Feel free to share your questions, insights and lessons learned on your practical experience in applying the International Futures modeling tool. Let’s brainstorm ideas on how to apply IFs in your national contexts! Don't hesitate to Ask 'Us' Anything!

To frame this exchange of experiences, please keep in mind the following guiding questions: 

  • How relevant and useful do you find IFs to support COVID-19 related analysis in your country context? 
  • Is IFs helpful in responding to the demand for policy scenario analysis and forecasting your office has received? 
  • Did you find limitations in IFs that warrant further research? Are you familiar with other tools and methodologies that could be complementary to IFs? 
For those of you who may have missed the trainings (25 May and 9 June), please find the recordings and the PPT presentations here.

Looking forward to your inputs! Don't hesitate to ask any questions!

Pardee Center and UNDP SDG Integration teams

? Go back to the main page of the Training on the Use of IFs to Model Impact of COVID-19 on the SDGs

Comments (13)

Babatunde Abidoye
Babatunde Abidoye Moderator

Welcome to the participants to the training in International Futures for Costa Rica and Peru!

Let’s use this Discussion Room to share your questions, insights and lessons learned on your practical experience in applying the IFs modeling tool. It will be open for the next few weeks. Looking forward to engaging with you!


on behalf of the Pardee Center and UNDP SDG Integration teams

Mac Albert Gordon Shaw
Mac Albert Gordon Shaw

During 2nd training session there is a mention of trying to measure government responses to COVID-19 as an area the Pardee Center Team would be looking further into.

A while back, I came across the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, which collects information on common policy responses, scores the stringency of such measures, and aggregates these into a Stringency Index: https://www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/research/research-projects/coronavirus-governm…

I was wondering if this data is something to explore as to whether it could feed into and be applied within the IFs model? This may of course have been done already!

David Bohl
David Bohl Moderator

Thank you for your question, Mac! The data and forecasts variables in IFs are reported at the country-year level. Series like the Stringency Index could be fairly easily added to the historical database, though they would need to be aggregated to an annual time-step. Given that one of the purposes of the Stringency Index is to track progress of government responses in real time, this aggregation may hide some of the important information that the index is intended to convey. In addition, projecting the measure (or the annual average or maximum) may also be less meaningful in the future as (we hope) many of these government responses will be unnecessarily after a vaccine is widely distributed. Nevertheless, with a strong enough conceptual (and statistical) model we could implement some variation of the measure aimed at capturing the preparedness for future pandemics that a country might have. 

While currently we do not have a forecast of a preparedness index, though we do have a variety of other forecast variables related to government capacity. For more information about these variables, please see our book on Strengthening Governance Globally: https://pardee.du.edu/pphp-5-strengthening-governance-globally.

Babatunde Abidoye
Babatunde Abidoye Moderator

A warm welcome to the Training on modeling the Impact o COVID-19 on the SDGs using the International Futures tool on behalf of the moderators! It will take place on 25 May and 9 June 2021. Find out more in the training plan and the FAQ.

The training will introduce participants to the International Futures tool and integrated modeling. It will explain the policy questions modeled in the ‘SDG Push’ scenario and the implications for COVID-19 recovery and unpack how the ‘SDG Push’ scenario can be adapted to national and regional contexts.

In this Discussion Room, don’t hesitate to share your insights on the scenarios and how they can be adapted to your local context. You can also share lessons learned from your practical experience in applying the International Futures modeling tool. Let’s brainstorm ideas on how to accelerate the SDGs!


On behalf of the Pardee Center and UNDP SDG Integration teams 

Nadine Ravaud
Nadine Ravaud

? Dear participants, greetings and welcome from the coordinating team! See below how to get started with the training?

  • Important! Download and install International Futures before the training! The .zip file is accessible directly from this hyperlink. Kindly note that you will need a Windows operating system as well as administrative privileges to install IFs on your computer. If you have an OS X system, a virtual software will be needed. If you encounter any issues, please use the dedicated support channel
  • Reading: Please read up on the required reading. You are also encouraged to review the training plan, browse all IFs resources, and read the FAQs
  • Connection details: The first session of the IFs Training will take place on 25 May 2021, 08:00 AM EDT New York (2:00 PM Geneva, 3:00 PM Amman/ Addis Abeba, 7:00 PM Bangkok), Join Zoom Meeting, Meeting ID: 879 8445 3888, Passcode: IFTraining 

Looking forward to your participation!

