A wiki is a web site that allows users to add, remove, and otherwise edit and change content. It is an excellent tool to quickly draft content collaboratively with a group. The Flipchart Wiki applies this principle to the real world. Instead of a website where everyone can write on, a group of people within the same room use flipcharts to draft together different elements of a document. It also combines elements of dotvoting and dotmocracy to come to an agreement on the prioritization of different contributions.
Not sure if anyone did this before, but we came up with this approach and applied it at UNDP in 2009 during a Community of Practice launch workshop in the Asia-Pacific region.
This tool is ideal whenever a group of people within one location needs to come up with a text that everyone agrees on. It works best for documents that have a clear predefined structure, such as charters, agendas, todo lists, work plans, etc. The more easily you can break your outcome documents into specific pieces that work on their own, the better.
Before embarking on a collaborative drafting exercise, you should make sure that your group has already reflected the topic at hand and has a number of ideas ready to be documented. It is therefore best to precede the Flipchart Wiki with a group discussion, brainstorming exercise or any other facilitation technique that helps stir up ideas and a common understanding of the issue within the group.
The Flipchart Wiki is then the next step of documenting the different ideas and to manifest a common understanding in writing.
1. Divide your text that needs to be drafted into several different pieces (e.g. along chapters or paragraphs)
2. Remove all chairs from the room and set aside one table per drafting piece.
3. For each table prepare one a large flipchart page (if necessary combine several flipchart pages together to one large page). The facilitators will prepare titles and bullet points for the items which are expected to be covered in this section of the draft, to give participants some guidance for the drafting process.
3. Provide large sticky notes (minimum 10 x 5 cm, better a bit larger) in the colors white, green, yellow and red, as well as many pens.
4. Participants can now suggest their own wording for a piece in full sentences (no bullet points or shortcuts!), write them on a white sticky note and stick them onto the flipchart at the position where they would like to insert the text.
5. Then others can add their comments on stickers which are attached to the statement paper in different colors: Green for agreement, yellow for suggested edits and red for proposing to drop this statement for a specific reason.
6. Each participant will receive little Dot-Stickers and is asked to walk by all flipcharts and put her/his dots on those passages which they want to see in the final draft. Everyone can place as many dots as s/he wants, however, only one per item.
7. Those items which receive many points will go into the final draft (the threshold needs to be determined by the facilitators afterwards, depending on size of the group).
8. The result will be a – probably incomplete – document on which the whole group can agree on. This text will then be transcribed and finalized by the facilitators after the workshop and put forward for further online discussion within the community.
We applied this approach in April 2009 at the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok during a launch workshop for a new thematic Community of Practice for the Asia-Pacific region. We used the methodology to collectively develop a vision statement, charter text, governance framework and an action plan for the newly founded community. below is the facilitator's outline for the workshop session:
In this step, the participants will work on formulating a document which establishes the framework for the CoP. For this, 5 different flipcharts with pens are put on tables all over the room
B. Voting exercise for the draft (30 min)
Wikis, Dot-Voting and Dotmocracy
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