From gaming to governance: four projects have been approved in the innovation program of the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH). In close cooperation with practitioners, digital solutions can contribute to dealing with emergencies as a result of the war against Ukraine.
In various respects, the war against Ukraine is seen as a turning point with repercussions on many levels of society. In a short time, a very large number of people have found themselves in an immediate emergency. With the admission of numerous refugees, the Canton of Zurich is also confronted with significant challenges. The Rapid Action Call “Dealing with emergencies as a result of the war against Ukraine” supports projects that respond to these challenges through measures that can be implemented quickly. Their findings can also be used to deal with other emergencies. The projects, which will be funded with a total of CHF 400,000, deal with digital platforms, videogames and digital transformation.
The four approved projects
Information and reporting platform for Ukrainian refugees
Private accommodation for refugees will continue to be important in the future. In this context, vulnerable groups such as women, children or minors travelling alone are at risk of abuse and assault. In exchange with civil society and governmental organisations, an online platform is being developed that offers refugees from Ukraine orientation and protects them from exploitation. The information platform also supports private hosts in their dealings with refugees.
Where am I? A videogame on integration in the building culture and dealing with grief for Ukrainian children and young people in Zurich
An innovative videogame aims to help refugee children from Ukraine integrate and feel more comfortable in Zurich. They can playfully explore the city of Zurich in a virtual way and at the same time establish local references to their home city. In a 3D model, characteristic buildings of Zurich are modelled, e.g. the main railway station, the ETH Zurich or the Letzigrund, and can be replaced by corresponding buildings from Ukrainian cities, e.g. Vozdvyzhenka, St. Andrew’s Church or the NSC Olympiyskiy Stadium.
Government as/is a platform: Orchestrating those involved in the refugee crisis through digital platforms in the Canton of Zurich.
The project takes advantage of digital platforms and their principles to improve the coordination and orchestration of relevant actors in the Canton of Zurich in the context of the Ukraine crisis. The aim is to create an orchestration framework for the platformisation of public administration in terms of technical, organisational and cultural aspects by linking the engagement of civil society and the private sector with the resources of the state and better orchestrating cooperation. The project helps to ensure that people on the run have a better orientation in the flood of data around the available range of assistance services and can use administrative processes around life in Switzerland.
Economic Priorities in Post-War Ukraine
The purpose of the project is to help enable economic and structural reforms which can be implemented once peace is achieved in Ukraine. Among other things, it will incorporate insights from Switzerland with regard to decentralised administration and digital transformation. Working with the Ukrainian Government and key policymakers and scholars from the region, the project will provide a blueprint for rapid economic reforms during the era of reconstruction, including the areas of e-governance, digital transformation, and sustainability. In this way, the project can contribute to giving refugees a chance to return to an improved and strengthened homeland.