IFPRI’s IMPACT team is a large collaborative effort that includes contributions from a wide group of people and institutions, too many to list individually in a short presentation
While we can’t list all contributors, I still would like to highlight some of the many institutions from whom we draw data and expertise such as the FAO, United Nationas Population Statistics Division, the World Bank’s World Development Indicators, the IPCC’s climate change work, IFPRI’s SPAM Team, and DSSAT crop models
This slide shows the human face of IFPRI’s IMPACT development team. We are a varied group all working diligently towards the goal of simulating agricultural markets and food security around the world
IMPACT is a partial equilibrium computer simulation model, that simulates agricultural markets around the world
Currently IMPACT simulates 57 different agriculture commodity markets ranging from grains like wheat and rice, to livestock commodities like beef, to processed commodities like soybean and palm oil
The IMPACT model works at a fairly high level of disaggregation, simulating economic trade and agricultural production in 159 countries and regions
IMPACT is first and foremost and economic trade model, and produces a wide variety of economic indicators such as World Commodity Prices, Harvest Area, Crop Yields, and Food Security and well being indicators (e.g. malnourished children, population at risk of hunger)
IMPACT doesn’t just work to explain agricultural markets today, but tries to simulate changes in agriculture and food security up to 2050.
This capacity to simulate into the future is particularly useful when trying to estimate the effects of climate change on agriculture and food security.
The model has been used for a variety of research projects including in the International Conference on Climate Change and Food Security in Beijing in 2011. In this conference papers were presented by the BRICS countries plus the USA and Indonesia looking at the effects of climate change on agriculture through 2050 in these countries and the subsequent impacts on food security
We are currently in the process of updating and redesigning IMPACT. This chart shows the current workflow that we are pursuing. Much of our work is data collection, most of this data is from open sources, which makes us acutely aware of the value of open data, and encourages us not only in sharing our results, but also providing feedback to our contributors to improved the open data we use
The IMPACT model is built on an open data platform, pulling data from such databases as FAO’s FAOSTAT, and the World Bank’s World Development Indicators
As we draw much from open data sources, we strive to pay it forward by sharing our results freely. We do so in a variety of ways including in raw format, such as CSVs and excel spreadsheets. But we have also worked to develop tools that facilitate the access and use of our results.
One such tool is Tableau, which we use to create interactive online spreadsheets with easy to use filters, as well as interactive graphs and maps.
We have also started developing an online version of the IMPACT model, which will allow users to run the model themselves online. This web version would give users the opportunity to create their own scenarios to test for policy implications.
The IMPACT team has also partnered with STAT Planet a web visualization application, to allow us to present IMPACT model results in a variety of new ways, that facilitate the exploration of our rather larger datasets, using maps and graphs.
Why do we want to share all of this data? Simply because much of our work involves trying to look into the future and help policy makers prepare for the many possibilities that the future presents (climate change, population growth, economic growth). Having many people look at our assumptions on the future is essential in validating the results
Models attempt to simulate reality. However, if the data upon which the model is based is faulty, then the results will be unreliable (garbage in -> garbage out). So it is important to ensure that what data we put into the model is as complete and accurate as possible
This is where Open Data becomes integral to our work flow. We cannot hope to be experts on each of the 159 countries and 57 commodity markets. We would like openly at all stages of our work flow, and benefit from the varied expertise of the wider development community
Having said that I would like to welcome all who are interested to the IMPACT team
To explore in more depth the different publications in which the IMPACT model has been used please refer to the first link. The second link is the STAT Planet visualizations, where you can explore the results of the IMPACT model from 2010
D8 Open Data for Agriculture Presentation by Daniel Mason-D'Croz
IMPACT and Open DataG8 Open Data for Agriculture Side EventDaniel Mason-D’CrozWashington, DC, May 1st 2013