Friday, November 16, 2007

Communication system of the ICCO-Alliance

By Maarten Boers

During the October 12 meeting of the e-collaboration group I presented the communication system that is being developed by and for the ICCO-Alliance with the very appreciated help from Euforic ( We cal this system the “ComPart-flowers”, where ComPart stand for COMunication with PARTners.

It is a collection of web-based tools, or perhaps better said mash-up of several WEB2.0 applications like Wiki’s, Blogs, Delicious, Dgroups,, slideshare, several google applications. The idea is that all these applications will be - and actually already are - used for communication among colleagues within the Alliance and of course also with partners in the South. In that way a basic condition for collaborating, Capacity Development and learning is set up.

We called it a flower because the whole setup can be seen as a sunflower. The heart would be a wiki, surrounded by petals with different functions, which can be accessed by links on the central wiki. So in fact it is a web space, which enables information sharing and finding, which supports reflection and learning, which enables communication and discussion, which is the place to document experiences and ideas. The by far larger part of the flowers are public, so anybody can view the content. But for adding new information or to make changes you need to know the shared password that is the same for all applications. The social tagging tool Delicious is an important element of the flower, because by tagging, various feeds can be “fed”. These feeds are used to share information with all interested and also to make it possible to “filter” information one wants to get and in that way kind of tackling the well-known overload we all have to deal with. Most of the tools also work with low-bandwidth conditions, but of course this is less applicable for lets say video sharing. In the design of the wiki’s we try to take into account the accessibility for those who have lesser Internet connections.

To make it easier to access the different flowers and its components – by one click - we have installed a “Compart toolbar” on all computers in the ICCO offices (see

If you want to have a look at the Compart flowers you can find them
here. And if you would like to hear more about the background and contents of the flowers you can look at the recorded PowerPoint presentation of the flowers: To see the whole presentation of about 30 minutes follow this link. You can also have a look at the part where it is explained why the flowers should be cultivated. And if you are only interested in the slides of the PowerPoint you can find them here.
Anyhow we are very interested in your comments, questions or suggestions!