FGV EBAPE hosts NASPAA international competition

Simulation brought together students from several parts of the world to a challenge about migration policy, human rights, economy and other factors 


On March 2nd, FGV EBAPE hosted the international competition NASPAA Student Simulation Competition: an opportunity for students to connect, compete and learn through experience. 

The competition, organized by the accreditor NASPAA, had as its main topic the challenges related to forced migration and the reception of refugees by nations. Thousands of students from NASPAA's global network took part in the simulation competition, which each year examines a different multifaceted political issue. The simulation took place over two full Saturdays, in 12 universities around the world, carrying out the activities on 02/24 or 03/02/2024, from 9am to 5pm, following the time of each participating location. 

The simulation provided an educational and exciting experience for students around the world as they competed and interacted in an immersive learning event through a computer simulation focused on public service education. 

Developed specifically for Public Administration students, Host Nations: A Refugee Simulation is a web-based experiential learning tool. Taking on roles such as Prime Minister, Minister of Labor or Minister of Health and Human Services, students worked in teams to manage an influx of migrants. Each player was responsible for a distinct portfolio of policies, and decision-making affected not only their own country, but also the other teams. 

The game challenged students to weigh human rights, integration and GDP growth against budget constraints and political resistance. Teams were evaluated based on mock scores, negotiation skills, and presentations made to regional venue judges. 

The Host Nations simulation challenged students to develop practical and equitable policies by considering the diverse needs of different situations, interpreting data to evaluate and adjust policy decisions, practicing inclusive decision-making, and navigating challenging and asymmetric intergovernmental relationships. 

Results from FGV EBAPE students confirm the school’s excellence. 

For professor Aline Menezes, Head of the Professional Master's in Public Administration (MAP) and one of the judges of the competition, the expectation surrounding the event has been significant since the accreditation of FGV EBAPE by NASPAA in October 2023. This is due to the fact that, in their last participation, in 2019, FGV EBAPE students won the challenge. 

“We had a great response from students, and as we have MAP, MEX, PhD and Alumni participants, it is still possible to promote excellent integration between them. As they are at different professional stages, they can also benefit from this. It is a very rich exchange experience, and we are very proud of our students”, says professor Aline.

Professor Aline also explains that, as it is a global competition, when the grades of FGV EBAPE students are entered on the platform, comparing the data with that of other students, the results are extraordinary: “We have increasing questions, ranging from bronze to platinum. Our students received a platinum medal in almost everything! We also have many of gold, very few of silver and none of bronze. This is confirmation that we are the best Business School in Brazil, and we are among the best in the world”, celebrates the professor. 

Stacy Drudy, simulation supervisor in Brazil, highlights the importance for students of making concepts learned during their studies tangible, considering that the simulation tools used present immediate results for the decisions made. 

 “It would be something that, in real life, would take some time, but in competition they can see it right away, in a low-risk environment, what the consequences will be for the decisions that are made and the policies formulated. And all this learning is based on data, which enables consistent and informed decisions”, says Stacy.

Regarding the participation of FGV EBAPE students, she highlights the welcoming and committed profile of all participants: “Everyone thought a lot to make careful and conscious decisions during the challenge, and I think that says a lot about the training they receive and the results they will reap”, adds Stacy Drudy. 

For professor Roberto Pimenta, Administrative Vice-Dean of FGV EBAPE, the students' participation is a source of great pride: “I hope that in the next edition we will have even more students participating and winning all the competitions in the world”, he concluded. 

About the benefits of participatory simulation 

The teams were evaluated by a jury composed of professor Aline Menezes and two professionals: Thales Treiger and Melissa Abla.  

Thales Treiger is a Federal Public Defender, an active member of a committee focused on assisting refugees and migrants. According to him, “bringing information technology and playfulness to the competition is very interesting, and it makes reflection and the search for a resolution to these problems that are complex, and at the same time practical, even more engaging”, he says. 

Melissa Abla, Coordinator of the Youth Front (Frente de Juventude) and National Coordinator of the Young Builders Program (Programa Jovens Construtores), highlights interpersonal relationships using a pre-defined instrument, which is simulation. “The way a newly built group interacts to find and define strategies for solving complex problems is very interesting. Throughout the day, we had contact with small parts of the same story, but in the final presentation they will tell us the entire story. I’m curious to see how it will be”, adds Melissa. 

For Alessander Jannucci, member of the group representing the URMM nation, winner of the competition, the most remarkable aspect about the simulation was understanding that the challenge brings opportunities. “Diversity, as long as it is understood and respected, is a factor of growth, appreciation and reaffirmation of human nature. Today exceeded expectations - besides being very special, it is a learning experience that will last forever”, says the student. 

Amanda Carolino Santos, alumni from the MAP 2020 class, mentions the pleasure of being in contact with so many members of the Ebapean community, strengthening her networking, and also highlights the format of the competition. 

“I believe it is something more common abroad, but here in Brazil we still don't see this type of competition, based on simulation. Furthermore, I was quite surprised by the result, as I believed that the nation that had the most money would win. In the end, it was just the opposite, it was the solutions brought by representatives of the poorest country that made the difference”, concludes Amanda. 

MAP students also take part in the competition abroad 

Two MAP students were selected to represent FGV EBAPE in the simulation based at San Diego State University, California, United States: Lara Freitas and Josmar Crystello. According to Lara, with the exception of herself and Josmar, all the students were from different schools in California, such as the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California (USC) and San Diego State University. “There were eight teams in total, with two worlds competing with four teams each. Only the three best won the right to present their public policy proposals. My team was in the top 3, it was a really cool experience.” 

What is the next step? 

The winning teams from each location will be highlighted in the NASPAA newsletter. Recordings of the winning teams' presentations and policy memos will be forwarded to a panel of super judges for a final round of evaluation and scoring. At the end of March, a panel of prominent judges will determine the overall winning teams for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes. 


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