“The winner of the competition is the WORLD – 2, U-R-M-M!”- the judge announced. A second of silence. Then comes a euphoric joy, and a team of five flocks into circular formation with cheerful hugs – Abshir Yonis Muse (2018, MDP), Boke Aime Arnauld Toama (2017, MPP), Min-Kyu Hwang (2018, MDP), Mohammad Arif Rezwani (2018, MPM), and Yulduz Alisherovna Sherkhanova (2018, MPM) – the Regional Winners of the 2019 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition. The team emerged victorious among the other thirteen regional teams.
Facing the double challenge: Decision-making and Competition
A software based simulation game, designed in mutual partnership between Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) and University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, – represents a real-life environment converted into a ready-to-manipulate-on-the-screen program which simultaneously connected five hundred and eighty students in eleven host sites around the globe on February 23, 2019. Almost sixty representatives from thirteen universities and twenty different countries were hosted at KDI School of Public Policy and Management immersing themselves into the complex world of migration issues.
Capalla, Durrit, Ottania, and Urmm are in high alert. The neighboring state of Kyapero has collapsed, and the tide of displaced people is set into motion. It is insanely important what policy measures are to be undertaken in such a fast-paced environment, and how to achieve a fusion of policies to ensure human rights, employment, GDP growth, and fiscal balance. The game has put players into key leadership positions on a rotation basis to solve a computer-based, time-sensitive issue of migration within a framework of wide range of policy options. A committee of judges comprised representatives of the International Organization from Migration in Korea, NASPAA, and KDIS.
What was the success strategy?
According to the NASPAA representative, Ryan Etzcorn, who also acted as one of the judges of the competition, “these policy issues are meant to accurately reflect the complexity of solving the real-world problems. In terms of strategy, in a lot of ways, it follows the NASPAA values of public policy, which are the competence, transparency, accountability to people, and the ability to balance out all these things without getting kicked out of the country.” As Mr. Etzcorn noted, this year’s competition is completely on a new level in terms of complexity, organization, and content.
Another aspect, which might have contributed to the victory was pre-qulifiers within KDIS that screened participants’ problem solving and presentation skills. As one of the representatives of the winning team, Arif, shared that, initially, there had been five applicant groups from the School, and only the best performing team was selected to represent KDIS. Indeed, the internal contest had successfully “warmed up” the team to become champions on a regional scale. “The victory is for all KDIS family,”- says the team of WORLD-2, U-R-M-M.
Once again, our big congratulations to the team! KDIS family is proud of you.
By Ranat Rysbek Kyzy (2017 MPP, Kyrgyzstan)