Staff members from across the IVCC took part in a ResistanceSim interactive seminar on the 31st of July 2017. The event enabled the development team to pilot the latest version of ResistanceSim; as well as an opportunity for some veteran vector control experts to test their knowledge.
The first challenge came in the form of 16 short missions. Each containing a key step in the implementation of an insecticide resistance management plan. To support the learning a series of mini-lectures were delivered between missions; describing key methods in entomological research such as mosquito collection methods, resistance mechanisms, and resistance test methods.
Every participant completed the 16 missions with a certain air of confidence, and in some cases, a clear sense of determination demonstrated by the presence of 3 stars over every mission label.
Members of IVCC stepped up their game in the afternoon when let loose in the open simulation. During the missions, player choice is limited to the type of test methods and vector control intervention used. In the open simulation, players have complete control over data collection, intervention choice, community engagement, training, and stakeholder involvement. Split into three groups, and limited only by the insecticide classes they could use, conversations started flowing over the hard decisions they now had to make in their virtual world.
One group debated the pros and cons of deploying an indoor residual spray program before collecting baseline entomological data. Another participant was overheard stating ‘we don’t need to talk to the stakeholders for additional funding, we have plenty of money,’ only to regret their position when their annual budget was significantly reduced.
No matter their role in IVCC, every participant felt they had gained something from the day’s session, from a new appreciation of digital games to a better understanding of mosquito collection methods. A promising result as the game enters the formal evaluation period with target users.
ResistanceSim will be evaluated later this year in the context of a 1-day interactive seminar in Ethiopia and Zambia. Knowledge acquisition, retention, self-efficacy, attitudes, perceptions, and skills transfer will be explored through semi-structured interviews and questionnaires.