Tools And Methods

Criteria ranking matrix

Criteria ranking matrix

To rank different items / issues against a set of criteria.

Steps in the process

Here we use the example of a criteria ranking of food. 

  1. Ask the participants to list of the foods that they most commonly eat (e.g. maize, rice, dal, beans, etc.) and to create a picture or word card for each.
  2. Place each food card on the ground in a vertical list.
  3. Then ask the participants to list the criteria they use when deciding what to eat (e.g. cheap to buy, tasty, easy to prepare, healthy to eat, etc.) and to create a picture or word card for each.
  4. Lay the criteria cards in a row across the top of the matrix. 
  5. Ask the participants to score each food against the agreed criteria with a mark out of 10, for example.

Ideas for discussion

  • What is a balanced diet? Why is it important?
  • What foods is it good for a pregnant woman to eat? Why might she have difficulty getting these foods?
  • Is it difficult to get nutritional foods all year round? Why?

Suggestions for use

  • A health treatment matrix could be used to discuss different options for curing illnesses. Participants identify the illnesses that are most common in the community (perhaps using a health calendar or matrix) and cards for each illness are placed down the left side of the matrix. Participants then discuss what they did when they or someone in their family got ill (e.g buy medicine, go to a doctor or chemist, go to a traditional healer). Each participant has a small pile of stones and puts one in the relevant box to indicate what they did the last time someone in their family had each illness. If they have never had the illness they indicate what they would do if they did get it. See Reflect Mother Manual, p. 107-112.
  • A herbal matrix could be used to explore how effective different medicinal herbs are in the treatment of a variety of illnesses. The names of local herbs are written across the top of the matrix, alongside pictures or even samples of the herbs themselves. A list of common illnesses (perhaps emerging from the health calendar or matrix) is written down the left hand side of the matrix. Participants then give each herb a score out of 10 (10 for very useful, 0 for no use) in relation to each illness. See Reflect Mother Manual, p. 172-175.
  • A sources and uses of credit matrix could be used to explore the advantages and disadvantages of different sources of credit (savings and credit groups, moneylenders, relatives, banks, etc) for different uses (health, education, weddings, buying livestock, etc.). Participants would identify common uses of credit and place picture/word cards down the left hand side of the matrix, they would then identify different sources of credit and place the relevant cards across the top of the matrix. For each of the uses of credit, participants would then score each possible source out of 10 depending on whether it is a good place to get credit from (high score) or not (low score). See Reflect Mother Manual, p. 137-140.



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