About TOA

The TOA Project develops modeling tools that can be used by research teams to improve the understanding of agricultural system sustainability and inform policy decisions. Early research developed complex site-specific economic simulation models to link with bio-physical simulation models. However, research showed the limitations of these complex models for forward-looking, ex ante impact assessment. In many cases, data, time and other resources are not available to allow use of these complex, data-intensive models. Moreover, research indicated that such complex, parameter-intensive models were difficult to use in cases where new technologies and new socio-economic environments could not be observed (for example, when assessing impacts of future climate change). To address this limitation, a simpler "minimum data" model was developed (TOA-MD version 4) to enable analysts to provide timely information by utilizing available data for quantitative analysis of agricultural systems. The TOA-MD version 5 extended the minimum-data version by modeling the whole farm system (crops, livestock, aquaculture, non-farm income) and simulating economic indicators (per-capita income, income-based poverty) and mean and threshold indictors for any other quantifiable economic, environmental or social outcome associated with the systems. Version 6 added other improvements for climate impact assessments carried out with AgMIP teams in Africa and South Asia. TOA-MD Version 7.0 adds the calculation of counterfactuals and treatment effects, poverty gaps, re-organized output sheets, and a dashboard to facilitate data visualization. In addition, Version 7 utilizes a simplified representation of correlations for calculation of mean and threshold outcomes, and provides options aggregation of outcome variables across strata. Input files in Version 5 and 6 formats will work in Version 7. All versions run in Excel on Windows OS.


For more information on the evolution of the research that led to development of the TOA-MD model, click on the link below.

History of the TOA Project

 TOA-MD worldwide

Click on the map to see where the TOA-MD is being used.

TOA-MD Users Map






TOA-MD5.0: Multi-Dimensional Impact Assessment

The TOA-MD5.0 model extends the previous Minimum Data approach to simulate economic, environmental and social impacts of agricultural systems. This new version models populations of heterogeneous households with crop, livestock and aquaculture subsystems. The data file provides full model parameter and output variable documentation with pop-up variable documentation in the data sheets.

Impact indicators include:

  • Mean farm income and per-capita income
  • Income-based poverty
  • Mean and threshold-based indicators for any quantifiable outcome variable (e.g., non-income poverty; environment; health and nutrition; gender)
  • Indicators for adopter and non-adopter sub-populations, and for the entire population

TOA-MD 5.0 can be used for a variety analyses:

  • Technology adoption and technology impact assessment
  • Payments for ecosystem services, and other types of incentives (taxes, subsidies)
  • Environmental change impact and adaptation, including assessment of impact, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change

Click on the image below for a powerpoint introduction to what TOA-MD5.0 can do.

First screen of TOA-MD 5.0 software

Accessing the Excel version of TOA-MD5.0

The fully functional model is available to Registered TOA-MD50 Users. To become a Registered User, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the TOA-MD50 Registration Form. After we receive your form, we will send you an installation file with the Trial Version of the software and the Basic Learning Module. The Trial Version will work for 60 days after it is first used.
  2. Complete the TOA-MD50 Basic Learning Module and the End User Agreement.

The TOA-MD Applications Library

The purpose of the Applications Library is to lower the cost and improve the quality of impact assessments by creating a data bank of parameters for TOA-MD users, for meta-analysis, and other research purposes. On the Applications Library page is a list of applications and related publications that have used TOA-MD5.  The data files in the TOA-MD Applications Library are not publicly available, but are available for use by Registered Users upon request, for legitimate research and other public good purposes.

TOA-MD Technical Support, User Training, and  Workshops

The TOA Team may be able to offer some limited technical support to TOA-MD Model users upon request. However, we ask users to be aware that the free technical support we provide is a voluntary activity and our ability to respond to questions is limited.

The TOA Project Team also periodically offers training courses to interested organizations and user groups. We encourage prospective users of the TOA-MD model to incorporate training plans into their project plans and budgets. Please contact us to estimate the costs of a training plan and availability. Based on our experience, we recommend a series of two, 3-5-day workshops. At the first workshop, the TOA-MD model concepts and software are covered, and data requirements of the users' projects are discussed. After the first workshop, participants collect data and carry out preliminary analysis. At the second workshop, the participants' data and analysis are reviewed, questions are addressed, etc.