Engaging participatory community development processes through gamification

Engaging participatory community development processes through gamification

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The Oasis Game is a gamified process tool that is based on a 7-step philosophy developed in Brazilian favelas and replicated in over 50 countries worldwide. It is an engaging format that aims to realize the dream of a community by bringing them together in a 6 to 10 day intervention to co-dream, co-design and co-create that a project in urban space based on their common aspirations with their own resources, hands and hearts. The process involves a lot of interactive playful tools make it attractive for everybody to join hands in creating a better world together, starting in their own community, starting now. The Oasis Game is available in Portuguese, English and shortly in Spanish.

No Poverty , Reduced Inequalities , Sustainable Cities and Communities , Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions , Partnerships for the Goals

Elos works in very challenged and deprived communities around the world. The initiative originates from community transformation work in Brazilian favelas where people are challenged by poverty, violence, and lack trust within their communities.

For the last 20 years, the Elos Institute has facilitated the creation of bottom up solutions, re-awakening the innate power that lies within people and their communities. Elos offers an effective and community-based form of action-oriented learning and reconstruction of the social fabric.

Elos Institute developed the free and downloadable Oasis Game, which boosts the empowerment of individuals and groups to think and act as a community, through emotional intelligence, self-learning, and self-confidence. This results in participants being faced with their own capacity to transform. This sparks a movement of action, generating both physical, personal and community transformations.

The underlying methodology of the Oasis Game is about mobilizing results in the transformation of public spaces and relationships through the gathering of talents, resources and collective dreams, which results in concrete improvement of living conditions, but also provides a transformation of culture on how to connect to the city and how we interact with communities.

The Oasis Game creates goals where the community is required to achieve these goals together. This brings the community  to co-dream, co-design and co-create their dream with their own hands and hearts. The process is interactive and involves playful tools, making it appealing for anyone to be involved. Examples of the community projects that have been realized, include the collective construction of playgrounds, parks, community gardens, community bakeries and housing projects.

The Oasis Game is run by active community members, local stakeholders and volunteers in a chosen community. A group of 20 to 30 people are supported, hosted and facilitated by a team 2 to 3 people.  This group goes out into the community to mobilize the people to find, design and realize the dream of their community.

The Oasis Game, through its replicability and trainings, was applied to over 400 community-programs, taking place in 49 countries, affecting over 100.000 citizens, promoting the breakdown of social barriers and creating valuable connections between people by working for a common dream.

The Elos Institute has worked for 20 years in the Baixada Santista area, where the majority of favelas are found in Brazil. During the past 20 years, this process of social transformation was applied to diverse fields, including in schools, prisons, indigenous communities, asylum centres, stimulating social entrepreneurship, reconstruction after natural disaster, redesign of social housing project, to name a few.

The Oasis Game has been replicated in over 50 countries, including most countries in Latin America, many countries in Europe, Africa (Zimbabwe, South-Africa, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal) and India.

The Oasis Game offers a simple path that can be replicated by any group interested and is based on 7 steps. More information about the principles of the 7 steps can be found here: http://elosfoundation.org/elos/elos-philosophy.html

Find and sign up here to find the materials: http://www.institutoelos.org/games/ and choose ‘jogo oasis’.

Brazil , Zimbabwe , South Africa , Guinea-Bissau , Senegal , India

UNHabitat , UNESCO , UNDP , Brazilian Cooperation Agency , Oxfam , Caixa

Elos Institute

Connecting Youth to Role Models, Resources, Skills and Economic Development in Rwanda

Connecting Youth to Role Models, Resources, Skills and Economic Development in Rwanda

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YouthConnekt sees itself as a convener, both physically and virtually, and as a catalyst of partnerships that seek to unleash the enormous potential in young people of all walks of life. The platform gives Youth a seat at the table. It connects young people to role models, resources, knowledge and skills, internships and employment opportunities, enabling them to participate in shaping a better future for themselves, Rwanda and the World at large.

