The livelihoods of rural communities in West Bengal and Bangladesh are affected by a diverse but interlinked range of factors. A major component of the SIAGI project involves integrated assessment modelling (IAM), which provides a systematic and transparent approach to exploring the linkages and feedbacks between different system components (social, climate, market, health, environmental and policy). The IAM process will enable the integration, and holistic analysis, of knowledge and data from the SIAGI research foci (social justice and livelihoods, markets for the poor and value chains, risk assessment, NGO good practice and policy support).
An integrated model (see figure below) will be developed to incorporate data and knowledge obtained about: the livelihoods of different household typologies, their views on social and gender equity and their visions and aspirations; relevant value chains ; local and regional environmental conditions; community engagement processes; the relevant institutional settings; and key risks associated with agricultural intensification. The SIAGI team will use the integrated model in a participatory manner to determine the various trade-offs between alternative agricultural development trajectories, and help identify potential options that may offer better outcomes for marginalised or vulnerable households.