Empowerment through foresight: the local level challenge


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by Dr. Robin Bourgeois, Senior Foresight Advisor, GFAR.


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Empowerment through Foresight: the local level challenge:

Empowerment through Foresight : the local level challenge The Grassroots Foresight initiative and the CRP on AAS Robin Bourgeois GFAR Secretariat 1


Foresight and forecast Global Foresight: seven rural transformations The Grassroots foresight Initiative Using foresight to influence aas futures 2 CONTENT

Foresight and forecast:

Foresight and forecast 3

Foresight is not Forecast:

Foresight is not Forecast FORECAST Sectorial Focus Mostly q uantitative data Trends and variations Modeling The GIGO effect ( Garbage In Garbage Out ) FORESIGHT System Approach Mostly qualitative data Trends and ruptures Scenario building The “Chaos” effect 4

Foresight is not Forecast:

5 Current situation Possible Future 1 Possible Future 2 Possible Future 4 Possible Future 3 Current situation Future situation x Factors of change such as Policies , Technologies, Behaviors , but also Thresholds , Recursive causality … Drivers of linear trends: business as usual Foresight is not Forecast Foresight is the exploration of the future

Foresight is not Forecast:

Foresight is not Forecast 10 years 40 years … 30 years 20 years Forecast = Prediction: Trend + alternative simulations Foresight = Exploration : Ruptures + scenario building Probable Preferable Plausible Potential and unknowable Potential (unknowable) Adapted from Voros , J (2003) “ A generic foresight process framework”, Foresight, vol 5, no 3 pp10 - 21 The potential futures Possible futures: knowable Undesirable

Facing change:


Facing change:

Facing change Meaning Actions Strategies Passive Accept Wait Submit Reactive Adapt React Wait Pre-active P repare Explore Anticipation Pro-active + Intervene + Modify + Influence Behavior Forecast Foresight 8

Global Foresight:

Global Foresight 9

Global foresight: Seven Rural transformations: what futures for rural areas?:

Global foresight : Seven Rural transformations: what futures for rural areas? Robin Bourgeois GFAR Secretariat

Drivers, trends and disruptions:

Drivers, trends and disruptions Globalization Connectivity Consumption patterns Resources Population dynamics Urbanization Technology development Prosperity


Cross border flows of money, goods, ideas and people, but also pandemia. Better protection against local hazards but also more sensitive. More local and regional conflicts and interests competing for resources . When remoteness combines with low investment, r ural areas fall into the margins of globalization. A new nexus based on local complementarities between former rural areas and former urban areas can emerge. Globalization and localization


Connection is cheaper and easier all-time, everywhere, for all. Connectivity divide in quality and intensity according to the wealth of the connected users Rural areas benefit or suffer from the digital connectivity through either an increasingly connected system or a growing digital divide Connectivity


We live beyond the means of the planet and will further do. Threat on consumption trigger changes towards more sustainable consumption patterns . Mass consumption of standardized cheap product empties the countryside A diversified demand may sustain the development of rural areas. Consumption patterns


Declining biodiversity, quality of water and soils, cost and access to energy, and stronger more frequent climatic hazards . More environment conscious behaviors support initiatives for a more sustainable use of resources. Poor rural populations depending on natural resources most affected. Urban poor increasingly affected. M assive reverse migration to rural areas. Ecological decline, resource scarcity


More people on earth. Older people will live in developed countries. Countries with cohort of young population are less able to support them leading to cross country migrations .   Density and population pressure in rural areas are widely diverse influencing employment opportunities in farming and non-farm sectors. Population Dynamics


Cities offer employment , entertainment, services and social life. Mega cities expand, medium cities grow, unclear boundaries between urban and rural. Re-ruralisation, people prefer the countryside .   Conversion of agricultural land Further migrations to cities Re-vitalisation of rural areas by new inhabitants. Urbanization


Producing more with less. Climate change drive technological change. Technologies focus on productivity, a few crops and products. Resilience responds to climate change and proposes alternative technologies. Local adaptation of technologies determine the viability of farms Disparate situations depending on resources, infrastructure, investment capacity, access to knowledge. Technology development


Poverty declines , inequalities rise. Disparities between urban and rural areas. Few winners, many losers. Urban poverty prevails over rural poverty leading to further policies for cities and discriminating rural areas. Prosperity

Rural transformations:

Rural transformations Rural stations Rural ghettos Rural niches Rural poles Farming cities (peri)- Urban farming Rural Continuums


Revitalisation of rural areas Abandonment of rural areas Smaller numerous multi-functional systems of activity linked to local markets of diversified products Fewer large agro-industrial systems of activity linked to global markets of standardised products Rural poles Rural continuums Rural niches Rural ghettos Peri- and Urban farming Farming Cities Rural stations   Crossing the future links between consumption and production and development policies

The Grassroots Foresight Initiative:

The G rassroots F oresight Initiative 22

Origin of the initiative :

Uneven capacities to engage on foresight and shape research and policies agendas Origin of the initiative Absence of Least Developed Countries Absence of Farmers’ and Civil Society Organizations The future is shaped by the views of the international community, and organisations from advanced/emerging countries; they address global issues with limited application to local development 23

