Foresight in the GCARD2 process

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GCARD2: Foresight, projections and issues of Agricultural Research Coordination for future smallholder impact http://www.egfar.org/gcard-2012

GCARD2: Perspectives, projections et enjeu de la coordination d'une recherche agricole orientée dans le future vers des petits paysans http://www.egfar.org/gcard-2012

GCARD2 Prospectiva, proyecciones y problemas de coordinación de la investigación agrícola para el impacto futuro de agricultores pequeños. http://www.egfar.org/gcard-2012

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  • These key features help explain some differences and divergences between projection and foresight, but there is no real separation and limit, it is a continuum of which these features presented here constitue the characteristics of two distinct “ideal-types”.
  • These limits are the trade-offs of their key features, not blunt criticismProjectionsusuallysocial/policy/institutional variables are not includedconstrained by available quantitative data and its qualitydo not handle ruptures (emergence of new operators on trade market)(see Martin?) due to points 1 to 3even if all projections/simulations converged and gave a 100% confidence image of the future by 2050, human behavior, knowing this, would significantly change and make the assumptions obsolete and therefore introduced new unpredictable uncertainty and uncertainty introduced by the new variables is not incorporated Foresightthough larger sets often making it paradoxically too broad and too vaguebecause usually not quantifiedoften based on experts and who are influenced by immediate concernsa narrow group of produces a preferred scenario that represent the interest of this groupespecially technology
  • Assessment: diagnostics from which implications for future action are inferred.Projection: a future image derived from the assumption that past trends are robust so that the future can be inferred from available dataForesight: forward thinking attitude that explore and anticipate possible futures taking into consideration past trends and potential rupturesThe fifth scenario: a normative vision of the desired future considered as the preferred societal choice
  • This introduces the philosophy of the GFH.
  • This is the overall presentation of the GFH . Text in red boxes indicates where the GFH enable co-ordination as highlighted before. Then the three next slides just detail the three components of the GFH and how they contribute to enhance global co-ordination. The picture is ready-made, cannot be changed.
  • Different questions raised by different stakeholders lead to different types of future studies seeking answers to specific issues (future prices, food balance/security, state of NR/ market stability, water availability...) inducing limited/none coordination of future studies and great disparity of tools, concepts, methods making coordination even more difficult, a culture of emergency facing hot topicsExemple 1: Biofuel energy was yesterday’s “key”question, food security is today’s key question, markets volatility is tomorrow’s key question... while waiting for the next emergency/crisis or rupture to turn up. Exemple 2: Who is in charge sets what is done: growth, prices and trade modeling for economists; productivity, production techniques modeling for agricultural scientists; climate change, energy, natural resources modeling for environmental scientists, scenarios for social scientists... Exemple 3: Business as usual is not the solution, but why is it the most likely future? Why are current societal choices linked to BAU not challenged (productivity vs resilience, food security vs inequality, growth vs redistribution...)
  • Foresight in the GCARD2 process

