Modelling Tools
for sustainable development
UNDP Logo UNDESA Logo

News

Workshop on SDG7 Implementation in Asia and the Pacific

19-21 March 2019

The UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub jointly with KTH (Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden) organized an event on integrated modelling within a larger workshop on SDG7 implementation in Asia Pacific, hosted and organized by ESCAP and UN DESA. The workshop brought together about 90 participants from 17 countries in Asia and CIS, representatives from Africa and Latin America regions, and 20 global and regional organizations, including UN agencies. For the agenda and presentations, please click here. Energy, agriculture and land use change contribute more than 90% of greenhouse gas emissions. Action on climate change needs to focus on these areas. At the same time, energy is fundamental for achieving (or not) many sustainable development goals. These natural resource and environmental systems are interdependent in the real world. Further, they also impact our economies and people.

By modelling energy, water, land use and climate in an integrated framework, analysts have generated insights for integrated policy making. Such integrated models have also been linked with economy-wide models to estimate impacts on GDP, fiscal spending and household incomes. They help generate insights into precisely the kind of complex development challenges that are at the heart of integrated SDG actions and help governments with coherent and more realistic planning.

The event featured three types of modelling tools developed and/or refined in recent years by a group of experts and academics, with KTH at the lead: (1) OnSSET, a geo-spatial tool being used by the World Bank for least-cost electrification planning; (2) OSeMOSYS, an open-source version of an established energy modelling tool used for assessment and planning of bulk energy investment, and (3) CLEWs, an integrated framework bringing together Climate, Land, Energy and Water models.

UNDP BPPS and UNDESA have supported capacity development of analysts and policy makers to build and use such models in nine countries in Latin America and Africa so far. The workshop featured national, city-level and sub-regional applications of such integrated models. In Nicaragua, for example, the integrated model helped to assess how does the stated policy goal to increase agricultural and livestock production reconcile with the policy goal of increasing reforestation, how the demand on water from increased use of energy and satisfy growing demand from other sectors – such as growing crops can be addressed. By linking the integrated climate-land-energy-water model results with an economy-wide model, analysts also showed how are the planned investments in energy expected to impact green house gas emissions, GDP and household consumption.

Other institutions also supported such integrated modelling exercises in cities, of which two were featured at the event: in a very big city (New York) and in a very small city (Oskarsham, Sweden). Other cases profiled included Bolivia (energy and integrated resource modelling assessing various energy scenarios as planned in Bolivia’s National Development Plan by 2030 and how they feed into Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) for reduction in green house gas emissions, a commitment made under COP21/ Paris Agreement; and a sub-regional assessment of the Indus River basin spanning Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and India and providing over 90% of food supply in Pakistan. The event also set the foundation for the Asia-Pacific Energy & Integrated Resource Modelling Platform.

Scoping mission takes place in Cameroon

12-15 February 2019

UNDESA, in collaboration with UNDP and UNECA, conducted a scoping mission to Yaoundé, Cameroon to launch a capacity development project to develop, transfer and apply the Climate, Land, Energy and Water systems (CLEWs) modelling tool in support of policy coherence in national sustainable development strategies.

The mission team held bilateral meetings with a range of potential project stakeholders including the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, National Institute for Statistics, Ministry of Energy and Water, National Observatory on Climate Change (ONACC), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, National Institute of Cartography, United Nations Development Program Country Office and the United Nations Assistant Resident Coordinator’s Office. The aim of the meetings was to conduct a situation and needs assessment, assess current institutional arrangements and mechanisms, inform potential counterparts of project scope, assess data availability and define project plans and objectives.

A workshop was held on the 14th of February 2019 with aim to bring together national stakeholders. The workshop was opened by a representative of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development. The UN team introduced the CLEWs methodology, including rationale and objectives, institutional considerations and CLEWs capacity development project structure, timeline and methods. National counterparts presented their relevant activities including analysis. Discussions were held to elaborate on project scope, methods and objectives and to answer questions and concerns from participants.

