet-based subscriber system to predict current wheat yields using APSIM • Initiated by Birchip Cropping Group (grower group) with CSIRO / APSRU collaboration • 2003 - 25 paddocks in one region • 2004 - 68 paddocks nationally • 2005 - 300 paddocks nationally • 2006 - 500 paddocks nationally • 2007 > 500 paddocks nationally • 120 individual growers (and their• Brad and Susan Martin with their son Will consultants) logging onto the Yield Prophet web site. • 50 commercial consultants (and their grower clients) • 21 extension officers • 6 grower research collectives • 1 corporate client (ABB)
  20. 20. Yield Prophet® generates paddock-specificreports for use by individual farmers…
  21. 21. …but Yield Prophet® data is now also used to diagnose performance of wheat in Australia Frontier Slope = 22 kg grain/ Symbols: Observed data from 334 Yield Prophet commercial wheat crops 2004-07 Dashed line: Potential water use efficiency - French & Schultz (1984) - Sadras & Angus (2006) Average Slope = 15.2 Solid line: kg grain/ Average WUE y=0.015x-1.019, r2 = 0.69(Hochman et al., 2009)
  22. 22. Top-down assessment of adaptive capacity of Natural Resource Management groups Using the Sustainable Livelihoods 5 capitals to define the analysis High Moderate Low(Nelson et al., 2009)
  23. 23. Self-assessed adaptive capacity for 3 groups Triggering collective action linking communities, governments and research Western plains Human 5 4 Top-down and bottom-up integrated (common concepts Central slopes 3 & plains applied with different users, in different2 modes and for Financial Social different types of action – but scaleable) – in one case 1 with a detailed model, in the other an analytical process plains 0 Western Central slopes & plains Slopes & hills Slopes & hills Physical Natural(Brown et al., 2009)
  24. 24. Multi-scale approach • High order, strategic Regional diagnosis of opportunities constraints and • Across geographies • Targeting and stratification opportunities Earth system • Immediate investment decisions plus regional science capability building Validation Targeting Food system Potential for cross-scale cross-scale analyses Development linkages science • Particular technologies • Particular contexts • Technologies targeted to Exploring and supporting region, market, farm, local interventions livelihood • Solution-focused
  25. 25. Links to CCAFS? CSIRO Research Flagships Regional diagnosis of • Climate Adaptation Theme 1: ‘Pathways’ & scenarios constraints and Theme 3: Managing natural ecosystems opportunities Theme 4: Primary Industries & communities • Sustainable Agriculture Theme 1: Greenhouse gas management and carbon storage in land use systems Validation Targeting Theme 2: Advancing agricultural productivity and Cross-scale environmental health analyses Theme 3: Landscape systems and trends Theme 4: Partnering for international food and fibre security, incl. Indigenous knowledge in Oz Australia’s new food security initiative Exploring and supporting local interventions • Rebuilding the focus on Africa • Rebuilding the focus on agricultural productivity – CSIRO is providing underpinning science support
  26. 26. Key messages for decision support • Clarify the users (vs. the stakeholders) of the work – Engage them profoundly and understand their needs – Recognise their timeframes and choose commitments wisely • Be founded in good science in what happens locally – Across the whole food system, not just production • But frame at multiple scales from the start – From local to national and global – needs a model and typology for scaling up and down • Avoid the failings of being method-driven and untimely What are success stories from CGIAR/ESSP??
  27. 27. Conclusion, or vision? • The most powerful outcome would be new and strong links between earth system science and development science, with food systems as a multi-scaled heuristic, and decision support systems really supporting decisions! Thank you - -