Nadine Ravaud
Nadine Ravaud

? Dear participants, thank you to those who participated in Session 1 (25 May)! If you missed it, please watch the recording, and review the PPT presentation at this hyperlink.

To install IFs on your computer, follow the step-by-step guidance: any questions can be shared in the dedicated support channel.

A kind reminder that Session 2 of the training will take place on 9 June 2021, 8:00-9:30 AM New York (2:00-3:30 PM Geneva, 7:00-8:30 PM Bangkok). Connect on Zoom by clocking on this hyperlink: Join Zoom Meeting, or by entering the Meeting ID: 825 3193 8221, Passcode: IFTraining. fter a brief summary of Session 1 (reintroducing the report, scenarios, and model), Session 2 will look at how the ‘SDG Push’ scenario can be adapted to better represent the context and goals of your respective country/region. The first example will focus on governance and the second will focus on how to prioritize government spending and manage trade-offs across different sectors.

(If you are new to SparkBlue, watch this short video walkthrough for UNDP users or non-UNDP users).

Don’t hesitate to share your questions, comments, and insights below in this open discussion channel below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Luis Gamarra
Luis Gamarra

Bula and greetings from Fiji!

Congratulations for this excellent tool. I went through the country groups already created (Geography Options/Using Groups) and couldn't find one that clusters the countries under the UNDP Multi-country offices in the Pacific Region. These are small countries, which information is misrepresented when included within the Oceania groups (that might be considering Australia and New Zealand, but also PNG).

Is it possible to create a new group encompassing the six Pacific SIDS considered in this tool: Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu? There are many other countries and territories that have not been considered since they are below the threshold of 100,000inh.

One more question. Is it possible to combine some variables to produce a compound indicator (e.g. social aspects, merging education, health, access to electricity, water and sanitation)?   

Many thanks for your advice



David Bohl
David Bohl Moderator

Hi Luis,

Thank you for your questions. It is possible to create unique country groups and use those to display results or create alternative scenarios. You can access this feature from the Main Menu under 'Extended Features > Manage Groups/Country/Regions > Change Grouping/Regionalization'. From there you can add, remove, or modify any groups in the IFs model. More information on this can be found here on our Wiki: https://pardee.du.edu/wiki/Extended_Features#Change_Grouping.2FRegionalization

Regarding the combination of multiple variables, there is an advanced feature that you can access from the 'Self Managed Display' that provides tools to create a composite index. After selecting the variables you wish to combine, you can use this feature by selecting 'Variable Selection Options > Create Index from Selection Status Box'.

More information about the Self Managed Display can be found here: https://pardee.du.edu/wiki/Self-Managed_Display_(Download)

Details on the index creation feature can be found here: https://pardee.du.edu/wiki/Variable_Selection_Options#Create_Index



Babatunde Abidoye
Babatunde Abidoye Moderator

Thank you for attending the trainings! For those of you who may have missed the trainings (25 May and 9 June 2021), please find the recordings and the PPT presentations: https://www.sparkblue.org/IFs/event/third-training-use-IFs-model.

Let’s use this Discussion Room to share your questions, insights and lessons learned on your practical experience in applying the IFs modeling tool. It will be open for the next few weeks!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the trainings: your feedback to this quick survey http://bit.ly/IFTrainingEvaluation is completely anonymous and will greatly help us improve future trainings and the content we are featuring in SparkBlue.


Jonathan Moyer
Jonathan Moyer Moderator

Thank you all for attending the trainings!  If you have more questions or comments, please do contribute to the discussion here.

Did you know that the model is available online as well?  See here for a projection of the Human Development Index for five African regions.  If you want to make your own graph, click "Continue" in the top left and choose another geography or variable!


Ievgen Kylymnyk
Ievgen Kylymnyk

Hello colleagues, I work in Ukraine CO and we are considering of running a foresight research on recovery and development policies. 


I recalled the training on IF and wanted to have a chat with the trainers/colleagues to exchange on the possibilities for Ukraine - just an exploratory discussion.

you can reach me via: ievgen.kylymnyk@undp.org





Sebnem Sahin
Sebnem Sahin

Dear Levgen, happy to help with examples from the Middle East on recovery and Reconstruction, also with economic modelling of potential policies. Kind regards, Sebnem

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