Training game on 'Climate and Society' explores gender and social inclusion

Training game on 'Climate and Society' explores gender and social inclusion

How would you feel if you faced climate hazards - in someone else’s shoes? How would your gender, age, your physical and mental abilities, your health affect how you could respond? What if different members of the community got together to tackle climate-related problems? How could you make the most of your potential? This edition of CDKN's ‘Climate and Society Game’ brings the interactive training exercise to South Asia.

The scene

The scene is set in Krishna Nagar - a fictional, low-income neighbourhood in an Indian coastal city. Climate change has brought sea level rise and more frequent high waves, and with it, coastal flooding to the neighbourhood. It has also brought heavier rain, which bursts the banks of the river running through the city and washes dirty water into the streets. Floods have forced people to evacuate several times. Deaths from malaria have increased. Infrastructure and urban services are straining to support people and animals. Something must be done to make the residents’ lives more bearable! Put yourself in character to have a conversation about what makes you vulnerable to climate and what makes you able to contribute to solutions.


For workshop or training participants to….

• Explore how people’s different gender, social, economic and cultural roles interact with and contribute to climate vulnerability and risk.

• Reflect on how these attributes affect people’s ability to respond to climate change.

• Learn, through supported discussion, about helpful tools and tactics to empower diverse people’s participation in climate adaptation and resilience planning and implementation. Begin to explore how to foster more equitable benefits from climate action.


There are many ways to use the character cards.

Short discussion - some options

You can use the character cards simply for small-group discussion, for 10 to 30 minutes in a workshop setting. Form a pair or small group, grab a character card, discuss the climate impacts on your character, their barriers and opportunities for climate action, and solutions spaces. Draw on your own experience and imagination to visualise ways to reduce climate risks for your character.

This works best for a very mixed, international group of participants, including online.

Visit the CDKN gender training pack at, especially modules two and three, to see ideas on how the game cards can be used this way, in a training context.

If you have more time, and a group of participants working on climate risk management in local or national context, consider a longer version of the game-play, as described below.  

Long game - round one

Download the scenario card to immerse yourself in the world of Krishna Nagar, and the flooding that it faces. Read the title card for more information about the authors and organisations behind the work.

Each Participant takes a character card and reflects on the character and their role in the scenario, paying particular attention to the instructions for ‘Round one’ on their card. (10 min) In the first round of the role play: the Facilitator (who holds the 'Disaster Risk Management Officer' card) explains that she is now consulting on how climate hazards are affecting people in the community and asking what is helping or hindering their participation in the planning process.

She asks these questions to each Participant one by one: Why didn’t you come to the neighbourhood meeting …? How has the flooding affected you and what would improve your situation? Ideally there is time for each character to provide an answer (up to 10 min).

Round two:

In this ‘Round two: adaptation and resilience plans’ , the Facilitator (Disaster Risk Management Officer) is presenting the community’s adaptation and resilience plan – based on the earlier consultation. In this scenario, each Participant, in character, is responding to the adaptation and resilience proposals, using the prompts provided under 'Round two' on their character card - and also elaborating their own ideas and responding to others. In this group reflection, the Facilitator (Disaster Risk Management Officer) invites a discussion.

First, for the Participants: what emotions do they feel? What frustrations, hopes, opportunities – why? Were the barriers to their participation (in the planning and implementation) something that they felt could be adequately addressed in a climate resilient development programme – if so, how? What other actions and changes would be required to enable them to participate and benefit more fully? (up to 5-10 minutes per character).

Second, for the Facilitator (Disaster Risk Management Officer character), how do the perspectives of the different characters change the Disaster Risk Management Officer's mind? (up to 5 minutes). At the end of the role-play, everyone step out of character and be yourselves. In a full group discussion, answer questions like:

What did you learn, from 'walking in other people's shoes'? Did you gain an insight into people's exposure and vulnerability to climate hazards, and their capacities for responding effectively? Did you deepen your understanding of how people are differently affected? Would this experience make you do anything differently in your work? (up to 30 minutes discussion).

Download all the characters

Aanandi, the disaster management officer: download her card here

Sitara, the transgender woman: download her card here

Seema, the hardworking mother: download her card here

Shanti Devi, the elderly grandmother: download her card here

Sohail, the teenage boy student:  download his card here

Jyoti, the teenage girl student: download her card here

Ram Kumar, the public service professional: download his card here

Mohan, the pastoralist: download his card here   

Concept by: Patricia Velasco and Camelia Sofeia, FFLA; Mairi Dupar, ODI. This game written by: Mairi Dupar; and Geeta Sandal and Bedoshruti Sadhukhan, ICLEI South Asia. Artwork: Adam Carnegie.

More editions

If you enjoyed this edition of the training game, you may also like:


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.