Quality Education , Gender Equality , Decent Work and Economic Growth , Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure , Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions , Partnerships for the Goals

In an increasingly globalized and digitalized world, young people are often the leading innovators. They therefore need to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to take full advantage of the opportunities that their immediate environment offers for self-development and the advancement of their communities. Such opportunities often come disguised as challenges and it takes a positive attitude to transform them.

YouthConnekt is a platform that aims at creating peer-to-peer support amongst the youth and facilitating interactions between the youth and public, private, civil society and international organisations that work to promote youth's civic and socio-economic development.

The overall objective of YouthConnekt is to reduce unemployment among youth and promote active citizenship. It empowers the youth through Job creation, ICT innovations, Skills development, and Citizen Engagement. The YouthConnekt platform enables young women and men aged between 16-30 to connect with leaders, role models, peers, skills and resources to promote employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

YouthConnekt enables youth to participate in shaping a better future for themselves, Rwanda and the World at large.

Goals of YouthConnekt:
(i)    10 million jobs by 2020 in sustainable job environments in emerging industries
(ii)    25,000,000 opportunities through training & enrolment in workplaces
(iii)    Identify, nurture & grow 1 million leaders that provide solutions, participate in advocacy & become role models in their communities
(iv)    Develop sustainable initiatives & policies that reduce gender parity in education, jobs, technology & leadership
(v)    Connect every school in Africa & nurture digital ambassadors to transfer skills to their local communities. Form a Hub of Hubs that connects all incubation hubs across the continent.


UNDP , Ministry of Youth and ICT in Rwanda

UNDP , Ministry of Youth and ICT in Rwanda

Mapping for Resilience: Using New Technology to Map Refugee Settlements

Mapping for Resilience: Using New Technology to Map Refugee Settlements

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UNDP has been demonstrating innovation in its approach to supporting Uganda build resilient and sustainable communities by using the latest technology to support risk-informed development in refugee settlements. The refugee settlements base maps, a first for Uganda, is an innovative tool to support communities make evidence-based development decisions by empowering them with information on the specific development challenges and opportunities.

Climate Action , Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions , Improve learning, capacity on climate change measures , Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory, representative decision-making

Climate and disaster risk threaten self-reliance, the basis for Uganda’s world-leading ‘out-of-camp’ refugee hosting approach. Changing weather patterns, increasing risks of natural hazards, availability of water, soil degradation, and encroachment, among other issues, are some of the challenges facing residents

Once the image is developed, a community mapping exercise is undertaken to identify infrastructure, assets, natural features, and potential hazards. This information is then combined with the district hazard, risk and vulnerability profiles (also developed with support from UNDP), and overlaid with climate and disaster risk information and GIS/remote sensing data, such as flood patterns. This data is then presented in a large community map and together with an accompanying report to guide and inform the community and their leaders on future development and investment decisions, including on where to prioritize action.

The base maps and risk assessment have provided the Office of the Prime Minister (the government's coordinating entity responsible for refugee) with a tool to guide planning and future investment. For example, which road to prioritize for upgrading or where to install a new borehole. The assessment can also be used to identify areas where encouragement or unregulated land use is taking place. This has resulted in cost and time efficiencies and provided a more transparent approach to community investment decisions.

UNDP worked with officials from the Office of the Prime Minister responsible for the settlements, community leaders and other stakeholders including UNHCR and NGOs.

Several lessons were drawn from the first exercise, most importantly the need for community engagement. While permission was sought from security officials to fly the drones, the team neglected to sensitize the community which gave rise to unfounded fears of relocation. A second lesson was the advantage of getting buy-in from potential users, including the district government and local development partners, at the onset.

Risk-informed development requires an evidence base. This tool provides both a ready-to-use product and enables greater engagement of communities in their own development. This can be scaled-up to other vulnerable areas, such as national parks and protected areas, to address encroachment and support equitable planning.



Office of the Prime Minister

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