The CLEWs analysis will be tailored to inform the 2nd phase of the national development plan in an iterative process with the main counterpart. After which a training program will initiate to transfer the full model. This mission is part of a project with the aim of enhancing policy coherence for the SDGs through integrated assessments and institutional strengthening in Africa.

National CLEWs training is finalized in Bolivia

4-8 February 2019

The fourth and final workshop on integrated analysis with the Climate, Land, Energy and Water Systems (CLEWs) took place in La Paz, Bolivia on the week of 4-8 of February 2019. The workshop, organized by UNDESA in collaboration with the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit (UDAPE) of the Ministry of Development, the technical expertise of the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and the in-country support of UNDP Bolivia, provided an opportunity for the inter-ministerial analytic team to continue working on data preparation and scenario analysis to inform sustainable development strategies with the CLEWs framework. The team is led by officials from UDAPE, with participation from the Ministry of Environment and Water, the National Electricity Supply Company, and the Ministry of Hydrocarbons.

During the workshop participants were engaged in developing scenario analysis on key policy issues that were previously identified by Government counterparts; namely: i) bioethanol production from sugarcane to meet mandated volumes for gasoline blending as required under the new biofuels law, while also ensuring sugar production for food security; ii) biodiesel production from soybean as a means to maintain output from the soy sector, which has been negatively impacted by falling exports due to changes in regional preferential tariffs; and iii) analysis of the costs and benefits of large scale investments in multi-purpose dams and reservoirs. The areas of analysis are directly related to Goal 2 Zero Hunger, Goal 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, and Goal 7 Affordable and Clean Energy. Indirectly, the policy issues being analyzed also touch on Goal 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Goal 12 Responsible Consumption and Production.

The interministerial team will now prepare policy notes to report on the main findings to inform policymakers at a dissemination conference planned for the second quarter of 2019.

Supporting Policy Coherence in Ethiopia using the CLEWs framework

17 January 2019

African countries face important sustainable development challenges. Food security, energy for all, and facilitating water access remain some of the main concerns to ensure the wellbeing of the population. However, these all rely on natural resources that are highly sensitive to climate change and variability. Addressing these development issues will require quantitative modelling tools and an integrated approach to policymaking, ensuring that overlapping goals, interlinked challenges and potential tradeoffs are considered when planning for mid and long-term policies.

To support Ethiopia in this endeavor, UNDESA, UNDP and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) are implementing a project that will focus on two areas: 1) the development of an integrated climate, land, energy and water (CLEWs) assessment to identify sectoral interlinkages and trade-offs, and assess alternative scenarios to mitigate unwanted policy outcomes; and 2) support policy coherence and institutional strengthening to facilitate coordination among stakeholders in areas related to sustainable development.

As part of the project, a scoping mission was organized (11-18 January) and a one-day national inception workshop took place in Addis Ababa (17 January). These activities introduced the project’s objectives, the CLEWs framework and the importance of designing coherent policies for sustainable development. The event had the participation of the Minister of Water, irrigation and Electricity, Mr. Seleshi Bekele, and approximately 70 participants from various ministries.

For more information: https://www.uneca.org/stories/un-entities-support-ethiopia%E2%80%99s-quest-policy-coherence-sdgs

UNDESA presented progress in the development of the water for the Central Region of Mexico

21-23 of November 2018

Since 2017, UNDESA and UNDP have been working together with the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change of Mexico (INECC) to develop a climate, land, energy and water systems integrated assessment in one of the high priority areas of the country: the central region of México. This region represents around 5% of the total land area of the country, concentrates one third of the country’s population and around 35% of national GDP. However, it is also one of the regions with highest water stress, representing a great challenge for sustainable development. With this focus, UNDESA, in collaboration with UNDP and INECC have since worked on an integrated land-water model, starting with the hydrological component for which the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system was chosen.

