Burkina Faso

Green Economy Assessment Study of Burkina Faso


Burkina Faso has maintained consistently strong macroeconomic performance in spite of multiple shocks and regional uncertainty, posting an average growth of 5.5% from 2000 to 2016. Concurrently however, the country is experiencing severe losses of natural resources due to degradation of land and water resources, soil erosion and deforestation. Climate change will exacerbate this environmental degradation, which will cause significant economic loss.


Faced with these challenges, the Government of Burkina Faso is using green economy analysis as a mechanism to inform policymakers on national development planning and adopting policies with the goal of achieving key sustainable development targets.


In collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD), the Millennium Institute conducted a study to identify policies that facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon, resource efficient economy, and show impact on sustainable development in Burkina Faso.


The study identified six priority sectors as playing a decisive role in realizing this objective in consultation with stakeholders: agriculture, livestock, forestry, water, energy and mining.


Using a customized Threshold 21 Burkina Faso model, four comparative policy scenarios were simulated to test their impact: (i) intermediate climate change scenario with no green investments; (ii) intermediate climate change scenario with green investments; (iii) worst-case climate change scenario with no green investment; and (iv) worst-case climate change scenario with green investments. The greening scenarios considered additional 2% of GDP for green investment in the identified six sectors from 2013 to 2050.


The study showed that greening the economy appears to be the most appropriate pathway for Burkina Faso to ensure sustainable development and poverty eradication.


The result of the study has been used to develop the National Green Economy Strategy of Burkina Faso, and the Action Plan currently under development.


The path toward achieving sustainable development is multifaceted, requiring a systemic understanding of this multi-sector issue over a long-term period. It will require implementation of the green economy policies laid out in the strategy, as well as strengthened institutional capacities to develop the T21 Burkina Faso model further, and to monitor and evaluate the results of strategy and action plan.


Côte d'lvore

An assessment of priority actions for achieving the SDGs in Cote d'Ivoire

This research report is the first in a series of national studies assessing the potential achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under different policy scenarios. Using the Integrated Sustainable Development Goals (iSDG) model, we compare the results for the 17 SDGs by 2030 under three scenarios in Cote d’Ivoire: a business as usual (BAU) scenario; a National Prospective Study scenario (NPS), representing the policies included in the “Cote d’Ivoire Vision 2040”; and a SDG scenario that combines the NPS scenario and additional policy interventions not covered in the Cote d’Ivoire Vision 2040. The analysis shows that in our optimistic scenario Cote d’Ivoire can attain a level of achievement of the SDGs of about 67%; and that major synergies would emerge from the joint planning and implementation of the proposed interventions.

Download the report here



Assessing best options for meeting the Millennium Development Goals in Ghana 

Ghana, like other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, is committed to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by the 2015 target date. Despite deep poverty and associated illiteracy, low life expectancy, and high infant mortality, Ghana has strong potential to attain the MDGs.

In recognition of the usefulness of Threshold 21 to provide insight into the impact of MDG-related interventions on Ghana’s economic and social development, UNDP requested that MI conduct an assessment to evaluate the impact of such interventions, and the synergies (or lack thereof) among them. This assessment was conducted in partnership with the Millennium Project.

MI customized T21 for Ghana, using fourteen of Millennium Project’s MDG-interventions in areas of health, education, infrastructure, and agriculture. Millennium Project also provided the cost and effect estimates.

The simulation conducted revealed the following:

  • Synergies and dis-synergies. The model contains a complex system of feedback loops that can be the source of either policy resistance or amplification. The MDG interventions affecting demographic dynamics are embedded within this system. Furthermore, because the target groups of many MDG interventions are overlapping, the impact of one intervention on the population may affect the effectiveness of another, creating synergies and dis-synergies. These phenomena have two major consequences:

  1. The actual cost of meeting the MDGs may differ from what is projected when the impact of the intervention on population is not considered. In general, the intervention aimed at improving quality of life and reducing mortality will tend to cost more than expected, and will make it more expensive to reach the other goals. On the other hand, the intervention to improve education and promote contraceptive use will tend to cost less than expected, and will help to meet the other goals.

  2. The interaction between policies will also shift the recommended pattern of expenditure over time for each intervention. The interventions rapidly impact on population by reducing mortality, while it only affects fertility in the medium term. Consequently, a larger allocation of resources is needed in the early years of the intervention. However, this will gradually decline as we approach 2015.


