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  • Writer's pictureAtish Gonsalves

Innovation and localisation in the Middle East

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

Tech Tribes, based in Jordan, equips youth with the skills and technical know-how needed to compete in the future digital economy. It aims to empower young innovators, cause-driven groups & nonprofits to address today’s rising global and community challenges. Tackling these issues has allowed them to gain insights on to the challenges faced by the social impact sector in the Middle East.

Khaled Hijab, who leads Tech Tribes, is passionate about supporting the next generation of forward-thinkers to accelerate social impact through technology, but is aware that disruption and its consequences represent a challenge at times, as he phrased it at the recent Gamoteca partner event:

“In Jordan alone there are 80 accelerators/incubators that focus on supporting entrepreneurs, but none focus on bringing the development organizations closer to innovation and experimentation”.

Gamoteca participants during a learning hackathon held in Jordan.
Participants during a learning hackathon held in Jordan.

While in Jordan there are almost 7,000 registered NGOs, and many of them offer training or capacity building in one way or another, the vast majority of them focus on traditional ways of learning development and don’t rely on the use of methodologies like co-creation and new immersive technologies like game-based learning.

The availability of learning content for the Arabic world is also a challenge, because usually the technology available does not support the readability in Arabic (form right to left).

In a joint effort to introduce, localise and contextualise learning around gamification for the Jordanian social impact sector, Tech Tribes, in partnership with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy (the Academy) and the International Training Center for the ILO (ITCILO), hosted a workshop in Amman in June 2019 using Gamoteca as the platform to co-create the game-based learning experiences.

Khaled noted that getting people to participate in the workshop was met with certain challenges, as the topic is really new. In the end the workshop was a success and some inspiring game-based learning solutions have been created. One notable example was a game challenging toxic masculinity and gender biases in Jordan inspired by the He for She movement.

Tech Tribes has always been a leader when it comes to providing innovative digital training in the region, and have partnered closely on the contextualisation and localisation of Gamoteca. Tech Tribes has developed guidelines and training on game-based learning on Gamoteca in Arabic, to foster this new type of learning experience in the region.

The Challenge Your Gender assumptions game is now available on Kaya and on the Gamoteca app.

Khaled’s full talk from the Gamoteca partner event on the landscape of innovations in learning in the Middle East.

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