Model NATO Simulation
With the implementation of the NATO Simulation project, our goal was to familiarize university students with the ways the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization functions, all this through a competition-based simulation.
In the beginning of the organization process, our representatives held a meeting with our partner organization, STRATPOL’s representative, in order to discuss relevant details and set up a plan regarding the preparation of the simulation.
To elaborate the scenario of the simulation, we conducted research on the institutional set-up of NATO, the background of the Ukraine-Russian conflict and its previous events, as well as actions taken as a consequence of the conflict. Throughout the preparation process, we carried out short studies on the countries represented in the simulation, as well as their possible interests and involvement in the conflict. Besides being used to elaborate the scenario, these studies were also used as an addition to the preparation material for the simulation.
The advertising of the simulation has started in July, with the websites and Facebook sites of the two organizations functioning as basis for these efforts, supported by additional Facebook advertisements. The criteria for applying and participating in the simulation were decided to be the following:
being 18-30 years old
being enrolled at a university
being enrolled at a Hungarian/Slovakian university or being a citizen of Hungary/Slovakia
advanced level of English knowledge
willingness to participate throughout the full length of the event
The criteria for selecting the participants were the following:
the above criteria are met by the applicant
composing two essays on the subject topic of the simulation
The 12 applicants to be participating in the simulation have been chosen in August.
Originally, the simulation was planned to be held in an in-person format, including Hungarian and Slovakian participants, as a four-day long event (2 days of preparation and 2 days for the simulation). Due to the situation generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the original plan became unworkable, thus, the entire event had to be restructured in an online format and shifted to a later date.
Therefore, the preparation materials have been composed in two different ways:
a, Documents in a physical format:
a study on the countries represented in the simulation
a collection of fundamental information regarding the Committees of NATO and the North Atlantic Council, complemented with links leading to further information needed to participate in the simulation successfully
a rule book, containing the procedure of the conference and the rules of the competition
a description of evaluation methods and the point system of the competition
b, In the form of a video interview:
The presentation of different interviews with experts have been showed online instead of being held in-person, being recorded with the help of digital platform ZOOM. These interviews were uploaded to a platform protected by a password, where participants could have access to them.
We remained in contact with the chosen participants through e-mail and the event’s Facebook page. We agreed upon a date for the online simulation with the participants and provided an informational meeting before the simulation. This allowed the participants to meet each other and the staff of our organization, while also asking questions regarding the simulation, all through the ZOOM platform.
The participants were randomly put in pairs to represent a certain country throughout the game.
The participants were required to prepare a 2-3 minute long video prior the simulation, in which they discuss their thoughts and opinion on the priorities of the country they represent. This task served as a preparation to the game, while also helped the evaluation of the competition.
The simulation took place on the 30th and 31st of January, and the participants spent the first day negotiating in two NATO delegations, while on the second day, they simulated a session of the North Atlantic Council. The sessions have always been moderated by an appointed staff member of our organization. The participants’ performance throughout the two days and in the video task has been evaluated by a jury of four people. At the end of the competition, the participants settled on an agreement, which then was documented. Following the jury’s evaluation, the names of the 3 participants collecting the most points were announced.
The entire simulation was held flawlessly on the platform of ZOOM. We remained in contact with the participants through a specific Facebook page and sent them questionnaires, asking for their feedback on the event.
The organization of the entire competition and the language of communication has been English, as well as all the materials used throughout the simulation.
The Project was sponsored by: