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Moldova unemployment focus of civic game

Youth Work

The Engagement Game Lab has developed the Youth@Work civic engagement game for the youth of Moldova. 

Emerson’s Engagement Game Lab has collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme to launch an online civic engagement game for teenagers and young adults in the eastern European nation of Moldova.

Community PlanIt: Youth@Work allows players to exchange ideas and potential solutions for the country’s high youth unemployment rate, which is about 16 percent for people between the ages of 15 and 24.

More than 1,000 Moldovans of all ages are participating in the game, which is in Russian and Romanian. When the game ends April 28, data will be gathered to help determine how future resources might be best allocated to address the youth unemployment problem.


Youth team leaders in Moldova share ideas during the design phase of the Youth@Work game. (Courtesy Photo)

Eric Gordon, director of the Engagement Game Lab, said gathering input from the UN Development Programme and Moldovan youth “has been an important step in designing this particular game.”

“We’re very excited that the game is live,” Gordon said, “and has had such a great response right away from young people across the varying cultures within Moldova.”

The Game Lab’s Community PlanIt platform has been used to aid the municipal planning process in several communities in the United States, including Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood, and Salem, Massachusetts.

The Youth@Work game in Moldova involves three time-limited missions. In the first, players discuss their experiences with unemployment; what countries they are likely to immigrate to for work; what they believe are the root causes of unemployment in the region; and their opinions on corruption.

In the second mission, players focus on systemic issues, such as education and job preparedness. In the final mission, they suggest solutions to some of the causes of unemployment that have been identified.

UN Development Programme team leader Alexandru Oprunenco has been involved in socioeconomic and human development projects in Moldova since 2010, and helped coordinate collaboration with the National Youth Council of Moldova to solicit input on the game from youth leaders.

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