As a consultant for the World Bank, I was hired as part of a team to design a facilitated game that simulates a social safety net program recently developed by the Tanzanian government. Our focus was the Tanzanian Social Action Fund (TASAF) which created a Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN) to enable conditional cash transfers to citizens for participation in public works. Our goal with the game was to communicate the benefits of the program to the staff.
To teach the benefits of the program, I developed a game where players take on the role of a subsistence farming family. Depending on your circumstance, the village you live in may or may not be piloting this TASAF program. Throughout the game the player has to choose how to invest their money and whether to participate in community projects while harvesting their crops and consuming them. The players make these decisions while facing climate change events that affect the amount of food they can harvest.
The game was very well received by the World Bank and the TASAF staff. The game was awarded an internal Knowlympics award at the World Bank for innovation and a second version of the game was commissioned to use with rural farmers. The second version was piloted in a few villages and eventually, the Tanzanian government would like to roll the game out nation wide.