  • Time delays. Important time delays were identified that could adversely affect Ghana’s potential to attain the MDGs by 2015. The most significant effect is a substantial increase in cost and difficulty. Since the MDGs target population groups whose size and needs evolve over time, not meeting the need of each group at the allotted time will result in a gross underestimation of the resources required to serve the rapidly growing population. Were this to happen, patterns of expenditure would have to be recalibrated to consider the rapid development of the demographic figures.

  • Implications for financing. Given the size of the investment required for Ghana to reach the MDGs, and the positive effect of interventions on labor productivity, the economy would grow substantially. Government revenue and household incomes would also grow rapidly, resulting in increased domestic capacity to the finance the MDGs.


The development of T21-Ghana has received support from UNDP and The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.





T21 supports development of national poverty reduction strategy in Mali

Mali, with a population of 12 million, is one of the poorest nations in the world. It ranks 174 of 177 according to the UNDP’s human development index (HDI).  This is inspite of the higher economic growth rate it has experienced since 1994.

In 2004, MI began a partnership with The Carter Center to support the Development and Cooperation Initiative (DACI), which aims to assist Mali with comprehensive and long-term planning, improved bureaucratic efficiency, utilization of foreign economic assistance, and better overall cooperation among the government, donors, civil society, and the private sector.  MI supported these goals in the following areas:

  • Strengthening Mali’s institutional capacity to effectively and efficiently drive and coordinate its national development.

  • Strengthening the identification of priority poverty reduction policies and resource needs.

  • Pursuing and extending efforts to improve the coherency and harmonization of donor procedures.

During Phase I of the project, MI worked with Mali’s Forecasting and Modeling Committee (CPM) and civil society groups to customize the T21 model to their needs. Priority was given to issues that had been identified as important to Mali’s development during consultations that were held with different stakeholder groups. These issues were poverty, cotton and gold mining industries, and deforestation and desertification.  Eight technicians from the CPM were also trained to use and adapt the model to changing needs.

Phase II of the project focused on institutionalizing T21-Mali and supporting the preparation of the national poverty reduction strategy (CSLP II).  While donors and other national actors have given Mali’s poverty reduction strategy an overall positive assessment, they asked that the government prioritize its objective and minimize the implementation cost within the planned expenditure.  To meet this demand, background scenarios for the CSLP were generated with the model.  These provided a series of policy alternatives which were used in stakeholder consultations, and helped to set priorities for the CSLP.

Extensive training was also conducted for a core 4-member team of “T21 administrators”, who have primary responsibility for conducting analyses with the model, and a larger 20-member support group. The trainees all became increasingly enthusiastic and confident with using the model, often times working over night and during the weekend.

The CSLP II has been approved by the government and has been submitted to the World Bank.



MI has been involved in Mauritius since November 2007, when the UNDP headquarters in New York supported a mission to Mauritius to meet with local stakeholders to demonstrate the value of integrated modeling using T21. Since then MI has partnered with Mauritius institutions on a number of initiatives, including development of a Primary Country Model (PCM) to analyze development challenges in Mauritius, conducting capacity building in system dynamics for experts from different governmental agencies in Mauritius, and working with UNDP and the Ministry of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities at supporting the finalization od the Energy Policy 2025 document.

In June 2008, MI conducted a 3-week System Dynamics-based Development Planning course in collaboration with the Mauritius Research Council (MRC) and with support from MRC, UNDP CO, the United Nations University (UNU), the Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR) and the University of Technology Mauritius (UTM). Participants at the course were researchers and professionals working in the field of development planning, including government officials, representatives of the civil society, and educational institutions.


Twenty-Four participants attended the training course, representing 9 ministries, MRC, the Central Electricity Board, University of Mauritius, University of Technology, UNDP CO and CSIR South Africa. In addition, a private consultant attended from Seychelles.


The objective of the course was to impart the knowledge and skills required to analyze complex development challenges from a comprehensive and systemic perspective using the Threshold 21 (T21) framework customized to Mauritius.


Conversations with the Government, in the person of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development as well as the Minister of Public Utilities, show encouraging progresses in making the initial investment of MI, MRC, UNDP and other donors a successful reality in Mauritius. The first key step after the training was the creation of a model to support energy policy formulation and evaluation, with the final results of the study presented to the Deputy Prime Minister in Port Louis in October 2009.



Increasing broad stakeholder participation in national planning in Mozambique.

MI has worked in Mozambique since 2003, where we have been helping to support preparation and operationalization of Agenda 2025, a national document that sets out the path to Mozambique’s development and provides benchmarks of success for the nation and its development cooperation partners. The document, appropriately titled Agenda 2025: The Nations Vision and Strategies was unanimously approved by the Mozambican Parliament in December 2003.

