Enhancing Safety Training Through Storytelling and Gameplay

Project Brief

SEEDS provides disaster preparedness and safety training for school children throughout India. Working with funding partner the Honeywell Foundation, the program has evolved beyond preparing individuals for potential natural disasters to include more everyday issues and challenges, and sought support in reflecting this evolution in the program’s collaterals. Quicksand utilised a human-centered approach to improve existing, and develop new, collaterals in order to transform students and training recipients from passive consumer of safety messaging to active change agents within their communities.  

Research for the project covered multiple settings throughout East Delhi, the area of focus for the new training materials. Key project stakeholders such as students, parents, teachers, and school administrators were engaged with in their contexts (e.g., schools, homes, field offices) in order to develop a deeper understanding of the pressing safety concerns of the community specifically, as well as a general sense of daily life.

Over the course of these in-field engagements, key insights emerged that directed the refinement and development of the training materials. It emerged that elements of gameplay, performance, and storytelling would need to be harnessed in a thoughtful manner in order to have maximum impact.

The project team developed a campaign, and associated branding, to align all collaterals and related activities. This was further bolstered through the development of a cast of characters, each of which was tagged to a specific safety concern, effectively making them avatars of their safety issue: across all collaterals, characters would be featured wherever their safety issue was mentioned.

The Safe Schools toolkit includes two board games, six car decks, two activity books, posters and more. The posters are utilised to impart each character’s narrative by illustrating them positively overcoming the challenge they are tagged to. The activity books include games, performances, and other activities that task students with creating materials that can inform on future iterations of the toolkit. This approach allows the entire system to be evolutionary, ensuring that future safety concerns are considered and the materials themselves remain engaging.

A critical component of this engagement was to conduct a journey mapping of the program’s multi-year lifecycle. During this exercise, the project team worked with the SEEDS representatives to identify additional interventions that could be designed and incorporated into the program to further enhance its impact. This allowed the team to collaboratively identify logical extensions to the program so that future iterations have greater reach

The collaterals are being used to provide safety training in 50 government schools in East Delhi, reaching an estimated 100,000 students. The SEEDS team will evaluate the effectiveness of the program in an ongoing basis, with intentions of expanding it throughout Delhi and eventually across India. The character-based approach allows for the program to continual expand to include emergent safety issues as identified by the communities themselves.

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