The DIGNITY Kwanza Method

Online game developed by the TRAFIG team

Based on their joint empirical study in Tanzania, colleagues from Leiden University, Dignity Kwanza-Community Solutions and the VALUE foundation developed an online game to inform users about the lives and daily challenges of urban refugees in Tanzania.

The DIGNITY Kwanza Method is an online, interactive story-based simulation. It asks users to play the role of an advisor at DIGNITY Kwanza, a refugee advocacy NGO based in Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania). Users must critically reflect on the experiences of three fictional Congolese refugees who find themselves in a situation of limbo in the city and at a critical juncture of their lives. Should they return to their insecure country of origin or remain in Dar es Salaam without a legal status? The tool guides users toward helping the fictional characters meet their basic needs and build a productive and dignified life.

In this game we read and see the stories of urban refugees living in Dar es Salaam. It provides practioners working with these refugees with tools to guide them in the process of regularizing their legal status. By placing oneself in the shoes of the refugees, the player better understands the challenges urban refugees face and is invited to think of possible solutions. More than just fostering empathy, this game is an invitation to reflect on current practices and lived realities. Its goal is to trigger critical discussion, turning it into an excellent tool to employ in interactive workshops attended by different types of audiences.

Even if this game is based on real facts (for background, details and individual cases see TRAFIG working paper No. 8), names and places are fictional so that the stories do not correspond one on one to the stories of real people. In this way the anonymity of Dignity Kwanza's clients is guarantueed.

This pilot version has been designed by Jochem Scheelings in collaboration with DIGNITY Kwanza (Janemary Ruhundwa, Mwajabu Khalid, Bishara Msallam), the VALUE foundation (Angus Mol) and Leiden University (Catherina Wilson and Mirjam de Bruijn). The simulation was created on Twine, a free-to-use Open source platform that only requires minimal knowledge of coding.

The simulation game is available in 2 languages on the DIGNITY Kwanza Website:


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