Pragati is a package of nine interactive games developed and refined through robust proof of concept and pilot testing in Nepal. Through game-play and critical reflection questions, they sparked challenging conversations in communities around fertility and family planning, side-effects of family planning methods, and social norms that drive birth timing and family size.
The games utilize adult learning techniques that challenge negative social norms in non-threatening ways to facilitate change.
Preliminary findings indicate that the Pragati intervention effectively increased fertility awareness and established an enabling environment for family planning use.
IRH has collaborated with Gaming Revolution for Inspiring Development (GRID) to turn three of the Pragati games into mobile games in Nepal. These apps integrate menstrual health management (MHM) and fertility awareness information onto free mobile phone game platforms.
The inability to have open discussion about menstruation reinforces myths and harmful traditions in Nepal. It also limits men and women’s understanding about their own reproductive health.
IRH’s Menstrual Cycle game provides concrete information around fertility and the menstrual cycle and facilitates open and accurate discussion about this taboo topic. In the process, stigma and shame associated with this natural process are reduced.
In many countries, traditional norms prioritize sons over daughters. Despite the biological realities that children’s sex determination is not controlled by women or their bodies, women are often blamed, ridiculed or worse for having multiple daughters and no sons.
The Son/Daughter Game is an adaptation of an earlier game implemented by Care International that helps community promoters communicate with women and men about realities of reproductive biology and sex determination. The game challenges entrenched social and gender norms around son preference and gender discrimination.
Reproductive health decisions change with age and context. In the Hopscotch Game, participants consider their reproductive health experiences and decisions at different ages. The game helps community members, especially women, build confidence about their family planning decisions.
Quick-paced movement and personal interaction can “break the ice” for meaningful conversations about reproductive health.
The Hot Potato Game asks participants to state reproductive health topics (i.e.; methods, side-effects, fertility) to spark conversations about these often taboo topics.
Promoters guide conversations with accurate information about contraception and links to services. The game is not long, but the impact of the conversations can last a lifetime.
Using fundamental concepts of adult learning that capitalizes on movement, the Agree/Disagree Game uses a classic process to stimulate conversations that question negative social norms.
Within the game participants reflect on their own attitudes and values about fertility, family planning, decision-making, and what contributes to a happy family. Promoters facilitate participants’ critical reflection with guiding questions and accurate information about reproductive health.
Are you prepared to have that conversation? The Role Playing Game provides the opportunity to practice those meaningful conversations about family planning, fertility, birth spacing, and other life choices. The game often unveils experiences and reveals to participants that other women and men in the community have tackled the same challenges.
Helping individuals find the words to best articulate their feelings and needs around topics considered taboo reduces fear and enables agency. In playing the game, participants learn both accurate information about family planning and how to share this information more effectively with peers and family.
Understanding the full range of contraceptive methods available and their characteristics is essential to adhering to guidelines around informed choice. Yet many women, and men, are shy to ask relevant questions or have a conversation about the methods with providers or partners.
The Family Planning Method Match Game helps women and men build knowledge and, in turn, confidence which will encourage more uptake and enable them to make a more informed choice. Through active engagement and critical reflection questions, providers reinforce correct information about the methods and their side-effects throughout the game play.
Globally, 23% of women avoid contraceptives for fear of side-effects. Side-effects are more manageable when women have accurate information and know when to seek related health care.
In Nepal, previous efforts to address this issue were unsuccessful, as many misconceptions associated with certain methods scare women and men away from using them. The purpose of the Side Effects Puzzle game is to help communities distinguish between actual side-effects, rumors, and misconceptions about family planning methods.
In Nepal, side effects are one of the biggest reasons that men and women discontinue family planning methods.
The Side Effects Method Matching Game allows participants to play a game while learning how to manage contraceptive side-effects. It also helps participants to distinguish between actual side-effects and myths and rumors related to the methods. Building knowledge about what to expect when using a contraceptive method helps people anticipate challenges and make better decisions around seeking care.