Since preparing Agenda 2025, MI has worked with Mozambique’s government ministries and civil society groups to build their capacity to make further adaptations and applications of T21-Mozambique, and use it as a framework for constructive dialogue on policy issues. 

 Among other things, simulations performed with the model showed the impact new road construction projects would have on HIV prevalence, the impact of increased land under irrigation on water pollution, and the consequences of possible natural disasters on the economy of Mozambique.

The training given to civil society groups is also enabling them to participate more effectively in dialogues with the government on national policy.  The Mozambique Debt Group, a coalition of civil society groups, is preparing a position paper for dialogue with the Mozambican government on its 2006 – 2009 national development policy. 

In the coming year, MI will assist Mozambique to institutionalize T21-Mozambique in several government ministries to enable better coordination of the national development strategy among the different ministries.





In wealthy countries, the war against malaria was won nearly half a century ago. But Malaria continues to cripple the lives and economies of people in the developing world.  Nowhere is malaria’s impact more evident than in sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for over 80 percent of infections and 90 percent of deaths. Each year, more than more than one million children die from malaria in Africa, 2,000 every day.  The financial cost of malaria is an obstacle to Africa’s economic development with an estimated 12 US$ billion lost annually to the cost of treatment and reduced productivity.

Despite the prevalence and complexity of the disease, we believe that with strategic leadership, strong partnerships, and a commitment to sustained resources focused on creating innovative new tools, approaches, drugs, and vaccines, malaria can be overcome.


With funding from BioVision Foundation, MI has partnered with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) to develop a malaria simulation model that well represents the dynamics of the epidemic and allows for evaluating policies to curb and eradicate the disease. When completed, the model will be integrated into the T21 model to allow for examination and demonstration of the impact of malaria policies on development outcomes that include social measures, the economy and environment.


ICIPE began conducting intensive analysis of malaria determinants and effects in three eco-zones in Kenya – Malindi (coastal urban), Nyabondo (western highlands) and Mwea (rice ecosystem) – as part of an integrated vector management approach in 2004. Since then, sufficient data has been collected and experiments have been run to determine the effectiveness of alternative policies.


Based on assumptions found in literature and expert advice from malaria ecology scientists, MI developed a generic malaria model structure that was then applied to the three eco-zones.  When it was compared with a forty-month historical data, the models’ model baseline runs were found to replicate reality, which indicated they could be used for policy analysis.


A number of interventions were examined to gauge their impact on reducing infection cases in Mwea ecozone. The interventions were non-treated nets, insecticide treated nets, long lasting insecticide treated nets, indoor residual spraying, larviciding and source reduction.


The preliminary results show that long lasting insecticide treated nets and indoor residual spraying intervetions were particularly effective methods for reducing infection and cost. These interventions eliminated infections when administered in all areas, and reduced infections by 98 percent and 100 percent when administered in half of the ecozone. On the other hand, larviciding and source reduction were least effective in curbing infection.  See Table 1: Comparison of Cost and Effectiveness of Policies.


These results, while not definitive, provide a point of departure for further discussion on the policies and possible areas for improvement of the model.  MI and ICIPE are committed to developing and testing the model further.



South Africa

Investigating South Africa Renewable Energy Production Plans

Energy is central to sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts: its availability influences the lives of poor people and their ability to escape poverty. As a developing economy, South Africa faces the dual challenge of pursuing economic growth and environmental protection. The economy is mainly structured around large-scale, energy-intensive mining and associated beneficiation industries, pushing its energy intensity levels to above world average levels; even when compared to developed countries. From an economic perspective the energy sector is critical as it contributes about 15% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Large deposits of coal in South Africa, with government policies, have allowed for low cost electricity supply in recent years. While the cost of electricity in South Africa is still among the lowest, strong economic development, rapid industrialization, and a mass electrification program have led to demand for power outstripping supply in early 2008. The recent power supply crisis has accelerated the recognition for the need to diversify the energy mix, and move towards alternative energy sources such as nuclear power, natural gas, and various forms of renewable energy, as well as exploring a range of energy demand options.

Given such challenges, the establishment of alternative energy systems present serious challenges. This is mostly due to the intricacy of social, economic and environmental factors coupled with the implementation of alternative energy policies and programs. As a consequence, the complexity in policy planning raises the need for decision support tools that are based on detailed modeling of the different interrelationships existing between the economic sectors, energy supply and demand sub-sectors, and the natural resource base and society at large.


