Doing research on competition for natural resource and agrarian change is complex. Land conflicts, for instance, may be sensitive topics to discuss at the level of local communities. So entering the field site through a simulation could provide an interesting starting point. We have developed and tested this innovative methodology for action-research in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
In collaboration with local civil society partners, we have transformed the Land Rush game into participative community theatre. The sketches are locally specific and relate to local-level struggles. By placing the controversy out of the real context into a fictional one, participants are able to discuss real-life conflict in more subtle ways. This helps frank discussion and problem-solving.
This video explains the methodology.