Dialogue on Visualisation in Participatory Programmes (VIPP)

10 07 2013

Invitation to join the VIPP Dialogue

Over the past 22 years, Visualisation in Participatory Programmes (VIPP) has been used in many communication and education programmes around the world as a toolkit for participatory planning and training, as well as partnership building for many development programmes. The VIPP methodology breaks down formal “seminar culture” and is adaptable for use with almost any framework. The VIPP process empowers people as it creates opportunities to express ideas, values individual experiences and inspires participants to contribute at optimal levels.  Since 1991, VIPP has been applied successfully in programmes and events in Asia, the South Pacific, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and North America, including the development and design of regional communication initiatives; youth programmes; many public health programmes, including HIV/AIDS; life skills building and gender equity programmes; training on Participatory Learning and Action; supporting democratization of food sovereignty at regional and global levels; programmes in agriculture, fisheries, the environment; learning methodology for emergencies and humanitarian responses; and in other social and economic development programmes around the world.

The VIPP network is holding a future dialogue on the experiences in the use of Visualisation in Participatory Programmes (VIPP) in order to energize users of VIPP methods to share resources for further application, either as independent facilitators and trainers or members of organizations and networks. The network coordinators believe this is very important for the further development and sustainability of the VIPP methodology. The hope is to get major inputs from practicing VIPP facilitators and trainers around the world during July to September 2013 which will help complete the paper on the “State-of-the-Art of VIPP”. Participants will then receive this paper in January 2014, for final input in preparation for a Global VIPP Summit during June 20-22, 2014 in Southern Germany. The hope is that a core group of people who have contributed to this dialogue will be able to attend. The purpose of the Summit will be to answer questions and issues that cannot be settled electronically.

Interested facilitators and trainers, who want to contribute to the future dialogue, should contact:  Neill McKee (nmckee20(at)gmail.com) and/or Timmi Tillmann (timmitillmann(at)googlemail.com).  

Neill McKee (Canada), Timmi Tillmann (Germany)

VIPP encourages thinking outside-the-box

6 02 2013

Here is a guest post from a very enthusiastic Anne-Sophie who attended the VIPP training in October 2012. Please note this is a personal opinion and does not in any way reflect that of the organization she works with, OCHA. 


Anne-Sophie (far left) with other participants in discussion with Maruja (2nd from right), one of the VIPP trainers

As far as I am concerned, the most relevant aspect of the training was the use of different learning methodologies to empower participants and increase their participation in a learning activity. We looked at training and learning from a very different perspective (i.e. training at grass root level) than the one I am used to, which took me outside of my “comfort zone”. This allowed me to think outside-the-box and learn new, creative ways to increase the learning of others. Sharing experience with a diverse group of training practitioners under the soft guidance of an experienced facilitation team was clearly the highlight of the course for me.

I have been using visualization in designing and delivering training events in the past but this course allowed me to better understand the philosophy guiding VIPP. During the course, I was happy to experiment with new methods and better understand concepts around visualization. I feel I am now better equipped and more confident to design creative learning activities adapted to multiple intelligences thus increasing the impact of the learning experience.

My participation in this course gave me a boost and I am already sharing the knowledge and skills gained with colleagues while recommending their actual participation in the course next year. The content of the course was extremely relevant and the way it was facilitated and delivered made it highly successful. The sense of belonging to the VIPP community was nurtured throughout the course. I did particularly enjoyed the meals shared all together as a “family”. Clearly, the training venue in St Ulrich offers an excellent environment conducive to learning.

I would like to thank Maruja, Timmi and Neill and the participants of the course for a fantastic learning experience in St Ulrich.

VIPP experience from Myanmar grassroots trainer

4 12 2012

It was Aye Aye Nyein’s first foray into facilitation training. Having been involved on the ground in Myanmar, working with farmers on technology transfer and community planning, this one-week session on VIPP would be just what she needed. She was one of four participants who arrived for the Training of Facilitators in October 2012 from NGOs and grassroots organizations in Myanmar.

When asked what she felt were the highlights of the Training of Facilitators held at the Black Forest in Germany, she said that methods like Pro-Contra, Mind Mapping and Expert Interview were interesting. Aye Aye Nyein

I learnt new useful concepts, methods and tools in this VIPP training. I will apply it in my organization with facilitation training and community action planning using participatory learning.” -Aye Aye Nyein


Aye Aye added that the trainers were excellent with tremendous experience. The St. Ulrich monastery was a well-equipped facility for participants, and the training room was spacious. She felt that the training content was effective in empowering each participant in their area of work but pointed out the need for refresher courses in between.  

-Meena Arivananthan (VIPPer since 2003)

VIPP Manual in Spanish

16 09 2011

The newly edited Spanish VIPP Manual has been published in Quito Ecuador in a lovely designed edition with support from Intercooperation from Switzerland. In 2013 a reprint was done, so again copies are available.
Copies can be ordered from Timmi Tillmann at Tillmann2003(at)gmx.net

VIPP Community of Practice

18 11 2010

VIPP Facilitators and Trainers. Please contact Timmi Tillmann at TimmiTillmann(at)gmail.com for joining the VIPP CoP and to deliberate on the establishment of the VIPP-Secretariat at the RLC in Penang.

VIPP webpage in Spanish

20 05 2010

Since April 2010 we count with a Spanish website named http://www.vipp.es, which has been posted by our VIPP Community of Practice in Ecuador.
Now we count with a Spanish VIPP manual, which is a revised version of the translation of the second edition and third reprint of the English language manual published by Southbound in Penang, Malaysia.
Please, if you want to order the manual write to Tillmann2003(at)gmx.net and we will inform you about costs of the manuals including postage.

Intercultural setting in training – Dominican Republic 2009

10 02 2009

An advanced VIPP facilitation training with 20 participants from Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia gathered a diversity of institutional working styles related to social mobilization and development in Latin America.
During four days in Jarabocoa, at the Salesiano centre located two hours away from Santo Domingo, the mountainous area provided a perfect setting to get involved in a continuous process of action – reflection – action to exchange and learn ways of facilitating intercultural dialogue, common understanding among different actors, creative and stimulant team work to achieve paradigm shift in development programs.
The training program gave everyone the opportunity to unfold skills and capacities in an interactive form due to the cultural differences, age, learning styles, artistic expression, philosophical points of view and warmly receptiveness of the Caribbean mentality.
From the beginning of the training process, the intercultural combination of the participants gave a special accent to group dynamics. One could think, Spanish speaking participants have more in common than differences but the diversity of work approaches revealed a wealth of practices that take into consideration the peculiar and complex forms to address own cultural identity as well as of the groups they work with such as:
– Facilitation in the Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Bolivian Andes takes into consideration the intimate relationship between the communities and the meaning attached to mountains, water, climate which is beyond this human world;
– building capacity of indigenous people in Costa Rica, stresses the role of young leaders with a strong commitment to the local understanding of communities;
– education with Caribbean rural groups pays a strong attention to the wisdom of the elders;
– establishing university programs based on the principle of regional autonomy has to rethink together with all involved how to design beyond conventional academic curriculum and incorporate oral culture,
– intercultural programs for the youth has the challenge to facilitate learning of other cultures without diminishing the value of the own background.

At the end of the training the magic of this rich exchange could not find an abrupt departure, an Andean ritual sealed the interconnectivity beyond time and space and the strengthening and mutual support of the participants has created a community of practice.
The training was organised by Ara Gena Martinez and Ana Pizano and led by Maruja Salas and Timmi Tillmann from Jan. 12 to 16