Aug 28, 2019 | Case Studies

Game-based learning for training disaster responders in the Philippines

By Louie John Aguila

In March 2017, the Humanitarian Leadership Academy in partnership with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation hosted Learning SHIFT (Scaling up Humanitarian Knowledge Integrating Fun and Technology) through gamification. This 3-day blended workshop in Manila, Philippines was attended by 28 participants coming from the government, international and local non-government organisations, academic, faith-based, and private sectors.

A hands-on crash course on gamification, the workshop introduced learners to game-based techniques, the Gamoteca platform, and templates and tools to quickly ideate, design, and develop contextualized learning games.  Learners were immediately put to test when they were given the task of identifying a capacity gap in the current Philippine humanitarian sector, and developing a game prototype that will contribute to addressing said gap. They were guided to answer a paper-based template that included the creation of their target user persona, their game design, and initial game interactivities. After which, they used their paper templates to transfer their designs onto the Gamoteca platform. Each completed game prototype was presented and tested by the rest of the learners.

Dianne, a participant said:

[The training] really opened many opportunities especially on designing trainings. It gave me more ideas on how to improve our trainings at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). I will share [the training] to my colleagues and I will try my best to have them appreciate this method as much as I have appreciated it…It opened me to a more diverse concept of innovation- that it is not just turning old ways to new but making it more interactive, more enjoyable… as it makes [the lives of trainers] much easier.”

The Center for Humanitarian Learning and Innovation, a joint initiative between Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO) and Humanitarian Leadership Academy, promoted local games created on the Gamoteca during CODE-NGO’s  27th Social Development Celebration last December. 

CHLI Learning Solutions Head Louie Aguila facilitated a half-day gamification workshop. It provided humanitarian learning facilitators introductory knowledge in using game elements such as scoring, images, videos, story, roles; and design thinking i.e. empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and testing to develop games for capacity development activities. Demo online and offline games developed for humanitarian learning were also shown to the participants.

A games showcase booth was also set up where the conference attendees could participate themselves in playthroughs of the available games on Gamoteca using provided tablets or their own mobile phones.

As the exclusive affiliate of the Academy in the country, CHLI promotes gamification as a game-changing strategy to facilitate transformative change in the way capacity development is designed and delivered in the Philippine humanitarian sector – enabling actors to save more lives through better learning.