Games for Diversity and Inclusion graduated

Promoting workplace diversity and inclusiveness through games

Airbel worked closely with colleagues in the Asia Region to prototype approaches to increasing diversity and inclusivity in our workplaces through mechanisms with wide appeal, that can be easily integrated into workplace routines.
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Games for Diversity and Inclusion graduated following this stage

health

Micronutrient Cubes

A third of the 2 billion people who are micronutrient deficient are children. Many have little access to diverse foods or supplements. By working through private sector supply chains, this...

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empowerment

Urban Housing

Jordan

Rapid urbanization in many parts of the world has led to a great deal of challenges ensuring the availability of adequate housing. In the Middle East, this is coupled by...

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empowerment

Voluntary and Spontaneous Returns

Jordan

As people displaced by the Syria crisis begin returning to their homes, new approaches will be needed to deal with the unprecedented scale of returns.

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other

Financing Refugee Crisis Response

Together with the Centre for Global Disaster Protection, Airbel is working to assess the potential to use risk-based financing approaches to respond to refugee influxes.

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empowerment

Information Flows

Jordan

Displaced people live in challenging circumstances where accurate information can become difficult to obtain. Strengthening information flows can aid in decision-making and make their circumstances easier to manage.

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health

Mental Health

Jordan

Supporting the mental health needs of displaced people will be crucial to helping them lay the groundwork for future success.

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empowerment

Placement Algorithm

United States

Airbel is piloting and scaling an innovative machine learning algorithm developed by the Stanford University Immigration Policy Lab that matches refugees in areas where they are likely to thrive when...

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other

Resettlement Revolving Fund

In this new model for refugee resettlement finance, a self-sustaining fund provides countries with finance for refugee resettlement, and is replenished as refugees fuel economic growth.

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economic-wellbeing

Trade Accelerator

Focused support for Jordanian businesses to foster rapid growth and help them tap into the European market and hire refugees to do so.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

health

Virtual Baby

This portable game would let children earn points for raising a happy baby, teaching them about sexual health and nutrition.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

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empowerment

Ask Laila

A hotline, SMS, and web-based service to help resettled refugees get quick answers from a trusted local source - in their own language.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

empowerment

Games for Diversity and Inclusion

Airbel worked closely with colleagues in the Asia Region to prototype approaches to increasing diversity and inclusivity in our workplaces through mechanisms with wide appeal, that can be easily integrated...

Find out more

This project graduated following the Prototype phase

health

Medicine Bank

Jordan

People with low income in Jordan often struggle to access the medicine they need. This solution is aimed at making supply chains more efficient to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals....

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education

Pop Up Learning

Bangladesh

Pop-Up Learning is a computer-assisted learning program, aimed to mobilize quickly and efficiently on the onset of crisis.

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health

Sprout

Niger

Over 16 million children under the age of 3 are afflicted by severe acute malnutrition. To pinpoint the most impactful prevention methods, Sprout is experimenting with 3 distinct approaches.

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This project graduated following the Prototype phase

education

Spark

Tanzania

Spark creates alternative learning spaces outside of refugee camp schools to practice play-based learning and social-emotional skills with primary school children.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

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empowerment

IRC Connect

United States

In partnership with Twilio.org, Airbel is developing an SMS-based system to streamline communication between caseworkers and newly-settled refugees as they adapt to their new lives in the United States.

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education

Coach Erevu

Tanzania

Coach Erevu is a virtual teacher coaching program designed to empower teachers to learn and practice social-emotional learning activities that they can use in their classrooms.

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health

Low-Literacy Malnutrition Tools

South Sudan

In hard-to-reach areas local community health workers are key to treating malnourished children. Commonly used tools for diagnosing and treating malnutrition have been adapted to meet the needs of workers...

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

other

SCAN

The Systematic Cost Analysis (SCAN) tool simplifies the process of conducting cost analyses, helping humanitarian and development actors make use of limited resources in a transparent and effective way.

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education

Tunakujenga

Tanzania

Tunakujenga is a family learning program designed to empower caregivers to engage in nurturing and playful parenting to support their children’s social and emotional development.

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safety

Becoming One

Uganda

Becoming One is a counseling program designed to bring couples closer and prevent intimate partner violence. The program is delivered in partnership with local faith leaders, who guide couples through...

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education

EmpaTeach

Tanzania

EmpaTeach is a project that aims to reduce corporal punishment in low resource settings by helping teachers learn positive discipline methods, change destructive thought patterns, and plan ahead for positive...

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economic-wellbeing

Match

Jordan

Working to counter the high rates of unemployment that follow mass displacement, the Match project in Jordan is testing a set of new innovations for placing vulnerable populations and refugees...

