The EFICAS project designed the game to explore eco-friendly intensification and sustainable development scenarios with farmers in northern uplands of Lao PDR. During the game, eight players manage their farm resources (land, labor and capital) to develop their households’ economy while preserving natural resources. To do so, they have to negotiate and cooperate with their neighbours… or not!
The game is part of an overall learning approach to increase adaptive capacity of village communities to environmental and economic changes. Through the EFICAS game, famers see how their neighbours make their decisions, learn and adjust their strategies towards developing their households’ economy. As a community development tool, a group of farmers engages into participatory land use planning, explores alternative development
pathways, and learns how to prioritize options available to individuals and communities.
The game is also a tool to assess the impact of project interventions on decision patterns and social interactions in a village. For this, the game was played in both intervention and control villages of the project, i.e. villages exhibiting similar characteristics in terms of size, ethnic groups, accessibility, land uses, and activities as the target villages but without project interventions. We compared the decisions made during the game and interactions among players in intervention and control villages to evaluate social learning induced by the project in village communities.
Any development or research actor can use the EFICAS game to engage farming communities into sustainable intensification.