To present progress of the project, in November 21-23, UNDESA, UNDP and INECC organized a working meeting in Mexico City. During the meeting, the necessary data required to complete the hydrological model, and the necessity to better represent competing water demands such as agriculture, domestic, public, commercial, industrial, livestock and mining were discussed. The working meeting was attended by technical government officials of INECC and CONAGUA, the main administrative body for water management in the country. Feedback was provided by the participants, providing inputs to improve the representation of the hydrological system of the central region of Mexico. Finally, a roadmap was outlined to complete the water analysis component of the project.

Additional photos

UNDESA-UNDP complete the third CLEWs workshop in Bolivia

10-14 September 2018

During the week of 10 to 14 September, EAPD conducted the third training workshop on the Climate, Land, Energy and Water Systems (CLEWs) integrated analysis methodology in La Paz, Bolivia. The workshop was organized in collaboration with UNDP and the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit (UDAPE). Twenty-three government officials from UDAPE and several ministries such as Planning and Development (MPD), Environment and Water (MMAyA), Rural Development and Land (MDRyT), Energy (ME), Hydrocarbons (MH), the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service (SENAMHI), and state-owned companies such as the transmission system operator (CNDC), the National Electricity Supply Company (ENDE), as well as the state-owned oil and gas company (YPFB), participated, along with members of the UNDP country team.

During the workshop participants were engaged in hands-on scenario development with the CLEWs framework, exploring key policy areas of interest to the Government, including: i) land use, water use and emission impacts of the new biofuels law; ii) impacts of new multi-purpose dam constructions; iii) agricultural modernization and iv) trade in agricultural products. On the final day, the preliminary results from the scenario modelling exercises were presented and next steps were outlined regarding the necessary updates needed in the model to adequately address and develop the policy scenarios proposed.

CLEWs modelling training starts in Ghana

16 May 2018

From 7 to 11 May, Ghana’s first training workshop on the CLEWs integrated analysis framework took place in Accra. The workshop was organized by UNDESA, UNDP and the University of Ghana, with participation from the Energy Commission, the Northern Development Authority, the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority and the University of Ghana. Three workshops on the CLEWs modelling framework are planned for the project.

Participants engaged in hands-on exercises on the energy dimension of CLEWs. Scenario exercises explored key policy areas, namely; i) the vulnerability of hydropower generation to droughts, specifically in relation to climate change; ii) promotion of renewable energy; iii) prospects and viability of waste to energy projects; and iv) energy efficiency. On the final day, the preliminary results from the scenario modelling were presented. Meetings with the UNDP country office and country counterparts were held to plan project implementation.

Second national CLEWs training workshop takes place in Bolivia

23 Apr 2018

From 16 to 20 April, UNDESA and UNDP conducted the second training workshop on CLEWs integrated analysis in La Paz, Bolivia. Twenty-eight government officials from several institutions took part, representing the social, economic and environment sectors. Participants came from the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit, the Ministry of Planning and Development, the Ministry of Environment and Water, National Load Dispatch Committee, the National Electricity Supply Company, the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service, the state-owned oil and gas company YPFB, the Ministry of Rural Development and Land, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and the UNDP country office.

Participants conducted hands-on exercises with the CLEWs framework, exploring key policy areas: i) energy exports, ii) biofuels production, iii) water quality and treatment, iv) introduction of gas-to-liquids technology and v) agricultural modernization. On the final day, the preliminary results were presented. Mr. Alvaro Lazo, Sub-Director of Macrosectorial Policy of the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit, provided final remarks, highlighting the importance of integrated modelling to inform policies and interministerial engagement to improve analysis of sustainable development strategies.

The expertise from different institutions enriched the discussions and supported integrated analysis with important insights and perspectives. The process strengthened efforts to build an interministerial analytical team to support policy coherence for sustainable development.

