The ECO Game: Northern Ghana was developed as a means to translate the results of an original scientific analysis that evaluated the impact different land uses in Northern Ghana have on water quality and quantity, climate, income, resilience, and biodiversity. This analysis used local data to inform water modeling, greenhouse gas accounting, and an economic evaluation, resulting in a scientifically robust evaluation of the relative impact land uses in Ghana have on environmental and economic outcomes.
Findings from the study were then distilled into a format that is locally relevant and compelling. Using graphics and scenarios that communities in Northern Ghana empathize with, the game was designed, piloted, and refined.
In early 2018, Winrock staff piloted the game with a set of communities in Northern Ghana to collect feedback from communities and evaluate how components of the game could be strengthened. Response from communities was overwhelmingly positive and the strength of this game-based approach was clearly shown. Communities were highly engaged during game play, and after were able to independently discuss the impact land use choices had on food and energy production, water needs, and resilience.