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. 

IMG_7745

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





Team Building and Communication Training with VIPP in Russia, October 18-20, 2007

26 11 2007

During October 18 to 20, 2007, Neill McKee facilitated a retreat with the Healthy Russia Foundation (HRF), Moscow, an organization which was fostered by Neill and his organization, the Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore. The retreat was used to build a team spirit amongst members of the HRF, to review the 2007-2008 workplans and to bring all staff members up to speed on strategic communication concepts and methods.

The retreat was very successful and evaluated highly by the participants. They not only achieved the teambuilding, coordination and training objectives, they also came up with concrete strategies for some particular health problems in Russia, such as the safety and nutrition of young children, traffic safety and improving abulence services, as well as a communication strategy to deal with the psycho-social stress felt by professionals on the job in today’s Russian working environment.

A large variety of VIPP methods were used during the 3-day event and all staff members participated and contributed – even office management, accounting staff and the receptionist. In addition, the participants had time to enjoy some walks in the nearby forest populated with deer and (fenced in) wild boars and to enjoy a barbeque and dance night.

This short retreat demonstrated that even in the sometimes rather heavy and top-down Russian bureaucratic environment, given a chance, VIPP will empower people to work together in a more creative and productive way.





VIPP in Adolescent Health: Teaching – Learning Tool

24 02 2007

The use of VIPP in a key teaching-learning tool developed by WHO’s Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development.

A key priority of the Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development is to strengthen the capacity of health workers to respond to their adolescent patients effectively and with sensitivity. The aim is not to create a cadre of specialists. It is to build the capacity of trained and registered health workers who are already providing preventive and curative clinical services to children, adolescents and adults.
The objectives of the capacity building efforts are to help the health worker find answers to these questions:
• Why should I be concerned about adolescents ?
• What do I need to know & do differently if the patient who walks into my clinic is 16, not 6 or 36?
• What could I do outside my clinic, to help other influential people in my community understand & respond to the needs of adolescents?

A package of teaching-learning tools that aim to add, and add value to existing WHO training materials and guidelines have been developed. A key tool is the Orientation Programme on Adolescent Health for Health Care Providers (OP).

The OP aims to draw upon the experiences of participants to:
• help them see adolescents in a way that they have not done before;
• help them view things from an adolescents’ perspective;
• motivate them to them to do something meaningful for adolescents;
• help them think through how to deal with adolescents in their everyday work.

The OP uses a mix of teaching-learning methods, that match the teaching-learning objectives. These include:
• Mini lectures
• Structured discussion
• Analysis of case studies
• Problem solving
• Role playing
• Stimulating reflection on personal & professional experiences.

The VIPP methodology provides the basis for much of the plenary and group work sessions. It ensures that the teaching and learning is truly participative. The Module on Substance Use in Adolescents, for example, illustrates how participatory methods grounded in VIPP have been interwoven with more conventional methods (such as mini lectures). This is crucial because in a typical OP workshop, involves cadres of health workers (e.g. doctors and nurses); and health workers of different levels of seniority (e.g. senior and junior nurses). Adolescents are also involved as active participants.





Experiences from the Field (Madagascar, Ethiopia…)

24 02 2007

VIPP (Visualization In Participatory Programs) is a people centered approach to planning, training and groups events.
In Madagascar, from 1997 (when the first TOT was carried out in French) until now, VIPP has became a key tool for the GAIN – Groupe d’Actions Intersectoriel pour la Nutrition and similar forums. Many workshops involving more than 50 partners were carried out using VIPP, the most important being: Revitalization of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative; Development of the Behavior Change Communication Nutrition Strategy; Harmonization of Nutrition and Child Survival messages; Adoption of the Micro-nutrients National Protocols; Development and adoption of the National Nutrition Policy. VIPP was also widely used for staff retreats and project planning workshops. VIPP was used at national and district levels.

In Ethiopia, VIPP was used first to identify the nutrition partners as well as their activities, the existing gaps, and what need to be done to move nutrition forward. VIPP became a critical tool for annual work planning in nutrition and child survival, particularly in each of the 3 largest regions of Ethiopia where more than 70 participants gather to elaborate strategies and annual planning. VIPP was also a key tool to develop a draft of the National Nutrition Strategy and the National Guideline for HIV/AIDS and nutrition.

In Ghana, VIPP was used to identify lessons learnt after program implementation with eighty stakeholders.

In Tanzania, VIPP was used during the “Regional Forum on Taking Child Survival to Scale in Eastern, central & Southern Africa”. Members from 12 countries participated to develop the regional strategy and planning.

Lessons learned:
– VIPP workshops are fun, and at the same time participants work very hard, therefore the ideal number of days is less than 3 and half days. Participants leave the workshop with the feeling of having contributed and have a common memory of the events and outcomes.
– VIPP can be used with a large number of participants, up to eighty. First each participant fills up cards individually, then groups of 3 or 4 persons are formed, then groups of 6 or 8. Each time, groups discussed cards and selected a limited numbers of cards. For presentation, large cards are used.

To avoid:
– Plenary card collection with a large group; participants get bored.
– Problem identification without working on solutions; participants are frustrated.
– Flexibility in the process of the workshop; one session might define the content and process of the next session.

Trusting the process and the participants is critical
for the success of a VIPP event

Agnes Guyon