Workshop in Bolivia introduces modelling tool for integrated water resources management

13 Apr 2018

At the request of the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit, a three-day workshop on hydrological modelling using the Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP) was held in La Paz from 11 to 13 April. The workshop was organized by UNDESA, UNDP and the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit, and co-facilitated by a UNDP consultant along with two specialists from the Ministry of Environment and Water. Ten officials from the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit and the National Load Dispatch Committee, who are part of the interinstitutional team of government officials being trained in integrated tools, attended the workshop.

Integrated water resource management concepts were introduced, complemented with hands-on exercises and model exploration. Participants became familiar with WEAP's interface and functionalities, and with Bolivia's Surface Water Balance model (BHSB) in WEAP, its components, methodology and main results. The BHSB was developed by the Ministry of Environment and Water in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute. It is the main input for water balance data used in the CLEWs model for Bolivia.

Assessing national development policies in Mongolia with economy-wide modelling

19 Jan 2018

UNDP and UNDESA, in coordination with Mongolia’s National Development Agency and the Prime Minister's Office, are implementing a joint capacity development project to strengthen policy analysis skills by using an economy-wide model. The first workshop took place in Ulaanbaatar from 15 to 18 January. The objective was to introduce a simplified model tailored to assess the national development policies of Mongolia, including the National Sustainable Development Vision 2030. The training was attended by 14 government officials from the National Development Agency, Ministry of Finance, Central Bank and Development Bank of Mongolia, among other institutions.

UNDESA and UNDP carry out the first CLEWS training in Bolivia

4 Dec 2017

From 27 November to 1 December, the first training workshop on CLEWs integrated analysis took place in La Paz, Bolivia. Organized by UNDESA, UNDP and Bolivia’s Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit, with technical expertise of the Royal Institute of Technology and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the session engaged 15 government officials from the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit, the National Load Dispatch Committee, the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service, the state-owned oil and gas company YPFB, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Hydrocarbons.

During the workshop participants took part in hands-on exercises focused on the energy system as a starting point to familiarize themselves with the CLEWs framework. Three key policy areas were explored through the exercises: i) energy exports, ii) the impacts of large new end-users (such as copper mines) on the power system and iii) the climate sensitivity of the power system. On the final day, the preliminary results from scenario-modelling exercises were presented to senior government officials. They discussed specific policy questions involved in analysing cross-sectoral issues in support of sustainable development.

Training on energy modelling concludes in Paraguay

6 Nov 2017

A third national training workshop on energy systems modelling was held in Asuncion, Paraguay, from 30 October to 3 November. The workshop was organized by UNDESA, UNDP and the Secretariat of Planning for Economic and Social Development, with the support of an external expert from the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden. Participants from the Secretariat of Planning, the Vice-Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Electricity Administration, the electricity company Itaipu and the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion were in attendance.

Participants engaged in hands-on exercises to develop scenarios using the energy systems model introduced in earlier workshops. In particular, three key policy areas were explored: i) power sector investment and electricity exports; ii) energy consumption in households, with a focus on reducing dependence on traditional biomass and improving energy efficiency; and iii) transport sector policy, in particular, the expansion of public transport. Side meetings between the various energy sector stakeholders discussed policy issues and how these can be addressed through analysis.

This was the sixth and final workshop of a capacity development project that has transferred an economy-wide model and an energy systems model to the national Government to support sustainable development policy-making.

Second energy systems analysis training conducted in Paraguay

2 Oct 2017

From 18 to 22 September, UNDESA, UNDP and the Secretariat of Planning for Economic and Social Development of Paraguay implemented the second national training workshop on energy systems modelling in Asuncion. The workshop included 13 participants from the Ministry of Planning for Development, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Electricity Administration, the electricity company Itaipu and the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion. Participants engaged in hands-on work and exercises to implement improvements to the energy systems model developed during the first workshop.

A particular focus was put on the expansion and revision of how the transport sector and biofuel value chains are represented in the model. Various energy sector stakeholders discussed policy issues and how these can be addressed through analysis and modelling. The workshop featured presentations on the Itaipu power station and related bilateral agreements with Brazil, and on the medium-term electricity generation and transmission expansion plan by the National Electricity Administration.

