• Outbreak READY! header: Outbreak response staff from the simulation

Outbreak READY! Overview

Outbreak READY! is a digital simulation strengthening the readiness of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to respond to large-scale infectious disease outbreaks in humanitarian contexts. Through a unique, digital interpretation of an outbreak simulation, READY brings the complex nature of a humanitarian outbreak response to life utilizing a computer-based serious game that allows participants to test and refine their readiness skills and knowledge.

In Outbreak READY!, you will take the role of an NGO team lead managing a multi-sectoral humanitarian program portfolio for a medium-sized, international NGO named READY. The response takes place in a fictitious, low-income country that recently experienced civil conflict following a disputed national election. The simulation is divided into two modules: the first focuses on readiness prioritizations and actions as an outbreak is identified in a neighboring country; the second focuses on the NGO’s response to the outbreak as it begins to spread. Over the course of the simulation, the learner must make decisions that determine how the NGO adapts and expands programs to respond to the outbreak.

The simulation is designed for national and international NGOs responding to humanitarian emergencies, particularly targeting NGO leaders and managers from both operational and programmatic backgrounds across all sectors.

The purpose of Outbreak READY! is to improve the learner’s ability to make data-driven and community-centered decisions in an outbreak response, and to help the learner understand the significant relationship between programmatic and operational readiness actions with response outcomes. By the end of the simulation, the learner will be able to:

  1. Describe the key areas of operational readiness when preparing for an infectious disease outbreak in humanitarian settings and weigh how investments and trade-offs in operational readiness impact outbreak response outcomes.
  2. Identify key stakeholders and coordination structures that are critical to outbreak response in humanitarian settings and weigh their impact on multi-sectoral outbreak response activities.
  3. Explain the roles of various technical and cross-cutting sectors within infectious disease outbreak preparedness and response, and design activities that integrate multiple sectors in an outbreak response.
  4. Use epidemiological, assessment, and community feedback data to inform and develop organizational adaptive management strategies and response plans for inclusive and ethical outbreak responses in humanitarian emergencies.

Outbreak READY!
Fact Sheet

View/download the fact sheet (555KB .pdf).

Outbreak READY! Solo-Play

Before you begin Outbreak READY! as a solo player, we recommend downloading the Solo-Play Simulation Guide which provides learners with opportunities to reflect on key decisions made and lessons learned throughout the simulation. We also recommend reading the following background documents. You may wish to print these items for quick reference, although they will also be available within the simulation.

Solo-Play Simulation Guide

Pre-Reading: Background Documents

Coming Soon!


• Outbreak READY! Facilitation Manuals

READY is working on manuals for facilitation of groups of simulation players, both in-person and virtual. If you are interested in piloting and providing feedback on either the in-person or virtual group facilitation manuals (English versions) during the ongoing development period, please contact ready@savechildren.org.

The finalized manuals will be added to this page in March of 2022.

• Translations of Outbreak READY!

French and Spanish versions of the simulation and accompanying facilitation tools will be available in April of 2022.

Troubleshooting and Support

We are sorry to hear that you are having trouble opening the simulation. Please check the following:

  • Do you have the right URL? Make sure you are using www.outbreakready.com.
  • For optimal use of the simulation, use Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Please ensure your browser version is up-to-date.
  • If you have done the above and it is still not working, try opening the simulation in an “incognito” or “private” window. This is done differently depending on your computer type and browser, but a simple internet search (e.g., “how to open incognito window in Firefox”) can quickly provide instructions on how to do this.

The simulation is meant to be played using a laptop, desktop, or large tablet. The interface does not support playing on smaller mobile devices.

We recommend playing the simulation with an internet connection. However, after the initial loading of the simulation (after the introductory video), you should be able to play the entire simulation without an internet connection.

Yes, progress is saved throughout play. If you lose internet connection or choose to exit the browser window during a session, your progress will be saved up to your last completed turn.

There is a recommended minimum bandwidth for optimal use of the game. Please find additional details below regarding the optimal bandwidth:

  • The simulation takes approximately 7 minutes to load on 1Mbit/s.
  • The simulation takes approximately 1 minute to load on 8Mbit/s.
  • The minimum bandwidth required to load the video is 400-500kbit/s.

You can check your connection speed at https://www.speedtest.net/.

Are you still encountering issues? Please contact us at outbreakreadysim@savechildren.orgso we can assist you.  

Acknowledgments

The Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health led the development of Outbreak READY!, alongside Save the Children, UK-Med, the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs,
and other partners in the READY consortium.

READY would like to sincerely thank and acknowledge the core group that created the simulation (Paul Spiegel, Laura Cardinal, Hannah Hamrick, Eilidh Higgins, Daniella Trowbridge, Mija Ververs, and Rex Brynen) and other contributors who worked to create Outbreak READY! and its corresponding resources (Rachael Cummings, Kathryn Bertram, Tita Gemechu, Claudio Deola, Lauren Murray, Maria Tsolka, Ryan Toney, Laura Romig, Sarah O’Flynn, Michelle Hanegaard, Virginie Jouanicot, Eric Starbuck, Ayesha Kadir, Emi Takahashi, Donatella Massai, Simone Parrish, Aileen Gleizer, Emily Clifton, Nathan Matthew, Karyn Beattie, Ruby Siddiqui, and Natalie Busath).

READY also would like to thank the many colleagues who spent time user testing and providing feedback to help improve the simulation throughout the development process.

Finally, READY would like to thank the game development studio &RANJ for its collaboration and guidance to make the creation of Outbreak READY! possible.