The project focuses on the development of a game (or similar tool) for use in various communities where language is a barrier. Concepts would be developed with those communities through workshops where we'd ask them what questions they have about our services that we could answer through gamification. Ideally the game would be played without language, using symbols etc. A broad focus game could be adapted by other members in other utilities enabling professional development and stronger networks.
Advocating for Engagement:
Communities where language is a barrier to participation are often missed out of engagement opportunities. New arrival migrants, people with a learning disability, Aboriginal communities. By developing a tool that helps answer questions about the services they receive, through gamification, that doesn't rely on language, you are advocating for engagement with these often unheard groups. While the game will initially be developed around Water Services, the process of development used will also advocate for engagement with these groups in the future by building trust and relationships with communities often ignored. Once developed, the advocating for engagement process can continue with the sharing of the tool to other water companies (IAP2 members) around Australia and New Zealand and eventually other utilities where it could be expanded to support their engagement with communities wishing to engage beyond language.
Strengthening Engagement Networks:
Having a tool that breaks down barriers in engagement can only strengthen engagement networks. Not only with those who will benefit from the development process but with those who use the final product. During the process of development relationships will be formed, trust built and networks established with the communities engaged. During the development stage we also plan to engage a school competition to help with design work for the tool strengthening on the education networks. Beyond development, engagement networks will be strengthened amongst the partners involved in concepts, with those wishing to take the tool on in other water companies around Australia and New Zealand and in the new networks potentially established with other utilities where the tool can be shared and expanded.
The idea being the game is able to educate, advocate and engage while using little or no language. The game adds an element of fun to an important subject and can be used by all ages and backgrounds.
Advocating Professional Development:
Initially the professional development will come amongst those involved in concept development and project management however as the project moves forward there will be a need for other partners (other water companies and utilities) to be engaged and professional relationships developed where training on the tool could be utilised with other IAP2A members.
Also, in utilising gamification, still a relatively emerging concept in community engagement, the breaking down of language barriers and the potential lessons learnt from engaging with those traditionally known as 'hard to reach' communities, there are numerous professional development opportunities to be recorded and shared.
- Workshops with various groups to find out what questions they often have about Water Services and talk gamification (SA Water/MCCSA facilitated). This portion of the budget would be used for room hire, refreshments and to hire interpreters as well as provide incentives and support to those invited to attend. It’s likely 5 workshops would initially be needed. $8,000
Completed by December 2018.
- School engagement potentially through a competition we would like to get some youth engagement through schools in progressing the design process. It proposed this is held as a competition using data collected from the initial workshops to get to initial concepts. The budget would be used in the majority as a prize. $5,000
Completed by March 2019.
- Concept design developed to progress an official concept design using the school competition winners design as a basis and feedback from the workshops. The budget would be used to hire a designer.$7,000
Completed by April 2019.
- Prototype developed a proportion of the budget would be assigned to develop a prototype of the game/tool for use to apply for further funding for production. Potentially this step would also be carried out by the designer. $5,000
Completed by Mid-June 2019.
- After the prototype is developed we would seek further funding/support to put the game/tool into production. We would look towards other Water companies across Australia to contribute or could possibly crowd fund. Barwon Water have already shown an interest in supporting the project.