UNDESA and UNDP explore scope for capacity development in Cameroon and Zambia

29 Aug 2017

Scoping missions to Yaoundé, Cameroon (16 August) and Lusaka, Zambia (24-25 August) were conducted to explore the possibilities for a joint UNDESA-UNDP capacity development program centred on the CLEWs integrated assessment modelling tool.

In Yaoundé, the mission included discussions with the UNDP country office, the Climate Change Observatory, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Ministry of Economy. These institutions expressed keen interest in developing capacity for integrated analysis in the country.

In Lusaka, the mission found an equally strong interest from the ministries of agriculture, water and energy, and environment and forestry. The UNDP country office offered to coordinate the capacity development project with activities of the UN Joint Programme on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction. The Planning Ministry suggested it could play an important leadership role in the project, based on existing capacity for quantitative modelling and access to data.

Energy modelling training begins in Paraguay

14 Aug 2017

From 7 to 11 August, UNDESA, UNDP and the Secretariat of Planning for Economic and Social Development of Paraguay implemented the first energy systems model workshop in Asuncion. The workshop included 15 government officials from several ministries and government agencies, such as the Secretariat of Planning, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade; from energy entities such as the National Electricity Administration and the electricity company Itaipu; and from the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion.

Sessions introduced participants to the main underlying concepts of linear programming and energy systems modelling, and featured hands-on sessions where attendants built a simplified energy systems model for Paraguay. The workshop facilitated the exchange of views, data and perspectives on energy issues, and featured two presentations: one on the MESSAGE model for Paraguay by the Vice-Ministry of Mines and Energy and a second on the Paraguay LEAP model by the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion.

Economy-wide modelling training concludes in Costa Rica

13 Aug 2017

Capacity development activities continued in Costa Rica with the implementation of the 3rd economy-wide modelling workshop in San José from 7 to 10 August. The training focused on the CGE dynamic model. It assessed different shocks to the economy, increases in energy efficiency, greater investments in infrastructure and other simulations. Due to the important insights the model has provided, participants requested another workshop to further explore and confirm the main findings, in preparation for a presentation to medium- and high-level government officials.

Scoping mission to Dakar completed

A scoping mission to Dakar, Senegal assessed prospects for UNDESA and UNDP to help develop capacities in integrated methodologies that support evidence-based sustainable development policies. The mission included meetings with the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Planning at various levels, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Agency of Civil Aviation and Meteorology, and the UNDP country office.

The mission found strong interest from all ministries and specialized departments. There is pre-existing capacity in energy, systems dynamic, water management and climate modelling, which is a valuable input for delivering a country project. No significant capacity on multisectoral integrated modelling was found, however, which is where the proposed project could be of greatest value. The government of Senegal will discuss how to coordinate the project and potential contributions to implementation.

Mission to kickstart CLEWs modelling in Mexico

30 July 2017

From 24 to 28 July, UNDESA and UNDP conducted a mission to Mexico City to launch a CLEWs capacity development project. It is part of a joint UNDESA and UNDP initiative to develop national capacity for using modelling tools to inform sustainable development policies.

During the mission, preliminary work done by three government experts trained during the CLEWs Trieste Summer School of in June 2017 was presented to senior officials. Several meetings were held with a range of government institutions and stakeholders to present the CLEWs methodology. The mission was successful in ensuring continued high-level support, building potential collaborations with different government offices, and developing clear and detailed plans for model development and capacity-building.

