In fairSTREAM, IIASA researchers aim to understand and reconcile issues of fairness. This is a key aspect for managing risks in nexus issues, such as the food-water-biodiversity nexus, where conflicting views on procedural and outcome fairness often remain unresolved and jeopardize finding viable solutions. Addressing these issues is a major challenge that requires the integration of multiple sources of knowledge and the cooperation of many different societal actors.

To support this endeavor IIASA researchers from Equity and Justice (EQU), Water Security (WAT), and Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC) are aligning their expertise in co-designing participatory processes with those in quantitative modelling. To this extent, the researchers will first create a methods toolkit for co-production that explicitly considers procedural and distributional justice. Based on this toolkit we will then design and implement a co-production process, which we will support and upscale by quantifying distributional justice in stakeholder visions for future development of the region. We do so by building a large-scale agent-based model, coupled to a hydrological and biodiversity model, that simulates millions of individual farmers.

Research design

The fairSTREAM project is a methodological meta study reviewing, developing, and integrating soft and hard systems methods for knowledge co-production. Thus, creating novel methodologies is one of the main goals of the project. The main research steps are

  1. systematic review of methods for co-producing knowledge, qualitative systems analysis using both literature and retrospective case studies.
  2. the development of a co-production toolkit comprising systems methods that capture questions of procedural and outcome fairness.
  3. Application of the toolkit by organizing a living lab in the Bhima basin to co-create qualitative future narratives.
  4. The co-production of quantitative future scenarios, followed by modelling exercises in a large-scale coupled ABM, with a particular focus on crop farming and integrating biodiversity considerations.

The fairSTREAM project team

The fairSTREAM project team consists of researchers at SOPPECOM (Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management) and IISER Pune (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Pune), located in India, and IIASA.

team graphic © fairSTREAM

The fairSTREAM project team.


here we share emerging materials from the project.


5 September 2022: Open-house project meeting

23 November 2021: Kick-off event




29 April 2022

FairSTREAM updates

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.
Ugandan women planting vegetable plants

01 September 2021

Building fairness into decision making

The fairSTREAM project just launched under the auspices of the IIASA Strategic Initiatives Program, aims to develop and demonstrate a co-production methodology for including equity and justice (fairness) alongside efficiency in developing sustainable policy options across the food-water-biodiversity nexus.


05 September 2022 Virtual event

fairSTREAM open-house project meeting

24 May 2022 IIASA, Laxenburg

Korea University and IIASA Workshop