Abstract for: The Agropastoralist Policy Lab (ApPL): analyzing the impacts of drought on rural Somalia and its policy implications

This paper discusses our experience in using System Dynamics to help humanitarian organizations respond to the deteriorated food security situation experienced by rural agropastoralists of Somalia as a result of drought. The main objective of our System Dynamics model was to test the impact of four policy options employed by an international Non-Governmental Organization to provide aid for vulnerable Somalis during, and after the onset of drought. The second objective was to create an online simulator to help disseminate insights from the model to a wider audience. Our results indicate that some policies are more effective than others in improving household food security and livelihood outcomes, there are tradeoffs between the four policies, and that the policy outcomes are time sensitive, the effectiveness of which is influenced by the time of policy implementation.