iKON: Playing to Adapt

Climate risk instruments are designed to help farmers adapt to climate variability and change. These instruments are usually driven by data from satellites and weather stations, but these data sets can be improved over time using community-sourced observation data. Currently, such farmer data collection is limited to small-scale focus groups. However, increasing constraints on direct interaction and a lack of incentives for rural communities’ participation have presented challenges to crowdsourced verification.

To address these issues, our team, working with the Columbia Data Science Institute, designed iKON. iKON is an app that uses game design and behavioral elements to gather accurate historical climate data by priming memory through the pairwise comparisons of years. iKON compares players’ answers with satellites, weather stations, and neighbors’ responses. The game is adapted for WhatsApp and website versions. iKON educates, incentivizes, translates, and generates historical climate information while harnessing the wisdom of crowds.

IRI acknowledges support from the CGIAR Research Program for Climate Change, Agriculture, Food Security (CCAFS), for some aspects of Ikon, including fieldwork and other related costs.

Learn more about the work of the Financial Instruments Sector Team by visiting their page on our website.