2016-11-28Buch DOI: 10.18452/18003
Scenario Building for Development Cooperation – Methods Paper
Example of Rural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Scenarios project several possible pictures of the future. Unlike forecasts based on trend extrapolation,they do not predict what will happen but tell what could happen within a certain probabilityspace over time. In recent years, scenario building has been used extensively to explore thepotential effects of socio-economic and environmental change. The community of scenariobuilding practice uses a variety of techniques, ranging from purely quantitative techniques, i.e.computer simulations, to purely qualitative techniques, such as explorative or normative scenariotechniques. A group of hybrid techniques, including cross-impact analysis and the Delphi method,combine quantitative and qualitative elements in the scenario building process.Rural transformation, understood as a long-term process of change in fundamental features ofthe way people in rural areas live and act economically, considering their embedding in societaland global dynamics, is a complex phenomenon determined by a variety of interrelated political,economic, demographic, socio-cultural and environmental factors. Hence, building systemicscenarios of rural transformation requires a selection of important factors and the analysis oftheir mutual interdependencies. Analysing key forces behind identified influencing factors – policies,actors, institutions, regimes – allows deriving strategic recommendations to work towardsrural transformation in the desired direction.In this paper, the methodological approach to develop scenarios of rural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa will be described. On the one hand, this includes a discussion of existing techniquesfor scenario building, their characteristics and requirements. On the other hand, the paperprovides detailed practical guidance on the chosen technique and concludes with an evaluationof its application in the field.
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