A panel put forward by LLST, titled “Escaping ‘aidland’: Embracing multiple viewpoints through simulation-based trainings”, has been selected to stand among an inspiring list of finalists for the 2019 WUSC/CECI International Forum in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
This year, the final selection will be made via popular vote. Voting is ranked by preference, with #1 being the highest.
If you are interested in attending the Forum, take some time out of your day to contribute to the selection of the panels on offer!
See the abstract for our submission below.
Escaping ‘aidland’: Embracing multiple viewpoints through simulation-based trainings
Humanitarian workers work in an increasingly isolated “aidland”, having little contact with the people they serve. The flow of information from “beneficiary” to humanitarian breaks down; confusion, frustration, suspicion, and antipathy arise among both groups. Most seriously, these dynamics lead to ill-devised interventions which do not address the needs of the target population.
A new approach to training can help break this cycle. Simulation-based training methodologies produce deeper understandings of stakeholder motivations, decision-making processes, and social dynamics. Simulations encourage critical engagement and reflection on accepted norms, and provide “a safe space to fail”. These benefits directly address the challenges common across “aidland”. Simulation-based trainings are already common in fields such as conflict negotiation, medicine, and security. Their application to humanitarian work is only beginning to emerge, but must move beyond scripted scenarios which only reinforce existing narratives. This session is an introduction to simulation-based training methodologies in humanitarian contexts.