Round Robin

Round Robin

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Facilitation format which consists in making participants discuss an issue along its different aspects and dimensions. A Round Robin session is especially suitable for groups of 20-50 persons and can last from 90 to 120 minutes, depending on the number of participants and on the number of features to be investigated.

Participants discuss the different aspects of the topic in small groups: they quickly brainstorm their ideas on a particular feature, record them on a flipchart and then move on to the next station, where they will analyze a new aspect of the main theme. The time spent on a session decreases progressively, since the previous groups have already recorded their suggestions on the flipchart. When a group starts working on a new aspect of the topic, it has only to add what is missing from its perspective.


  • make the group build a collective knowledge based on the previous knowledge and experiences of the participants;
  • analyze a particular topic of common interest;
  • generate complex and innovative ideas (the wisdom of the group is bigger than all the individual contributions);
  • keep the different aspects of the main topic connected (ideas from one area contaminate the ones of other areas);
  • make participants have fun by learning from each other (especially if people have to “rush” from one flipchart area to another, the all session becomes similar to a game).

See also: World/Knowledge Café

Toolkit.png Conducting a Round Robin session


  • Decide how many aspects of the main topic should be analyzed (ideally 4-7) and divide the number of participants by this number. In this way, you obtain the average group size (ideally 5-8 persons).
  • Set up one flipchart for each aspect to be investigated. Write down the title on a flash card and attach it to each flipchart, so that the title won’t be covered by the sheets.
  • Set up a time plan by allocating less and less time for each session. The first one can last for instance 15 minutes, while the last one shouldn’t be longer than 8 minutes. Take into consideration also the time for rotation (approx. 2 minutes after each session).
  • At the end of the session, invite each group to come back to its flipchart of departure. Give participants another 15 minutes time to consider the ideas that other groups have added and to prepare a short presentation (approx. 3 minutes).

Running the workshop

  • Distribute attendees into groups.
  • Describe the topic and the different features to be analyzed briefly and remember participants to record all their ideas on the flipcharts.
  • Warn participants that the time is running out 2 minutes before the session elapses.
  • Give them a signal to move on the next station (they should really move!).
  • Make sure the participants read what the previous group has written down in each station. After having interpreted these ideas, they should only add what is missing from their point of view.
  • Let participants work on their original flipchart station and prepare a 3 minutes report to be presented to the plenary. If the group is not too big, another option is to put all the posts in a circle and to move with all attendees from one post to another. In this way the participants have the chance to discuss the comments made on each flipchart. [1]

Job Aid

Pdf.png Conducting a Round Robin session


  1. (1 September 2009),, (1 September 2009) (1 September 2009)