MI is working with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to provide a framework for such analysis. Further research is being devoted to studying the potential for biofuels production in the Eastern Cape region.















Analysis of the Impacts of Investing in Renewable Energy in Denmark

Lolland, an island located in southern Denmark, is a showcase example of the regeneration of a remote and peripheral area through renewable energy technologies. Over the years, Lolland has developed many renewable energy projects that have contributed to the island’s economic recovery and social improvement.  It aims to become a modern, sustainable society and an international role model for innovative holistic solutions to environment and energy challenges.


MI is supporting this objective through a collaboration with Denmark-based Baltic Sea Solutions (BASS), which is responsible for managing the Lolland Community Testing Facility (a concept for community involvement created by the municipality about a decade ago). This project was launched in April 2008, when BASS announced collaborations with MI, NASA and Google.


Since then, MI has developed a T21 model for Lolland to examine the impacts of mega projects in renewable energy on the local economy and environment. The model can be used to explore different scenarios about whether and how to develop and expand wind, hydrogen and biomass renewable energy projects. It also supports project design and evaluation by allowing for real time modifications of undefined cost/benefit parameters of projects, and supports exploration of the local consequences and synergies of implementing these projects.


The model is currently being used to support decision-making, with a view to incorporate it into educational projects and to develop further energy-related and economic scenarios.





Cost/benefit of structural reform of the bauxite and sugar industries in Guyana

A small nation, but endowed with rich natural resources, Guyana is home to just over 760,000 people.  While it made strong economic gains in the early and mid 90s – reducing inflation, recording an average annual GDP of 7 percent, and reducing the its poverty rate – domestic and external shocks have eroded some of these gains, and Guyana continues to experience difficult challenges.

In February 2002, the World Bank asked MI to customize the Threshold 21 model to Guyana, and perform analyses to support preparation of its Poverty Reduction Strategy Credit proposal, which would then feed into Guyana’s poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP).


Two major elements of the reform program outlined in Guyana’s “National Development Strategy (2001-2010) A Policy Framework” were selected for analysis: privatization in the bauxite industry, and restructuring of the sugar industry. These two industries together account for one-fifth of GDP and over one-third of Guyana's exports, but are not able to compete in the world market without large government subsidies.


The analysis conducted showed that the structural reforms proposed for the bauxite and sugar industries pose a dilemma for the government. The reforms produce severe costs (loss of jobs and deepening poverty) in the short term, and their benefits, which include efficient, globally competitive industries, plus improved capacity to meet for social services and infrastructure demands of Guyana, do not appear until five to ten years later.





Partnership for Action on Green Economy - PAGE - Peru 


T21-Peru was developed together with CIUP in order to test green policies in the sectors of Agriculture, Forestry and Transport. 

The analysis suggested that investments in irrigations infrastructure in La Sierra region will increase the value added in the Agriculture sector. Besides the introduction of additional lines on the Metro in Lima will reduce congestion and improve air quality. Incentives in the Forestry sector in forms of increasing plantations and concessions areas and promoting the industrialisation of the raw materials will have a positive effect on the economy.

The report in Spanish can be dowloaded here



Green Economy Assessment 

The T21-Uruguay was developed together with UN Environment and IECON in order to asses the effects of implementing green policies in the Agriculture, Livestock, Transport and Tourism sectors.


The resulting repport “Towards a Green Economy in Uruguay: favourable conditions and opportunities” recommends policies to increase energy efficiency in the hotel industry and improve the management of solid waste in coastal areas. The research also recommends changes to the transport system of Montevideo in order to reduce air pollution and its related health problems, as well as to decrease average travel time, making public transportation more appealing, and an energy-efficiency labelling scheme for vehicles to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 5% by 2035.  

The report can be downloaded here. The interface and documentation of the model here.







The T21-USA Model

The T21-USA model is a scenario planning tool that offers a framework under which divergent views about the energy debate can be examined in a transparent, graphical, and easy-to-understand manner. It retraces the last 25 years of social, economic and environmental development in the US and tests and compares several policies that could change the development path of the nation. The following interconnected issues are addressed in the model: energy availability, emissions and global warming, sustainability of public deficit and public services, population growth, and trends and impacts from the rest of the world.

The T21-USA model results indicate that continuing as we have over the past few decades could lead the US to become increasingly dependent on foreign resources, especially energy, and continue to contribute disproportionately to the world's waste and pollution, especially carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, alternative scenarios show that major reductions in the US’ resource consumption and pollution generation could be possible with little impact on the overall economy or possibly even expanding it in new directions.

© 2019 by Millennium Institute

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