The Collective Action Approach Role-Playing Game

Photo credit: Gavin Gough/CAWST

USAID’s Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership and the Millennium Water Alliance developed this role-playing game for two international water, sanitation, and hygiene conferences in 2019. The activity gives participants a deeper understanding of how collaborative systems approach, like collective action, have the potential to address complex problems. Through role-playing, participants learn how institutional roles, priorities of members, and individual personalities and motivations affect interactions and the ability to come to a consensus among group members. Participants can gain a greater appreciation for the importance of trust and personal relationships and why it can take several years for collaborative approaches to build cohesive social and institutional relationships.

Others are encouraged to use and adapt this game for their own purposes. This packet contains instructions, materials, and a slide deck to facilitate the game.