Facilitation GAMEchange Methodology

Songs: Swahili

Leadership Song

By champions from Tanzania and Kenya



Vision Journey Song

Gender Balance Tree

We are starting our plans

Tunaanza Mobile:

Gender Balance Poem:

Gender Balance Poem Mobile:


Tutangazeni: let us start

Tutangazeni Mobile:
Kazi Na Usawa: Gender Balance Tree

Kazi Na Usawa Mobile:

We Are The Champions: Leadership Twist

We Are The Champions Mobile:



For downloads see:

Songs – Swahili words and English Translation



Dance Songs

PALS participants develop new participatory songs and dances.Songs and drama are used to subvert existing cultural stereotypes, explore changes and experiment with different, new ways of doing things in future. As well as being enjoyable energisers, songs and dances reinforce gender messages and are a fun way of disseminating the methodology. The aim is that men and women should go away humming a Gender Balance Song, singing it in the shower or while working. In Vuasu they are registering their song themes as mobile phone ring tones.

Most sessions start and/or end with some culturally appropriate event such as a song or a dance which reinforces the basic philosophy and gender justice principles of the particular tool or issue that is the subject of that particular meeting. The aim is not a polished performance to raise awareness, but to directly engage participants in identifying and rehearsing changes. There are no professional actors or singers, no one leads and everyone participates.


Transformatory Drama


The aim is not the performance,
but the experience and process.

Drama is used in GAMEchange processes to subvert existing cultural stereotypes, explore changes and experiment with different, new ways of doing things in future. There are no professional actors or singers, no one leads and everyone participates.

Participatory drama is used for:

  • Monitoring and Evaluation and Impact Assessment
  • Dissemination of community views.

No polished theatre, but directly engaging participants in identifying and rehearsing changes, and new ways in which women and men can relate to each other, and new ways of addressing inequality. Role plays are an important part of developing confidence to change, examining peer sharing strategies and ‘significant changes’ impact assessment looking at past, current and future scenarios.

Challenging Culture:
Role Plays and Theatre

Participatory role plays and theatre are used to directly engage participants in identifying and rehearsing changes, and new ways in which women and men can relate to each other, and new ways of addressing inequality.

Exploring past, current and future scenarios
Facilitation and leadership training
Multi-stakeholder negotiation

Multi-stakeholder negotiation: between women and men, young and old, rich and poor, staff/government and ‘beneficiaries’.

• Activities which encourage stakeholders to put themselves in the place of others and experience that position ‘from the inside’ eg in swapping roles of women and men

• Activities which encourage stakeholders to envisage and change how they behave towards others and to practice these new behaviours

• In some cases these activities could be done by stakeholder groups separately at first and then brought together as a collaborative drama involving all stakeholders

Monitoring and Evaluation

Combining drama with the Most Significant Changes methodology and the role play suggestions above, people could be asked to enact what they see as the most significant changes which they have seen in their lives. This could either be for themselves, or there could be a comparison of changes which people themselves have experienced compared with changes which others have perceived.

Role Plays: Possible Steps

Step 1: What is the issue?

Issues are identified through use of GAMEchange Tools eg from the Gender Justice Diamond or from Visioning or examples of action fruits from the Challenge Action Tree. Common examples would be relating to land, violence and other dimensions of CEDAW and to facilitation and peer training processes – what will participants do when they get home?

Step 2: Who Plays Who and what?

Roles are then decided and allocated through voluntary or random methods – in some cases all participants will be actors, in others they will intervene as ‘spect-actors’. In some cases there will be a gender swap with men playing women and women playing men, or swapping of other statuses eg rich/poor.

Step 3: Audience Participation

At certain key points in the narrative there will be possibilities for audience intervention to pose questions, change the direction of the plot or explore possible solutions or endings. At other points the actors may be asked to change or swap roles.

Step 4: Strengthening Actions and Networks

At the end there should be a process for strengthening the friendships and networks formed and deciding on concrete actions which will be taken. This could be for example through forming small groups to do a Challenge Action Tree or a Road Journey.

Designing Participatory Drama: Key questions
  •  Who participates – communities of people who know each other? Unsuspecting passers-by? People brought together because they have come to the theatre? Professional actors and writers?
  •  What are the issues and how are they chosen – by people themselves or by facilitators/actors/witers
  •  When does participation take place – what are the critical action points where participation will be most useful?
  •  What form does participation take – how far do participants control the action and decide the outcomes?
  •  How far does the participation transform behaviours and enact actual change and build communication and networks rather than just raise awareness? Are participants encouraged only to imagine change or to actually practise that change, reflect collectively on the suggestion, and thereby become empowered to generate social action.


In place of the standard theatre for awareness-raising, participatory drama could use:

• the interactive techniques from the Theatre of the Oppressed, engaging the audience directly in the story.

• Invisible Theatre with people who have been through the previous processes then taking their ideas and drama to markets, streets or even local government meetings.



Part of the fun element in GALS is the development of visual creativity through drawing and diagrams as a liberating experience. What is required in GALS are not fine art paintings, but simple symbolic representations. Individual drawing can be both liberating and confidence-building. Collective drawing can be great fun and very useful in team-building. Within about 10 minutes, left alone with friends to gain confidence, most people will be happily drawing, even if they have never held a pen before or say they cannot draw[1]. The facilitator should not touch the marker – participants should do all drawings themselves in order to develop skills and increase confidence and ownership.


Drawing is not just ‘pretty pictures for illiterates’, but a way of clarifying and communicating very complex concepts.

Drawing is:

  • liberating activity: freeing thought from long wordy definitions and clarifying underlying assumptions and differences in understanding of complex concepts like empowerment, gender, wealth creation and leadership. Scientific research has shown that drawing uses a different part of the brain from normal linear thought, and promotes intelligence, creativity and even seems to counter some of the effects of dementia.
  • fun collective activity – bringing people from very different backgrounds together to explore ideas and clarify concepts, identify differences and reach some sort of consensus. The outputs can be extremely attractive murals and meaningful decoration in meeting places and workshops as a form of collective memory or training aid.
  • an effective tool for learning, remembering and inspiring action. For that reason mind mapping and sketch-noting are an important part of modern higher education.
  • a good way of promoting mutual understanding and respect between people with different levels of education – people who cannot read and write are often better at drawing concepts than those with higher levels of education. Drawing also reduces the need for translation in multilingual contexts.
  • a very powerful communication of ideas and images for gender change – it is very difficult for donors and policy makers to dismiss graphic pictures of dreams and also constraints like violence drawn by women and men in poor communities as ‘feminist imperialism’.

The aim is not ‘correct pictures’ but sophisticated analysis of complex issues and identification of realisable change strategies. Participants create their own pictorial manuals and notes – not only reducing costs, but also making it more likely they will remember and implement what they have learned. Using drawings means that people who cannot read and write, as well as embattled CEOs of global companies and government officials, are able to put their experience and ideas on paper and communicate clearly to each other.