WP 6.2 Agent-based Modeling

Agent-based models for integrated assessment

The overall aim of WASCAL is to identify resilient and adaptive/adapted land-use systems and how these can be fostered. We substantiated this aim through the proposed work package by the sub-goal to identify resilient long-term land-use strategies of land users.  As resilience is largely determined by the dynamics and feedbacks within and between the social, the economic and the environmental spheres, an integrated modelling approach is required that can combine them. We suggest this to be agent-based modelling as it has this capacity, as well as the ability to simulate emergent phenomena such as resilience. However, the weakness of agent-based modeling is its susceptibility to emergent errors, induced by the great flexibility in agent design, especially that of human agents.

In this work package, we therefore propose an agent-based model framework that

  1. holds the level of detailedness is at a possible minimum,
  2. rigorously designs human agents on the basis of social-science insight, and that
  3. constrains the model by expert-based macro-scale scenarios.

When implemented according to this framework, the final agent-based model will have the ability to simulate the human-environment system dynamics in response to external climatic shocks via scenarios, given selected present or alternative long-term land-use strategies. The indicators to assess system performance and thus resilience will comprise ecological ecosystem services, economic welfare indicators, and cultural ecosystem services, thus providing a tool for integrated assessment.

The Grazing Game is an online behavioral interactive game to understand the coping strategies of farmer-herders in the drylands.

Experience how to live like farmers or herders in West African drylands, where rainfall is erratic. Will you be a strategic farmer-herders or abandon the land to get a white-collar job? From an original board game, we converted the grazing game to an online version. This online version grazing game is a new tool to explore the behavior and coping scoping strategies to negative impacts of climate change of both local farmer-herders and policy makers and consequences of their management decisions. It is designed to facilitate social learning that is crucial for co-management of landscapes in the drylands under climate uncertainties.

Play now!


  • Grace Villamor (Team Leader), Center for Development Research, University of Bonn
  • Badmos Biola (Doctoral Programme Climate Change and Land Use, KNUST, Ghana), Research topic: Modelling impacts and adaptation strategies of climate change on land use/cover change in Vea Catchment, Ghana
  • Aleza Koudchoukalo (University of Lomé, Togo), Research topic: Management and Dynamics of Shea Parkland Agroforestry, Benin
  • Sanogo Kapoury (Universite Felix Houphouet Boigny, Cote D' Ivoire), Research Topic: Carbon dynamics of Parkland Agroforestry in Mali
  • Michael Mensah (Doctoral Programme Climate Change and Land Use, KNUST, Ghana) Research topic: Impact of gender differences and land tenure to the resilience of Vea Catchment in Northern Ghana
  • Amadou Laouali (Doctoral Programme Climate Change and Land Use, KNUST, Ghana): Participatory modeling approach for simulating the adaptation strategies of crop production system to climate change in the Atankwidi Catchment, Upper East Northern Ghana
  • Afiavi Dagbeto (Master's Programme Climate Change and Adapte Land Use, FUT-Minna, Nigeria) Research topic: Gender and land-use decision-making in response to climate variability in Dassari watershed (Materi), Benin

Related Publications

Gender differences in land-use decisions: shaping multifunctional landscapes?

2014 - Villamor, Grace B. | Meine van Noordwijk, Utkur Djanibekov, Ma Elena Chiong-Javier and Delia Catacutan

Gender-specific spatial perspectives and scenario building approaches for understanding gender equity and sustainability in climate-smart landscapes

2014 - Villamor, Grace B. | Pelagie Afiavi Dah-gbeto, Andrew Bell, Ujjwal Pradhan, and Meine van Noordwijk

A Crop Model and Fuzzy Rule Based Approach for Optimizing Maize Planting Dates in Burkina Faso, West Africa

2014 - Waongo, Moussa | Patrick Laux, Seydou B. Traore, Moussa Sanon and Harald Kunstmann

Population structure and regeneration status of Vitellaria Paradoxa (C. F. Gaertner) under different land management regimes in Atacora department, Benin

2015 - Aleza, Koutchoukalo | Kperkouma Wala, Jules Bayala, Grace B. Villamor, Marra Dourma, Wouyo Atakpama, and Koffi Akpagana

Woody species diversity of Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn traditional agroforests under different land management regimes in Atacora district (Benin, Africa)

2015 - Aleza, Koutchoukalo | Grace B. Villamor, Kperkouma Wala, Marra Dourma, Wouyo Atakpama, K. Batawila, and Koffi Akpagana

An approach for simulating soil loss from agro-ecosystem using multi-agent simulation: A case study for semi-arid Ghana

2015 - Badmos, Biola Kazeem | Sampson K. Agodzo, Grace B. Villamor, and Samuel N. Odai

Potential of dendrochronology in assessing carbon sequestration rates of Vitellaria paradoxa in southern Mali, West Africa

2016 - Sanogo K | Gebrekirstos A, Bayala J, Villamor GB, Kalinganire A, Dodiomon S

Farmers’ perceptions of climate change impacts on ecosystem services delivery of parklands in southern Mali

2016 - Kapoury Sanogo, Joachim Binam, Jules Bayala, Grace B. Villamor, Antoine Kalinganire, Soro Dodiomon


Dr. Grace Villamor
University of Bonn
Center for Development Research

Email: grace.villamor(at)uni-bonn.de; grace.villamor(at)gmail.com
Phone: +49-228-73-4947

Team Members

Koutchoukalo Aleza

Programs and Research Projects:

  • Doctoral Programme Climate Change and Agriculture
  • 6.2 Agent-based Modeling

Dr. Mahamadou Laouali Amadou


  • Alumni

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 6.2 Agent-based Modeling

Dr. Biola Kazeem Badmos


  • Alumni

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 6.2 Agent-based Modeling

Mr Michael Mensah

Research interests:

Gender, food security, social ecological systems etc.

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 6.2 Agent-based Modeling

Kapoury Sanogo

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 6.2 Agent-based Modeling

Mr. Ephraim Sekyi-Annan

Research interests:

Agricultural water management, Conservation agriculture, Integrated water resources management (IWRM), Climate change

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 6.2 Agent-based Modeling
  • 2.3 Water Scarcity

Dr. Grace Villamor


  • Senior Researcher

Programs and Research Projects:

  • Cluster 6: Integrated Assessment
  • 6.2 Agent-based Modeling