Modelling migration futures: development and testing\ud of the rainfalls agent-based migration model – Tanzania

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Smith, Christopher D (2014)

This paper describes the conceptual and practical development and testing of the Rainfalls Agent-Based Migration Model – Tanzania (RABMM-T). Drawing upon the literature on the process of developing and parameterizing a social simulation in the absence of spatio-temporal data, the paper outlines the translation of the conceptual framework into a working agent-based model. The possible impact of a change in local rainfall variability and mean upon household income, food production, and therefore the resilience and migration of members, is simulated to permit consideration of the possible impact of the artificial scenarios tested. In addition to the influence of changing rainfall, other non-rainfall scenarios are tested to explore the scale of the changes simulated. It is proposed that while a relatively clear impact of rainfall scenarios upon household resilience is simulated, the impact upon migration of household members is generally less clear. Furthermore, demographic and societal changes to the model are also seen to clearly contribute to the simulation outputs generated. The paper concludes that RABMM-T offers the first step in developing a potentially valuable resource for producing comparable migration forecasts that consider a range of contributory mechanisms. However, careful parameterisation is required to ensure the quality and value of model outputs.
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