This activity allows participants to thoroughly interrogate an issue before beginning to address the possible solutions. It is recommended that only one problem should be explored using this ACTIVITY in any session. The issues could come from a quick round of GENERATOR or may have already been identified prior to the training event.

The inspiration for this ACTIVITY was a conversation, a few years ago, in a Reykjavik bar with our good friend Lars Lagergren.



At least 60 minutes.



Flipchart sheets.

Sticky notes.

Marker pens.

A pre-determined issue to be examined. (as agreed with the session organisers)



  1. The Facilitator fixes flipchart sheets, landscape style, in a line on to the wall (one sheet for every 6 participants).
  2. In the top left-hand corner they write the issue to be considered, for example, “Service users’ voices are not heard by decision-makers.” Or “Why should we spend money on youth projects?”
  3. Each participant has five sticky notes that they number 1 – 5.
  4. The Facilitator asks the participants WHY? the issue is a problem and asks them to record their immediate response on their number 1 note. (2 minutes)
  5. The Facilitator then asks the participants to consider WHY? they believe that the answer on note 1 is correct and write that on note 2. (2 minutes)
  6. Participants continue to ask WHY? after notes 3, 4, and 5. (6 minutes)
  7. If participants are being particularly productive it may be necessary to extend the process to note 6, but probably not beyond 10.
  8. Invite participants up to the wall in turn to post their notes, numerically, in a descending column (note 1 at the top). The final presentation should be a series of adjoining columns. (20 minutes)
  9. The Facilitator places a new flipchart sheet on the wall, portrait-style.


DISCUSSION (20 minutes)

  1. Facilitate a discussion around the posted statements and try to reach consensus as to the 5 most significant remarks that address the problem.
  2. Seek agreement about a ranking order from 1 to 5 that best illustrates the collective assessment of the problem.
  3. Agree to return to the issues with a later ACTIVITY to begin to address solutions through ACTION PLANNING.


EVALUATION (10 minutes)

QUESTION: “Is QUESTINS, QUESTIONS effective and relevant for the use to which it is put?”

What ACTIVITY would enable participants to seek solutions (either from this Handbook or from their experience)?



How would the group use this ACTIVITY in the future and would they make changes? Capture, record, circulate.

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