Scoping mission to Cameroon is completed to assess the potential of developing a CLEWs model

21-23 July 2017

Between 21 and 23 July a scoping mission to Yaoundé, Cameroon was concluded, with discussions with the National Office of Statistics, the Electricity Authority, the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation, and UNDP units for environment and governance, as well as with the UN Resident Representative. The mission found there is strong interest and the initial needed capacity in the country to implement a joint UNDESA-UNDP capacity development program centered on the integrated assessment modelling tool for climate change, land, energy and water systems. On 24 and 25 August Eduardo visited for Lusaka, Zambia, for the same purpose. The mission found an equally strong interest in the ministries of Agriculture, Water and Energy, Environment, Forestry and NDC unit. UNDP Country office expressed the interest of coordinating the capacity development project, if implemented, with the capacity development activities contemplated in the UN Joint Program on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction. More detailed discussions with Planning Ministry, given their understanding of modelling and data availability, suggest Planning could play an important leadership role in the project.

Mission to start capacity development in CLEWs modelling in Ghana

24 July 2017

During the week of 17 to 21 July, UNDESA and IAEA, conducted a workshop and data gathering mission to Accra to start the implementation of a CLEWs capacity development project in Ghana. The mission and workshop are part of the joint initiative of UNDESA and UNDP to promote in-depth capacity development on modelling tools to inform sustainable development policies. The policy relevance and main methodological features of the CLEWs integrated assessment modelling tool were presented along with the preliminary results developed by three government officials trained in the CLEWs Trieste Summer School organized in 12-30 June 2017. The presentation of preliminary results by the government team significantly increased the interest of the government institutions participating in the workshop as it clearly demonstrated the relevance and utility of the tool. The mission was successful in defining the data requirements, strategy of engagement of modelling teams in national institutions, and refining the policy objectives of the project.

Stories

Modelling Sustainable Development in Bolivia

Since 2006, UNDESA and UNDP, have been supporting the Plurinational State of Bolivia to strengthen the analytical capacities of government officials to inform development policies by using modelling tools. Through several capacity development projects, economy-wide and energy systems models have been transferred and a set of policy scenarios have been developed to address key issues of interest to the government. This collaboration has resulted in several contributions, including publications and policy notes prepared by government officials to disseminate the results and the findings of the modelling assessments. An inter-ministerial modelling team of government officials has been established that is now capable to undertake policy analysis in response to requests from senior decision-makers.

Bolivia: Impact of capacity development shaping policies in Bolivia

The utility of such projects has been highlighted on several occasions. For example, one of the general equilibrium models transferred by UNDESA was useful for informing the 2025 Patriotic Agenda by estimating GDP growth and government budget requirements to finance the implementation of plans and programs. The OSeMOSYS energy model enabled the Unit for Social and Economic Policy Analysis (UDAPE) of the Ministry of Development Planning to contribute analysis to support an assessment of energy sector development to help establish Bolivia's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) under the Paris agreement. Furthermore, the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning system of the country (LEAP) was updated by UNDESA, in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden (KTH), and UNDP support. As a result of this, a conference was organized to disseminate the results of both energy models to a wide audience, addressing both contributions and limitations to key features of Bolivia’s Plan for Economic and Social Development 2016-2020 (PDES). Selected policy notes using the energy models were used to inform the Energy Development Plan of the Ministry of Hydrocarbons.

Likewise, in the Symposium "Promotion of inclusive and responsible public administration for sustainable development" that took place on March 16 and 17, 2016, Mrs. Mirna Mariscal, Subdirector of Macroeconomic Policy of UDAPE, highlighted the importance of capacity development projects to strengthen the technical expertise of the Government in the use and improvement of economic and energy models.

The tools that are part of the UNDESA-UNDP portfolio include economy-wide models with modules in energy, health and human development; micro-simulations to assess the impact of policies on poverty dynamics and other household socio-economic indicators; energy systems models and energy planning. Currently, an integrated methodology of climate, land use, energy and water (CLEWs) is under development, which facilitates the analyses of interrelationships between the three dimensions of sustainable development -economic, environmental and social- in policy design and planning.

Bolivia’s continuous engagement with the modelling tools and the evidence of their use to inform policies is a good example of the importance of making innovative and tailored models accessible to developing countries.