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From Scenarios to Guidelines. Strategic Foresight Modeling and Food Security Policy Making

Institutions
Knowledge
Global
Quantitative
World Bank
Climate Change
Decision Making
Narratives
Vincent Cardon
University of Picardie, Jules Vernes
Vincent Cardon
University of Picardie, Jules Vernes

Abstract

This proposition examines the emergence and development of strategic foresight and scenario analysis as leverages for food security (FS) policy making. Various institutions strive to produce complex modeling targeting the long-term future of agriculture. In those organizations, in the scientists involved confront heterogeneous points of views on the issue, with their own conceptions and scientific cultures on FS, which define what is of interest and what is not. They thus engage in an aggregation work of those diverse disciplinary framings of FS (agronomy, economics, nutrition sciences etc.), which have to take into account the empirical situations at stake. A preliminary scientometric analysis will enable to map those disciplinary points of views on FS and to better understand, with a qualitative approach, the scientific mobilization on FS from an organizational perspective. The analysis takes into account the fact those initiatives are part of a cycle of international agencies and events striving to model of agrifood systems (IPCC, IAASTD, COP, MEA, etc.). Data processing is key in the design of a relevant, reliable and useable foresight tool. Our second research axis is inspired by Science and Technology Studies and focuses on the knowledge production work: modeling design and data collection and formatting. How do those researchers build cumulative, modular model? Are those aspects debated and in what terms? What is the nature of the data collected, its sources and formats and are there difficulties to use and update it? How are qualitative aspects of FS issues taken into account? Building on the Impact model case, and more specifically on the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight program (Ifpri), the study, based on interviews and archives, traces back the categorization and formatting work on data, which ensures the translation from one discipline to another, and opens a cumulative process of shared knowledge and upgradeable modeling. The last aspect of the study is to examine the anticipation by designers of the use and reception of the model by stakeholders and decision-makers. The model is complex. How are its outcomes translated in natural language? How are defined the most relevant scenario analyses? How are the relationships between decision makers, stakeholders and funding organized, and the push-pull dynamics implemented, to improve Impact and the “capacity of the CGIAR centers to evaluate and prioritize research investments, and to support the decision-making of international development partners and national policymakers”? A qualitative investigation carried out with Ifpri menbers and organizers of multi-stakeholder, participatory workshops gives insight into those research questions.