PRACTITIONERS 2017-10-17T19:12:23+00:00


Here we provide experimental protocols that can be used as participatory exercises with stakeholders. In recent years we have started using experimental games as a way to provide communities a platform to experience social dilemmas related to the governance of common resources [see also the article on Simulated Games to Help Villagers to Better Manager Water Resources here]. We find that this is an effective way for communities to explore the consequences of their individual and group level decisions. We will also include videos that show how experiments are used in the field.

Here are some practical tips to get prepared for using games as a participatory tool with communities:

  • Practice the protocol a number of times with volunteers. You need to get used to the logistics of the instructions, paperwork and calculating the payments. You may also adjust the protocols provided below to fit better your local conditions. The examples we provide are based on our research projects in various countries, but it may not fit your situation.
  • Compensate the participants by a donation to the community fund, a lunch, or something else valuable.
  • Make a check list of all the material that you need to bring with you, including pencils.
  • These games are not about teaching people what to do. Have an open mind and learn from the participants.
  • When you start using experimental games, use this initially with communities with whom you have a good relationship and where there are no serious conflicts within the community.
  • If you collect data for research purposes, you need to use a consent form.
  • Let us know how it went so we can share your experience here. You can do this by sending an email to

Download this tips as PDF file