In 2021, the fairSTREAM project was selected as one of the first high impact Strategic Initiatives at IIASA. Below is an update on what the project has achieved to date.

One of the fairSTREAM project’s main objectives is to create visibility for the importance of co-production processes in applied systems analysis. Co-production refers to a specific subset of stakeholder engagement where scientists and heterogeneous groups of stakeholders equally contribute to knowledge creation. Therefore, in its first months, Jenan Irshaid and colleagues conducted IIASA internal focus groups to explore the diverse range of experiences with stakeholder work at IIASA and initiated a systematic review to explore essential elements of co-production processes.

Addressing another fairSTREAM objective – considering justice beyond efficiency considerations in systems analysis – researchers started work on an inventory of co-production methods in use at IIASA, exploring their capacity as systems analytical tools and instruments to assess justice. As a reference for the latter, Susanne Hanger-Kopp, recently joined guest researcher Helena Zhemchugova, and Paul Johannesson from Stockholm University, developed an ontology of justice, which has been accepted for publication and presentation at the 34th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAiSE 2022) set to take place in Leuven, Belgium from 6 to 10 June 2022.

fairSTREAM’s main case application is set in India. For this purpose, researchers from two Indian institutions, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune and the Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM), have joined the team. They will lead the work on the ground on the Indian case study together with Barbara Willaarts and design a co-production process on decision making at the water-food-biodiversity nexus in the Bhima basin.

Also, in India, the fairSTREAM team explores higher-level research opportunities to address regional mitigation and adaptation strategies for biodiversity, together with the Technology Information, Forecasting, and Assessment Council (TIFAC), the IIASA National Member Organization for India.

In parallel, Jens de Bruijn is leading efforts to couple the IIASA Community Water Model (CWatM) and an agent-based model that allows simulation of individual farming households and their decision-making, as well as integrating a better representation of diverse and growing forests in CWatM. A graphical user interface was developed for the model to facilitate interaction between modelers and stakeholders.


Mountain spring water flowing out of a rock

22 September 2022

An integrated modeling framework to assess surface and groundwater resources

Against the backdrop of climate change and rising water demand, tools for adequately modeling water availability are much needed. In a new study, researchers applied a large-scale model linking surface water to groundwater, which can be used for estimating water resources at a high spatial resolution.
Tractor spreading fertilizer on field before planting

13 September 2021

Balancing food security and nitrogen use

Environmental targets to limit excess nitrogen require the large-scale deployment of dedicated nitrogen mitigation strategies to avoid a strong increase in the risk of food insecurity. Without these measures, the amount of dietary energy available to people would be greatly reduced, which would in turn lead to high food prices and an increase in the number of undernourished people.
Rural Woman Cooking Chapati in her house

26 July 2021

Inequity in the air of India

Air pollution in India is generated more by the wealthy, while the poor suffer most of the health impact, according to a study by five IIASA researchers published in Nature Sustainability.