Project Overview

The Global Futures & Strategic Foresight (GFSF) project is designed to improve agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability, especially in developing countries. It is focused on evaluating promising technologies, investments, and policy reforms, using quantitative methods for strategic foresight to inform policy decisions. GFSF is a joint project working with all 15 CGIAR research centers (see Research Team) and most of the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs).

To achieve its goals, the project is enhancing a coordinated suite of biophysical and socioeconomic models including IFPRI's International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT), hydrology and water supply-demand models, and the DSSAT suite of process-based crop models to assess the potential returns to a range of possible investments in new technologies and policy and programs. See the Methods & Tools section for further details. Since the benefits to investments occur in the future, the project views Strategic Foresight activities as a central component of its work.

Research activities assess how changes in global trading regimes, mandates for biofuels and energy prices, land degradation, and climate change--among other driving forces--affect human well-being. Project tools will make it easier to see how these trends affect developing countries’ progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of reducing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty by 2030 and beyond. The analysis improves on previous research by incorporating: detailed location-specific data; climate, soil type, crop variety, and other critical variables; detailed models of crop, hydrology, and water supply and demand; improved measurement of effects on human welfare; and the impact of potential agricultural investments on economic growth, incomes, and poverty alleviation.

Global Futures and Strategic Foresight is a CGIAR-wide initiative led by IFPRI and funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). GFSF also gratefully acknowledges funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation during the first years of the program.