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Home > Basin > Andes > Integrating knowledge from computational modeling with multi-stakeholder governance (PN40)

Full Project Title: Integrating knowledge from computational modeling with multi-stakeholder governance: Towards more secure livelihoods through improved tools for integrated river basin management (PN40)


Multi-stakeholder governance structures have gained increasing importance for the management of water resources.

These structures benefit from policy-relevant information about the bio-physical and the socio-economic parameters determining the opportunities and challenges of water use and, in particular, about the economic, social and environmental impacts of different development and management options.

The project objective in the Volta and Andes River Basins was managing land and water resources in river basins in an economically efficient, environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable way by developing integrated simulation models in close collaboration with multiple stakeholders and by promoting their use as decision tools in multi-stakeholder governance systems.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • The project conducted analysis of multi-stakeholder governance structures, and developed two decision-support tools: Mathematical-Programming-Based Multi-Agent Systems (MP-MAS), which combine economic, hydrological and agronomic models and allow for simulating policy scenarios; influence-network mapping (Net-Map), a participatory method for research and organizational development.
  • An important insight in terms of the international policy debate on fertilizer use in Africa is MP-MAS showed that farmers who have access to irrigation would triple their fertilizer use if they get access to credit, even without subsidizing the fertilizer.
  • In Chile, the project “subsidy scenarios” showed that it would be beneficial to target the subsidies more effectively to smallholder farmers, who do not make investments in improved water use efficiency on their own.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • In Ghana, the White Volta Board is more strategic in identifying and leveraging the partnerships needed to pursue the goals of the Board; the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and donor agencies pursue a broader range of options for improving agricultural incomes in the region.
  • Chile’s Comisión Nacional de Riego (CNR), responsible for coordinating all irrigation related matters and related organizations, considers agent-based modeling as tool to improve integrated assessment of irrigation policy options. Furthermore, the project has built i) substantially enhanced information base and (ii) the capacity of regional and national level government agencies to make use of information for water management, extension, regulation and related infrastructure development.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN40 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

Journal papers

  1. Berger, T., and P. Schreinemachers. 2006. Creating agents and landscapes for multiagent systems from random samples. Ecology and Society 11 (2), art. no. 19.
  2. Berger, T., R. Birner, J. Díaz, N. McCarthy, H. Wittmer. 2007. Capturing the Complexity of Water Uses and Water Users within a Multi-Agent Framework. Water Resources Management 21: 129-148.
  3. Robinson, D., Brown, D., Parker, D., Schreinemachers, P., Janssen, M., Huigen, M., Wittmer, H., Gotts, N., Promburom, P., Irwin, E., Berger, T., Gatzweiler, F., Barnaud, C. 2007. Comparison of empirical methods for building agent-based models in land use science. Journal of Land Use Science 2: 31–55.
  4. Schiffer, E. and J. Hauck. Forthcoming. Net-Map: Collecting Social Network Data and Facilitating Network Learning through Participatory Influence Network Mapping, Field Methods.
  5. Schiffer, E., and J. Peakes. 2009. An innovative approach to building stronger coalitions: the Net-Map Toolbox. Development in Practice, Volume 19 Issue: 103.
  6. Schreinemachers, P., and T. Berger. 2006. Land-use decisions in developing countriesand their representation in multi-agent systems. Journal of Land Use Science 1: 29-44.

Conference and discussion papers

  1. Arnold, T., H. Uribe, and T. Berger. 2007. Meeting the challenge of predictive modeling for ’problem-centered’ water management: Description of a multi-purpose model system for policy planning support. CAIWA 2007 International Conference on Adaptive & Integrative Water Management, 12-14 December 2007, Basel.
  2. Arnold, T., T. Berger, and H. Uribe. 2008. Step by step calibration of an Integrated Model System for irrigation management. In: Miquel Sànchez-Marrè, Javier Béjar, Joaquim Comas, Andrea E. Rizzoli, Giorgio Guariso (Eds.) Proceedings of the iEMSs Fourth Biennial Meeting: International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs 2008). International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, Barcelona, Catalonia, July 2008.
  3. Berger, T., C. Schilling, P. Schreinemachers, T. Arnold, 2007. Multi-Agent Models based on Mathematical Programming for Teaching, Extension and Collaborative Learning. CAIWA 2007 International Conference on Adaptive & Integrative Water Management, 12-14 December 2007, Basel.
Final Report

Final project report.

Project Partners

Project partners


Project Lead

Project lead


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