Latest version of CDKN's interactive training game explores climate risk in Latin America

Latest version of CDKN's interactive training game explores climate risk in Latin America

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Date: 18th May 2021
Author: CDKN Global
Type: News

How would you feel if you faced climate hazards - in someone else’s shoes? How would your age, your physical and mental abilities, your health, the way other people treat you affect how you could respond? What if different members of the community got together to tackle climate-related problems? What would your role be? How could you make the most of your potential?

This new edition of the 'Climate and Society Game' brings the interactive role-play to Latin America.

It uses a colourful cast of characters set in a fictional town of Ecuador or elsewhere in the Andean region (e.g. Colombia, Peru) to explore exactly these questions about climate risks and solutions.

The scene

The small town of Barrio Inundado suffers from floods, which have impacts on crops, markets, and housing. The floods affect people's health, safety, wellbeing, income and livelihoods.

The government is warning of increasing stresses due to climate change in the future. How can people’s lives be more secure and resilient?

That’s where you come in. Put yourself in character to have a conversation about what makes you vulnerable to the climate and what makes you able to contribute to solutions.


The overarching objectives are to enable workshop participants to….

  • Understand better how people’s different social, economic, cultural, physical status and attributes, including their gender roles and relations, interact with and contribute to their climate vulnerability and risk by ‘walking in other people’s shoes’.
  • Understand how these attributes affect different people’s ability to contribute to individual and collective disaster risk reduction, adaptation and climate-resilient development.
  • Highlight, through group discussion, some helpful tools and tactics that project managers could use, in their work, to empower diverse people’s participation in local climate adaptation planning and implementation processes. Pinpoint how the design of such climate adaptation programmes and projects can provide equitable benefits, bearing in mind people’s different social, economic, cultural, physical status and gender.


Before you begin: Download the scenario card to immerse yourself in the world of Barrio Inundado and the floods it's facing. Read the title card for more information about the authors and organisations behind the work.

Round one

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 card of 'Maria the Climate Officer' ) 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 have the floods affected you and what would improve your situation? Ideally there is time for each character to provide an answer (up to 10 min. per person - this round may last from 45 minutes up to one hour).

Round two

In this ‘Round two: adaptation and resilience plans’ , the Facilitator (Maria the Climate Officer) is presenting a range of proposals that she has drafted for 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 (Maria the Climate Officer) invites a discussion (10-30 minutes group 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 minutes per character).

Second, for the Facilitator (Maria the Climate Officer character), how do the perspectives of the different characters change your 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).

Maria, the Climate Change Officer - download her card here

Lucia, the hard-working mother (African descent) - download her card here

Miguel, the public service professional - download his card here

Adelina, the indigenous, stay-at-home mum - download her card here

Sofia, the rural migrant of the third age - download her card here

Juan Carlos, the teenage student - download his card here

Roberto, the man living with HIV - download his card here

Please note that the game cards above were first developed for the Andean countries (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia). We have also introduced game cards with artwork and slightly different characters who are more suited to Chile and Argentina, below:

Paula, the hard working mother (European descent) - download her card here

Ana, the indigenous, stay-at-home mum - download her card here

Monica, the Climate Change Officer (European descent) - download her card here

Concept by: Patricia Velasco, Alexandra Vazquez and Camelia Sofeia, FFLA; Mairi Dupar, ODI. This game written by: Patricia Velasco and Mairi Dupar with Maria Jose Pacha and Gabriela Villamarin. Artwork: Adam Carnegie.

More editions

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

  • Ethiopia version - the fictional town affected by drought; and
  • India/South Asia - the fictional low-income neighbourhood affected by sea level rise and coastal flooding.

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