Foresighting Research 2014-2018

In November 2014, CSIRO was contracted by the AIC to assist with the Cluster planning process by applying its ‘foresighting’ method, which analysed key trends in each theme towards 2030 and beyond. The over-arching goal was ‘to support the development of Cluster Investment Plans (CLIPs) which focus on priority research areas of shared interest between Australia and Indonesia, and to promote integration, synergy and learning amongst the Cluster teams’.

The priority areas, for each of which CSIRO produced a Megatrends Report, were Energy, Infrastructure, Agriculture & Food, and Health. Another report was produced looking at Urban Water trends, with Urban Water later becoming the fifth AIC research Cluster.

Download the ‘Foresighting for the Australia-Indonesia Centre’ final report here

The objectives of the Foresighting Project were:

  • For each Cluster, analyse megatrends and megashocks with shared relevance for Australia and Indonesia to support the development of each CLIP;
  • Develop exploratory scenarios with AIC partners of Australian and Indonesian regional development to identify and integrate research priorities within and between Clusters;
  • Test and apply the DFAT-CSIRO Research for Development Alliance method to assess the learning and integration achieved amongst AIC researchers as a result of the foresighting.


Five activities were planned to achieve these objectives. The following progress was made:

  • Activity 1: Horizon scanning (November 2014-January 2015): Cluster teams were engaged in workshops and meetings in Indonesia and Australia to identify shared issues, their drivers and megashocks. The CSIRO team then collated data on these issues and developed megatrend narratives.
  • Activity 2: Cluster megatrends (February-May 2015): Draft megatrend reports were produced for each Cluster to be screened and validated by the Cluster team members. The process of refinement and revision was completed in time for the information to be incorporated into the rationale sections of each CLIP in May 2015.
  • Activity 3: Scenario planning workshop (April 2015): To promote integration and synergies between the Clusters, the megatrend and megashock information was applied in a one day scenario planning workshopheld in Jakarta. Two urban area case studies, Surabaya and Penrith were used as examples for the process, which highlighted problem-based priorities and innovations. Evaluation illustrated that learning and integration had been achieved.
  • Activity 4: Foresighting evaluation method (April 2015): A Small Grant project enabled the refinement of a participatory, mixed methods evaluation approach developed previously by CSIRO, UNHAS and the University of Mataram (UNRAM) in Makassar and Nusa Tenggara Barat. Two 1-day workshops were held in Makassar and Lombok in April 2015 to generate longitudinal evaluation data based on Theory of Change, Impact Pathways, self-reflection exercises and stakeholder interviews. The UNHAS and UNRAM teams’ experiences suggested that the approach was useful and could easily be applied to similar AIC projects.
  • Activity 5: Final integration and evaluation (June 2015): This activity was not completed due to the postponement of the planned AIC Summit, which was to be held in Melbourne in June 2015. The CSIRO team had planned to carry out a second two day scenario planning workshop to extend the integration started in Activity 3, and to apply the evaluation method developed in Activity 4 to assess the overall impact of the AIC and CSIRO Foresighting Project.

Final outputs


Other outputs

Other major outputs were produced through these activities, and are available from the AIC and CSIRO:

  • Butler, J.R.A., Bohensky, E.L., Meharg, S., Wise, R.M. Slamet, A. and Signorini, J. 2015. Australia-Indonesia Centre Scenario Planning Workshop Report. Report prepared for the Australia-Indonesia Centre, Monash University. CSIRO, Australia. 44 pp.
  • Meharg, S., Butler, J.R.A., Kirono, D., Lazarow, N., Barrowman, H. and Duggan, K. 2015. Evaluating the impacts of participatory planning for urban water infrastructure and rural livelihoods adaptation in Indonesia. Small Grant Report to the Australia Indonesia Centre. CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra. 36 pp.