A Formative Evaluation of a Video Game to Educate on Gender-Based Violence in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Welch Gilliam, Ailsa
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CitationWelch Gilliam, Ailsa. 2021. A Formative Evaluation of a Video Game to Educate on Gender-Based Violence in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Master's thesis, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.
AbstractGender-based violence (GBV) impacts one in three women in the world. GBV encompasses physical, psychological, economic, emotional and other abuses within the home, on the street, at work, and in other social structures. Traditional GBV prevention programs in low- and middle-income countries can be heavily reliant on in-person contact, which may cause limitations in both scalability and reach, particularly during the global COVID-19 pandemic. This thesis examines the requirements, development, and formative evaluation of an experiential video game-based learning tool for GBV prevention for adults in low- and middle-income countries.
Video games are often maligned as negative influences. However, their use as educational technology for experiential learning and for inspiring social change has seen success in numerous studies. While a number of children’s video games relevant to GBV prevention have been studied in the first world context directed at children, there is a dearth of the same for adults in low- and middle-income countries. The literature review examines the requirements for creation of a preventative tool to challenge social norms that justify GBV. Considerations include an empathic, trauma-informed response, cultural relevance, and scalability challenges. While video game prototypes have been created by the author for many different cultures, a Haitian Creole version was developed, and it forms the basis of this evaluation. As a low-income country, Haiti’s recent growth in technology adoption suggests that a video game solution may be timely. In this patriarchal society, cultural acceptance of GBV is high, with 17% of women believing physical abuse is justified in events such as them burning the dinner.
A formative evaluation using a prototype video game, designed purposely for Haitian garment factory workers, was conducted over a number of phased test cycles. Initially tested by Haitian college interns, then pedagogy professionals, GBV experts, garment factory workers, and a larger randomized group of Haitian university students, four hypotheses were explored:
• H-1: Using a narrative-based video game to learn about the scope of GBV and available resources will be effective for the audience, despite literacy challenges.
• H-2: Cultural relevance in the video game is important.
• H-3: Role-playing stories of a domestic violence victim in a video game is an effective way to arouse community empathy for victims.
• H-4: Scalability: Recent technology progress and social media uptake in Haiti will facilitate scalable access to the video game.
Based on a comprehensive keyword search for peer-reviewed studies, this study is believed to be the first formative evaluation of video game-based technology for GBV prevention in Haiti. In addition, based on a wide search of peer-reviewed literature, this study is the first to use the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and the Domestic Violence Myth Acceptance Scale (DVMAS) in Haitian Creole as part of the evaluation process.
Results suggest a video game that uses narrative to educate on GBV could be effective in Haiti, given the technology adoption rate. Study participants supported the method as well, and evidence implied that the hypotheses are valid based on this formative evaluation. Evaluation methodology using curated survey questions, in addition to the IRI and DVMAS, showed challenges and merits, and this exercise was useful for refining this procedure of evaluating the game prototype. Additional exploration and evaluation with other professionals are advisable as the prototype is further refined and developed in further formative evaluation phases.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367506
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