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safety

Modern Man

Liberia

Modern Man is a mobile messaging campaign that engages men with an aspirational and positive masculine identity to prevent intimate partner violence. It sends SMS messages to men who have...

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education

Ahlan Simsim

In this historic effort, IRC and Sesame Workshop have partnered to help children whose lives have been uprooted by the war in Syria to build brighter futures.

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health

Transforming Treatment for Acute Malnutrition

IRC is proposing a suite of five approaches to simplify treatment for acute malnutrition and to make it more accessible. Alongside an ambitious advocacy campaign, they have the potential to...

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Gender, power, and culture are familiar lenses used in the aid sector when thinking about programming. However, we don’t consistently turn those lenses on ourselves. The literature is rife with examples of gender bias in recruitment, workplace sexual harassment, and challenges women face in advancement. What is less obvious is how to counteract these issues, particularly in Asian workplaces, where the literature is silent. In recognition of these challenges, the IRC is conducting workshops, and undertaking efforts to roll out new guidance on areas such as hiring, protection, and HR policies.

The idea

IRC-Asia partnered with Airbel to develop this concept. The Asia Regional Director and Gender Advisor hypothesized that a game or an app could appeal to a broad audience, even to colleagues for whom gender is not a priority. We believed that to be effective, colleagues must be engaged for prolonged periods, without a need for training or facilitation. Game play is a growing area of exploration by social research institutions for shifting attitudes and behaviors, making it an interesting starting place for our work.

The development

The Asia team and Airbel collaborated to prototype different types of group, individual, digital, and analogue activities to better understand their appeal to colleagues in a work setting, as well as how they may be integrated into the workday. As a starting point, the team began looking at games which colleagues were already playing and how sensitive conversations happen in the workplace.

Prototyping results

Five different game prototypes were tested in Afghanistan, Malaysia, Pakistan, and IRC IHUB in Nairobi. The prototypes included a mix of analog and digital games as well as individual and team play games. Tests confirmed that a game-based approach has a strong potential for positively impacting on gender equality and inclusion in a workplace by:

  • Creating opportunities for male and female colleagues to interact informally within the egalitarian and participatory framework of the game;
  • Building women’s confidence to participate in a team and speak out in a group;
  • Encouraging reflection and discussion on and challenging gender-related attitudes, behaviors and social and cultural norms and pushing boundaries;
  • Broadening people’s minds by exposing them to different interpretations, positions and opinions;
  • Strengthening relationships among staff, enabling them to get to know each other better as a human to a human (not only in a dry professional manner), enhancing a team spirit, thereby contributing to a more congenial work environment that would benefit all staff;
  • Fostering inter-cultural understanding and promoting celebration of diversity; and
  • Creating opportunities to exercise a range of skills and qualities, e.g. listening, expressing oneself, decision-making, empathy, reflection, sense of humor, etc.

Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback and learning from these tests, the concept was further articulated to develop an interactive package that includes two card games accompanied by a manual and on-line and digital activities.

August 2019 | Package of games identified

The Asia team concludes early prototyping and identifies a draft concept, comprised of an app, 2 card games, and a manual. They will use the micro-grant from Airbel to build these out and further test them.

June 2019 | Graduation to in-country prototyping

The Airbel team hands off prototypes, a recruitment plan, and data collection tools to the Asia Region for use in Kenya,, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Prototyping moves forward under the direction of the Asia Region’s new Gender Regional Advisor, who expands prototyping into Malaysia.

January 2019 | Paper Prototyping

Existing “games” (such as Lifeline, Quandary, Spaceteam) and made up games (Know Your Team, What Would You Do?) are prototyped with IRC New York team members. These prototypes range from real-time, interactive narratives (Lifeline) for individuals to group-based question prompts (Know Your Team). The diversity of interactions help us understand the emotions they provoke, ideal group size, the conversations that are triggered by these activities, and how different types of interactions could be incorporated into the workplace. The Airbel team refines the prototypes based on user feedback.

January 2019 | Collaboration kick-off

Airbel and Asia Region work closely to better understand the problem and begin generating ideas - gameplay emerges as one way to enhance workplace inclusivity. Experts are consulted on characteristics of inclusive and diverse teams, such as empathy, active listening, collaboration.

January 2019 | Asia region wins Solution Surge grant

Asia Region was one of two winners of a US$18,000 grant from Solutions Surge - a trial initiative to identify and jump-start bright ideas from field-based colleagues.

June 2018 | Gender inclusivity seen as key

The IRC’s Asia Region leadership flagged gender inclusivity in the workplace as a regional priority. The Asia Region wanted to explore how to amplify the effect of existing gender initiatives by promoting a culture of inclusivity and diversity. Understanding how to start these conversations across diverse workplace cultures and in the face of myriad other work priorities was an open question. 

June 2018 |

The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.