The Integrated Decision Support System (IDSS) is comprised of a suite of previously validated spatially explicit models and databases that have been extensively applied in both U.S. and international settings.
IDSS was developed between key political leaders in the Government of Mali, the Institute of Rural Economy, the Institut du Sahel (INSAH), Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Texas A&M to conduct a pilot study in Mali. Their goal was to further develop and evaluate the suite of previously developed models for their use in the areas of food security and natural resource management in Mali with the expectation that they may be applied with minimal modification for use in other West African countries. It provides an integrated approach that links production, economic, and environmental consequences of the introduction of new technology, policy, and training for decision makers in agriculture at multiple temporal and spatial scales.
The IDSS is designed to inform ex ante strategic decisions for investments that concurrently lead to sustainable increases in agricultural productivity, improved management of soil and water resources, and improved family nutrition and livelihoods. The component models of the IDSS are highly interactive, providing the ex ante ability to evaluate and select promising options for production systems at specific sites, regions, and watersheds. Using the same IDSS, the results of subsequent results of research or policy options derived from development or demonstrations can be modeled to predict quantitative outcomes for consideration by government or private sector investors.