IAF Methods


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70 - 90 20 - 100
This process is used to assure that even in a large group everybody gets his/her questions answered.
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The purpose of this process is to give sufficient attention to individual questions and to recognise patterns in the need for information. Furthermore it should provide efficient information, something that is done by a number of resource persons. A last intent would be to share answers and outcomes with others in the group in a more interactive way.


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  • Resource persons are needed who are able to answer the participants questions or to give advice to them.
  • Needed are several tables and chairs for everyone. Furthermore cards, papers and pens should be provided for both participants and resource persons, as well as something to keep track of the time.



Types of participants: Participants taking part in this process should have questions that they want to get answered and therefore should be interested in the advises/answers.

Time needed: The optimal amount of time needed is between 70 and 90 minutes. The more time available the more participants can ask.

Ideal conditions: For this method a big room should be available in order to make sure that the tables are not too close together and every resource person has enough quiet to aswer the questions or give advise.

Pre-Work Required: The room needs to be arranged. For each resource person there should be a table and a chair, and about six chairs for participants that can take place at his/her table in order to ask questions. Later the room needs to be arranged in a way that every participant has a seat facing the resource persons.


Introduction (5 minutes)
1. Explain the objectives and the process, and introduce the process and the resource persons who will answer the questions or give advice to the participants.
2. The resource persons take a seat at the different tables which have been arranged before.

Carousel ( 45 minutes)
1. Every participant gets a blank card to write down a question. This secures that everybody gets the opportunity for one question only.
2. They spread around to the different tables in order to get advice or questions answered. Either the facilitator sets a time after which the participants change tables or the participants are allowed to change tables freely.
3. Everybody has a certain time (set by the facilitator) to ask one question and then only listen to the answer/advice given and the other questions and answers. If one does not want to ask something they are free to give their time/card to someone else.
4. The resource persons should take notes in order to be able to share some outcomes, which could be of general interest.

Break (5 minutes)
1. This is a short break in which the resource persons can quickly share some impressions and organize the sharing of outcomes.
2. The room needs to be rearranged for the plenary (chairs/tables for resource persons in front; rows of chairs for participants/listeners).

Plenary (15 minutes)
1. Each resource person shares some outcomes that could be of general interest and draws a short conclusion.


Follow-Up Required: There is no follow-up required, however a little more time could be planned to give participants the time to ask a few more questions in a more informal atmosphere.

Usual or Expected Outcomes: The outcomes are answers or advice to individual questions.

Potential pitfalls: A problem could occur when someone wants to have more time/questions than agreed upon and therefore interrupts or disturbs the whole process.

How success is evaluated: In the plenary the resource persons can easily judge whether everybody was satisfied.

Examples of successes and failures: This process would be deemed as unsuccessful if everyone didn't get the opportunity to get his or her questions answered.


Source: Patrick Boel, with courtesy to Alexander van der Eijnde (Ideeprodukt, NL) - June, 2006

Recognizable components: The group will be divided into smaller subgroups in order to get questions answered individually.

Alternative names: Speed Q & A

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