Bontkes, Tjark Struif, "Simulation as a Tool for Planning of Rural Development Programmes: A Case in Southern Sudan", 1990

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Planning of rural development in developing countries requires participation and integration of various disciplines, such as economics, sociology, agriculture and health. Very often not all relevant disciplines participate and if they do, they analyze, plan and implement their programs separately. This paper presents an example of how simulation modeling can be helpful for interdisciplinary analysis of rural areas in the Third World. The analysis of the Bor District, an area in Southern Sudan, serves as an example.First a general verbal and graphical overview of the situation in the rural area of the Bor District is provided. This is followed by a more detailed analysis regarding the population, the food consumption, the agricultural production and the livestock production of the area.Due to lack of data, a common problem in remote areas in the Third World, many parameters has to be derived from studies of other, but to some extent similar, areas. Validation was therefore carried out by means of a sensitivity analysis and by comparing the model results with development in other areas. Experiments have been carried out by simulating the effects of one or more interventions, such as improvement of health services, veterinary services, the availability of water and schools, employment opportunity and the quantity of imported food, and the introduction of improved agricultural methods. The results indicate, that several interventions that initially seem to benefit the development of the area, prove to be disastrous after a number of years. In addition to that, some processes, that are unimportant in periods of stability, appear to become important when the system becomes unstable.

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  • 1990
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