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African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) – Mobile Game Developer.

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BACKGROUND

The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) is an African-led and Africa based international research institute committed to conducting high quality and policy relevant multidisciplinary research. Our research addresses important development issues and challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa in areas such as education, population, health, aging, urbanization and wellbeing. Our goal is to generate evidence for meaningful action, engage with policy makers in the region to disseminate our research findings, influence policy decisions, and improve the quality of life in Africa.

APHRC is implementing an exciting project that seeks to create a new inclusive and interactive approach for promoting the use of evidence and policy engagement at all levels of society through its new board game, Mbeteza. The project embraces innovative and Africa- relevant ideas that capture our day-to-day realities. The game is set up in an informal settlement in Sub-Saharan Africa, drawing from our research and the lived experiences of people within these settings. It takes on a life course from infancy to old age and looks into the diverse health, educational, social, and structural factors that play out in people’s lives. Mbeteza’s game concept is anchored on APHRC’s signature issues to be manifested at every stage of the life course, which include:

  • Maternal and Child Wellbeing

The strategic focus is on assessing interventions to optimize early nutrition specifically breastfeeding. According to the WHO, breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. As a key element in the infancy stage, we will aim to demonstrate the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.

  • Education and Youth Empowerment

This strategic focus aims at understanding how to make Africa’s education systems more inclusive and equitable. Through the game, we will explore how access to and quality of education impacts the learning outcomes among the urban poor.

  • Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health

Cognizant of the challenges facing Africa’s young population, the game at the stage of adolescent to young adulthood will focus on the importance of equipping youth with relevant services and information on their sexual reproductive health for improved health outcomes.

  • Aging and Development

The WHO estimates that the population of elderly people in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to reach 163 million by 2050. Through the game, we will aim to show the challenges faced by older populations and the urgency of investing in quality informal and formal long-term care provision and receipt for later life well-being.

  • Health and Systems for Health

Access to quality healthcare is a human right. Working health systems are responsive to health needs across the human life cycle, from maternal and child health to reproductive health to chronic disease management. Through universal health coverage, health systems should ensure that every citizen has access to the quality healthcare services they need without getting into financial difficulties or worse, being pushed into poverty.

  • Urbanization and Wellbeing in Africa

This strategic focus cuts across all aspects of the life course. At one point in the human life cycle, we are bound to experience the effects of rapid urbanization including the growth of slums (1 in

4 people will live in a slum by 2030).  The game will link APHRC’s research and existing facts on the need for proper sanitation and investing in service delivery models responsive to the slum context.

SCOPE OF WORK

APHRC is considering engaging a mobile game development studio to design a digital version of the Mbeteza board game. The responsibilities of the game development studio are as follows:

  • Formulate ideas for the mobile game and how it would be expected to function in the form of sketches, mind maps, flowcharts etc. At this stage, the studio needs to support the team in identifying the target players, elements that would attract players to the game and engage them as well as surprise features, just to name a few.
  • Guide the team in the best options to explore in the development process while expounding on all possibilities for the app. The studio shall play a key role in developing the building blocks of the game including the game mechanics, settings, technology and interactions.
  • Implement ways of monetizing into the game interface, consider ads and buying tokens Develop a proof of concept.
  • Design visuals for the game with the assistance of the board game developer so that there is synergy between the two products.
  • Create the game design documentation.
  • Design game architecture.
  • Create a playable prototype.
  • Design the final game and conduct final tests with it before it is deemed complete.
  • Participate in a collaborative environment, receiving and giving constructive criticism to the creative team and beyond.

REQUIREMENTS

  • 3+ years of experience in mobile game design.
  • At least a Diploma in Computer Science, Information Technology, Digital Game Development or any other related field.
  • Knowledge of UI/UX, particularly in gaming.
  • Proficiency in programming languages such as Java or C++.
  • Keen sense of game mechanics.
  • Up-to-date with industry software such as Unity or its equivalents.
  • Ability to work with existing designs and consultant

A plus:

  • Technical experience in game design and game UI experience.
  • Strong technical and problem-solving skills.
  • Knowledge of health and population challenges in Africa.

  HOW TO APPLY

Kindly send a portfolio with at least two game designs whether in mobile app form, desktop form, CV and three references and an estimated budget  to consultancies@aphrc.org and cc procurement@aphrc.org with the subject line “Mobile Game Developer.” The deadline for receiving applications is 29th July 2022. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

APHRC is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the protection of vulnerable persons.

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