Improving the IMPACT model for targeted policy engagement

Project description

The International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT) was designed to examine alternative futures for global food supply, demand, trade, prices, and food security under a changing climate. The work is led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and has for a number of years been used as an analytical tool in several research projects, most recently for the African Monographs books which outline key climate impacts on East, West and South Africa, as well as guide policy-makers’ strategic policy planning. CCAFS has since 2011 co-supported significant IMPACT model improvements, as well as several research products using IMPACT results, and related multi-stakeholder trainings.

The continuation of this project aims to further enhance the IMPACT suite of models, towards improved analysis of climate change impacts by incorporating, among other things, variability and land-use changes into the model. In parallel, targeted policy engagement with ongoing and new partners under the Global Futures and Foresight Program, using the IMPACT model, aims to inform better decision-making processes. Other project activities include a web-tool featuring IMPACT, and research monographs for Latin America, similar to the African monograph project and one covering “Climate Change, Agriculture and Water: Scenarios to 2050”.

The project aims to build capacity among stakeholders to use IMPACT in their decision-making processes. The project sees this leading to an enhanced institutionalization of strategic foresight analysis covering plausible global futures for agriculture and food security under climate change. The results of this improved analysis will then be used as inputs for improved decisions on climate policy and investment.

Furthermore, an established community of practice of biophysical scientists, economic modelers and other disciplines is expected to further contribute to an improved understanding of long-term challenges and opportunities in agriculture and food security at a variety of scales, and to better inform priority setting for investment resources.

In 2014 the team worked with, and trained experts at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to use IMPACT to analyze how climate change can affect agricultural production. The OECD-published report, "Modelling Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture", reference IMAPCT and was later discussed at the OECD Joint Working Party on Agriculture and the Environment meeting.


Expected outputs

  • Improved IMPACT model suite with added features on variability and land-use, including policy brief on “Changes in land use and the resulting environmental impacts taking into consideration future demand for agricultural products”
  • Research monograph and related policy briefs on “Climate Change, Agriculture and Water: Scenarios to 2050”, using IPCC AR5 scenarios, new SSPs, estimates of GHG emissions, and updated scenarios for population and GDP growth


The work is led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The project is closely linked with the Global Futures and Foresight Project which involves a number of institutions and programs.

Further information

For further information, please contact Keith Wiebe, Senior Research Fellow (IFPRI) at