    1. 1. Foresight in the GCARD 2012 processMark HoldernessGFAR Secretariat
    2. 2. 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 impact.• 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
    3. 3. Some key features of foresight and projections Foresight ProjectionMostly qualitative QuantitativeScenario-based Simulation-basedhypothetical sequences of events constructed to “what if?” simulation uses selected variablesfocus attention on possible contrasting (e.g. IFPRI 3 population/income scenarios x 4evolutions and decision–points that can shape climate change scenarios) to help drawtrends towards one or another. They help attention to critical situations and informmanage uncertainties in strategic decisions based on assessment ofsocial, political, institutional dimensions and risks and returns, within the parameters usedchallenge the presumptions held by differentactorsAnticipate and explore Calculate and predictDeals with trends and ruptures Deals with trends and alternativesMulti-dimensional variables Economic, technical and bio-physical
    4. 4. Limitations of Future StudiesProjections  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 eventsForesight scenarios  Still a limited set of variables  Contains inherent subjectivity that requires balancing  influenced by external events  usually lack quantitative development to predict returns
    5. 5. Reconciling two families of “future studies”1. assessments and projections a. Assessments b. Projections/forecasts World Development Reports, WB Outlook to 2030/2050, FAO IAASTD, WB/UN Food Security , Farming and CC, IFPRI SCAR 2nd Foresight Exercise, EU Threshold 21 , Millennium Institute. Ruralstruc WB/CIRAD Global Future of Food and Farming, UK GCARD 2010 Regional priorities Choosing the Highlighting the preferred likely scenario2. foresight scenario a. Anticipatory scenario building: b. A vision of the future Socioeconomic scenarios, IPCC Green Growth Strategy, OECD SCAR 1 2007,EU Greening Economy with Agriculture, FAO Mediterra 2008, CIHEAM Agrimonde 1 Agrimonde, INRA, CIRAD CAWMA, IWMI Millenium Ecosystem Assesment APEC 2050 Low-carbon Society Southern Africa Agriculture, IISD Rural Ireland 2025 Energy scenarios 2050, Shell The Future of the Global Financial System, WEF
    6. 6. 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 tomorrow’s needs and impact isnot instantTwo underlying postulates•The nature of the process in co-producing knowledge among stakeholders is astronger determinant of influence than the final outputs•Impact here is the ability to change mindsets, it is a long processA concept of coordinationAn open and inclusive mechanism seeking complementarities so that all stakeholdersinvolved in the future of the rural world can have their say in shaping preferredfuturesApplicationForward thinking for agricultural research to meet the future needs of the rural world:The Global Foresight Hub
    7. 7. The Global Foresight Hub
    8. 8. Forward Thinking Platform A permanent opportunity to develop collective thinking supported by commitment ofits members An annual inclusive venue (Foresight Exchange Workshop) for sharingresults, comparing methods, and discussing controversies arising from field experiences Policy Dialogue Platforms Facilitate dialogue between scientists, policy makers and civil society Give room to the voices of society, especially small farmers, to be incorporated inshaping research orientations Foresight Academy Region by region, starting with Sub-Saharan Africa, Develop the skills and capabilities of young professionals to shape their own futures
    9. 9. Key issues calling for coordinationWe are faced with: different questions in a complex agriculture; differentstakeholders and different regions; different institutional perspectivesand different tools & methods3 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 thequestion, on the relevant variables, on the methodology, on the desired futures...
    10. 10. 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 choicesThe session should:• Define clear actions to improve our forward-thinking and its impact in research/ implementation prioritization and informing policies• 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 prioritization.• 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.
    11. 11. 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 coverage.• 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 cross-analyses.• 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.
    12. 12. 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.
    13. 13. 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
    14. 14. Wider stakeholder e-consultationsRegional 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.
    15. 15. The CGIAR SRF• More effective foresighting is seen as the key need for improving the Strategy & Results Framework for investments being made in the CGIAR Consortium.• 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 .
    16. 16. When? What and how? Who? Action 1. Stock-taking about who Consortium and CRP partners to has engaged in thinking forward review and document their ownNov 2011- Mapping (next 10 to 20 years) using the forward-thinking analyses andFeb 2012 diversity question of the future of farming the perspectives, projections and All stakeholders though systems as a case and 2) identify scenarios established with regard Internet with support of what Fora, CGIAR to future farming patterns as a ideas, scenarios, challenges, long case in the CRP context and term visions have resulted of their identify ideas, visions and key work challenges and how programmesApril 2012 Exploring Action 2. identify visions and key and partners have responded to Throuh Fora, Farmer diversity challenges and how organizations those priorities Org, NGO and CSO, CGIAR have responded to those priorities Highlighting Action 3. Preparation of background documents Through Fora, FarmerMay 2012 diversity on progresses and results on 1) and 2) Org, NGO and CSO, CGIAR This is were we are and what the writeshops will do Through Fora, FarmerJune-Aug. Reporting Action 4. Joint preparation of a progress Org, NGO and CSO, CGIAR 2012 diversity report and results on 1) and 2) Action 5. GCARD consultation progress Key participants from27-28 oct report and implications: actions on Fora, Farmer Org, NGO and 2012 priorities, partnership and capacity building CSO, ARIs and IOs, CGIAR GCARD 2: Turning 29 oct Action 6. GCARD 2 Foresight Session diversity All GCARD participants + 2012 Plenary progress report by contributors Special Foresight Invitees into Working group on priorities, partnership and capacity building actions 1 Nov Action 7. GCARD agenda of action for ‘improved’ foresight 2012 GCARD participants Research priorities Partnership Capacity building
    17. 17. Thank You

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