Guide to Scenario Analysis in International Futures (IFs)

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Contents

Introduction

The purpose of this document is to facilitate the development of scenarios with the International Futures (IFs) system. This document supplements the IFs Training Manual. That manual provides a general introduction to IFs and assistance with the use of the interface (e.g., how do I create a graphic?). In turn, the broader Help system of IFs supplements this manual. It provides detailed information on the structure of IFs, including the underlying equations in the model (e.g., what does the economic production function look like?). This document should help users understand the leverage points that are available to change parameters (and in a few cases even equations) and create alternative scenarios relative to the Base Case scenario of IFs (e.g., how do I decrease fertility rates or increase agricultural production?). It proceeds across the modules of IFs, such as demographic, economic, energy, health, and infrastructure, to (1) identify some of the key variables that you might want to influence to build scenarios and (2) the parameters that you will want to manipulate to affect your variables of interest. The Training Manual will help you actually make the parameter changes in the computer program and the Help system will facilitate your understanding of the structures, equations and algorithms that constitute the model. We begin by introducing the types of parameters within IFs and then proceed to a discussion of variables and parameters within each of the IFs modules.

A Note on Parameter Names

In this manual we will provide the internal computer program names of variables and parameters, as well as their descriptions. Those names are especially important for use of the Self-Managed Display form, which provides model users with complete access to all variables and parameters in the system. Most model use, however, employs the Scenario Tree form to build scenarios and the Flexible Display form to show scenario-specific forecasts, and both of those forms rely primarily on natural language descriptions of variables and parameters. To match the names provided here with the options in those forms, you can use the Search feature from the menu. The Training Manual describes how to use features such as the Flexible Display form to see computed forecast variables in natural language. And it also describes how to use the Scenario Tree form to access parameters in something close to natural language. Nonetheless, it helps very much in the use of those features and the model generally to know the actual variable and parameter names.

Types of Parameters in IFs

Manipulating Parameters in IFs

Keys to Successfully Modifying Parameters in IFs

Prepackaged Scenarios

Demographic Module

Variables of Interest

Parameters to Affect Fertility

Parameters to Affect Mortality

Parameters to Affect Migration

Parameters to Affect Working Age

Prepackaged Scenarios

Health Module

Variables of Interest

Parameters to Affect Overall Health and Burden of Disease

Parameters that Affect Communicable Diseases

Parameters that Affect Non-Communicable Disease

Parameters that Affect Injuries and Accidents

Parameters to Affect Technology

Prepackaged Scenarios

HIV/AIDS Submodule

Variables of Interest

Parameters to Affect Prevalence

Parameters to Affect Mortality

Prepackaged Scenarios

Education Module

Variables of Interest

Parameters to Affect Intake Rates and Survival Rates: Annual Growth

Parameters to Affect Intake Rates and Survival Rates: Target Year for Universal Education

Parameters to Affect Intake Rates and Survival Rates: Multiplier

Parameters to Affect Education Spending

Parameters to Affect Gender Parity

Prepackaged Scenarios

Economic Module

Variables of Interest

Parameters to Affect Production and Growth

Parameters to Affect Domestic Financial Flows and the Social Accounting System

Parameters to Affect Trade and International Finance

Parameters to Affect the Informal Economy

Prepackaged Scenarios

Infrastructure Module

Variables of Interest

Parameters to Affect Infrastructure

Parameters to Affect Funding

Prepackaged Scenarios

Agriculture Module

Variables of Interest

Parameters to Affect Demand

Parameters to Affect Supply (Production)

Parameters to Affect Nutrition

Prepackaged Scenarios

Energy Module

Variables of Interest

Parameters to Affect Demand

Parameters to Affect Supply

Prepackaged Scenarios

Environment Module

Variables of Interest

Parameters Affecting Carbon

Parameters Affecting Water Resources

Parameters Affecting Air Pollution

Prepackaged Scenarios

Governance Module

Variables of Interest

Parameters to Affect Security

Parameters to Affect Capacity

Parameters to Affect Inclusiveness

Prepackaged Scenarios

International Politics Module

Variables of Interest

Parameters Affecting Power

Parameters Affecting Threat Levels

Parameters Affecting War Simulation

Parameters Affecting Diplomacy

Prepackaged Scenarios

Parameter Dictionary

Population

Health

HIV/AIDS

Education

Economics

Infrastructure

Agriculture

Energy

Environment

Governance

International Politics