Play Outbreak READY!Go to Pre-Reading

Outbreak READY! Overview

Outbreak READY! is an online digital simulation for NGO leaders and managers across all sectors. 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 NGO operates in Thisland, 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, you (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.

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!

In June 2022, Outbreak READY! won a Bronze International Serious Play Award which honors outstanding digital games used for training and education. ___________________________________________________

In March 2023, Save the Children was named to FastCompany’s Most Innovative Nonprofits of 2023 for Outbreak READY! as one of the organization’s core innovations.

Outbreak READY! Launch Event: Watch the Recording

What People are Saying: Feedback from Outbreak READY! players

"an important tool to kickstart our outbreak preparedness""everyone enjoyed playing ... a great teaching methodology""I felt like I was dealing with the daily challenges in my work""very user friendly and engaging""an exact translation of reality and what we do""the right inside view of emergency response operations"

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 background documents below. You may wish to print these items for quick reference, although they will also be available within the simulation.

Pre-Reading: Background Documents

Outbreak READY! Facilitated Play

To play Outbreak READY! as a facilitated group experience, either in-person or virtually, use these facilitation manuals.

If you are interested in facilitating Outbreak READY! for your organization, working group, or community of practice, and you have further questions after reviewing these materials, please reach out to READY at for support.

Facilitation Manual for

Virtual Events

Presentation Slides

To play Outbreak READY! as a facilitated group experience, use this slide deck with either the In-Person or Virtual Facilitation Manual.

Facilitation Manual for

In-Person Events

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
  • 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

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


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, Natalie Busath, and Natalya Kostandova. 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.