Tool 2.8 This tool is helpful if there are several issues needing attention at Event or Issue (Step 1). It is also useful at Step 4 (Decide and Plan) to help choose options for action from a number of possibilities.

Having identified a number of changes or improvements that need to be made, the group or community representatives will need to decide, with the limited resources available, which suggestions to work on and in what order.

After a brainstorming exercise there may be as many as 30 ideas but the group will need to identify three or four to begin with. A simple but satisfactory way to enable a group to agree on priorities works like this:

  • Suggestions are listed carefully, each being indicated by a word, phrase or picture.
  • The facilitator makes sure everyone understands what each represents.
  • The word, phrase or picture for each suggestion is written or drawn on a separate piece of paper. These are then put in different places around the space available.
  • Everyone is given an equal number of pebbles, beans or counters.
  • Each person places a certain number of pebbles etc by each suggestion, to indicate the priority they would give it. For example, if it is very important to them they can put down 5 pebbles. If it is not important in their opinion they can give it one pebble or none.
  • When everyone has finished, the pebbles, etc for each suggestion are counted. The more pebbles a suggestion has, the important the group thinks it is.
  • The results are then discussed with the facilitator's help.