VIPP - Visualization in Participatory Programs
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VIPP or visualization tool, helps individuals to better develop ideas in a team environment and opens up individuals to a broader spectrum of views, issues and points of view. This tool helps to create a more collaborative environment which encourages discussion and reflection through visual incentives. This tool is suited for peer-learning processes and collective discussions.

Description of the tool

VIPP is a visualization method for getting information and feedback from participants and peers. VIPP  stands for the Visualisations in Participatory Programmes and is also called 'card clustering'. The use of this tool consists of giving users a blank canvas, paper or card on which they can express an idea regarding a topic using simple words, diagrams or drawings . These method gives each member of team/ audience an idea of what each member sees as an issue, topic or as a talking point. This tool creates a broad platform of insights which the facilitator/host/group can use to facilitate and move the conversation to a fruitful goal.

Steps of application

VIPP or Card clustering can be applied in medium-sized group. Around 14-20 people are ideal, bigger groups can be divided to effectively perform the task and use the tool. VIPP gives each team a way to communicate with one another by going over a talking point. This talking point can be a question, a topic or an issue. The facilitator/host mentions the talking point and ideas gathered on the blank canvases (like cards, sticky notes or whiteboard). Afterwards, the ideas or 'talking points' are grouped together/clustered based on their relationships (how similar they are, how are they related to one another). The gathered material is discussed, labelled and delved into depth by the group, giving each member of the team/organisation/collectivity the opportunity to speak and get their ideas heard out.  

Tools needed:  

1. Board or some surface  

2. Sticky notes or Paper Cards  

3. Markers.  For Online use - Miro, Figma or Mural

When To be Applied:  

1. For brainstorm sessions  

2. In groups with diverse cultures and social standings    


1. Start by introducing the talking point ( Question, Issue, Topic)  

2. Distribute the cards (this can be done prior as well) usually three cards per participant. Users can be given instructions on how to perform this task as, to carefully select all words , one-word idea per card.  

3. The participants write down and gather their ideas

4. The Host/facilitator asks members to show and place their cards on some surface (whiteboard, window, floor) visible to all and reads out each of the cards

5. Each card is read and discussed by participants and afterwards, they are grouped  

6. Afterwards each group is labelled and discussed further on


Developed in Latin America and Germany and based on the works from Paulo Feire, Orlando Fals Borda & Eberhard Schnnelle .

Card Clustering or VIPP has been around for more than 40 years and is widely used around the world by NGO’s, Universities and other organisations. Being a part of the UNICEF Toolkits for years now it has proven its effectivity and has been adapted for online use during the COVID Pandemic .

Context of origin

Visual representation


See the guide in this link:


Card Clustering is a great tool that is utilised by most organisations, and is great but not suited for all situations. It should be used with a facilitator and if used online. It can be truly successfully utilised in such platforms as Virbela.


UNICEF website