Origin of the initiative :

At GCARD2 stakeholders called for a farmer-led, farmer-managed foresight process engaging local level organisations in a forward thinking initiative Call to empower farmers organisation in foresight Call for genuine presence not symbolic Grassroots forsight Initiative supported through GFAR Origin of the initiative 24

The Grassroots Foresight Initiative:

The G rassroots Foresight Initiative Empowering farmers organisations through foresight Farmer- led Bottom -up A ctionnable Capacity building Farmers as doers Local initiatives Global dialogue Local action plans Global priorities 25 A «  LET’S DO IT  » APPROACH BASED ON MOBILISATION OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY FOR SOCIETAL CHANGES

The Grassroots Foresight Initiative:

The G rassroots Foresight Initiative Inclusiveness . Give a voice to the voiceless is a core principle of the initiative; think of youth, women, farm workers, landless, vulnerable groups, indigenous people... Openness . Include also other stakeholders, not just farmers and ensure that those stakeholders who are very useful to inject different perspectives and information in the foresight process will not prevent the “voiceless” to speak. Documentation . Document all steps in the process in order to ensure relevant comparability across local cases and transparency in the achievement of results. A bottom up approach . Develop a bottom-up perspective in order to link layers and networks of social actors across scales. 26

The Grassroots Foresight Initiative:

The G rassroots Foresight Initiative Operationalisation of scenarios . Link scenarios with concrete actions. This will include for example dissemination of scenarios and a proper action plan based on a strategic analysis of the scenarios. Context-specificity . Consider the cultural specificities and belief systems and ensure that farmers and farmer’s organisations are sensitized not only to foresight as a one shot event, but also as a permanent attitude . Mutual learning . Provide opportunities for global food security foresight specialists working with farmers’ organizations to reconsider their mindset , framings and methods after having participated to the project. 27

The Grassroots Foresight Initiative:

The G rassroots Foresight Initiative The Grassroots F oresight Initiative is included in GFAR MTP under Outcome 1: Farmers and national stakeholders empowered and informed to better negotiate their own agricultural future Output 1.2: Regional foresight capabilities enhanced for greater self-determination 28


Process The members of the FOs engaged in this process use qualitative scenario building to explore alternative futures: Question: what might happen to us in 20 years? Implementation through a step-wise approach over six to eight months Cases in three different regions Volunteer FOs Supportive CSOs Training of their resource persons Implementation in the field Consolidation to voice up results Dialogue for the GCARD3 process Local actions with local stakeholders Coordination Facilitation We are here 29

Applying local foresight:

Identify the key drivers of the future Explore and depict evolution towards different futures Decide and act upon preferences Applying local foresight



How to? Implementation and exemple:

How to? Implementation and exemple 32


Implementation Through AFA: India, Indonesia, The Philippines Through PROPAC: three countries to be defined Through COPROFAM: three countries to be defined AFD/CIRAD foresight on the future of the regions of Ségou, in Mali and Vakinankaratra , Madagascar A village- based foresight pilot in Egypt supported by GFAR Local foresight cases in Uganda, Peru and Indonesia by CIFOR

Applying local foresight:

Applying local foresight 34 The futures of agriculture and the rural world in Mayotte by 2020


Challenges New French department in 2011, new institutions Tense relationship with Comoros, illegal immigration Majority of local population, cultural divide Low income per capita, economic divide 200 000 inhabitants on 374 Km2, pressure on resources A fragile island ecosystem, resources management Dependence on imports, high cost of living Local farming practices, commercial agriculture 35 Challenges are simultaneously political, cultural, social, economic, environmental


36 Exploration Analysis Expression of preferences (group of experts) Action (population, stakeholders ) 7 Key drivers Future states of key drivers Actions > 60 Drivers of change 9 Scenarios and visions 1 Shared vision 2010-2011 February March April May June July-Nov . May Dec . Stakes and variables Key drivers Future states / scenarios Scenario development Testing strategy Scenario testing Participatory Applied Foresight in Mayotte Shared vision


37 The key drivers The future states by 2020


38 The scenarios The future states by 2020

Nine possible futures:

Nine possible futures 39 Four farming patterns Nine visions Hybrid model Local Model Dualities Intensive Model No model Farming Twilight Mahore Garden Self- management Trading Post Integrated R urality Mozaic Internal Border Entrepreneurs, commuters and tobes Type of farming Vision of the rural world Legend :


3 green scenarios supported by a wide majority 3 orange scenarios with contrasted opinions 3 red scenarios rouges rejected by a majority 40 Engaging society >340 individual surveys >20 collective thinking with key organizations


41 Publication and distribution of “Nine brief tales of the future”: a brochure documenting scenarios and reporting on population preferences Publication and distribution of “Towards public action for Mayotte’s agriculture and rural development”: a memento highlighting policy options and related actions To the policy arena …

Using foresight to influence aas futures:

Using foresight to influence aas futures 42

Key questions:

What are the plausible futures for our three main aquatic agricultural systems ? How can people use these plausible futures to shift research agenda? How can our research help shape these futures? What are the implications for development investment? 43 Key questions

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