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.

Andrii Yalanskyi | Dreamstime.com

Andrii Yalanskyi | Dreamstime.com

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.

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Last edited: 09 November 2021


Susanne Hanger-Kopp

Research Scholar Equity and Justice Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

Jens de Bruijn

Research Scholar Water Security Research Group - Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program


September 2021 - August 2024

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313