• Nominal Group Technique

  • Nominal Group Technique (NGT) is a structured method for generating a list of ideas and/or condensing ideas into a manageable number. It is more formal and structured than simple brainstorming or multivoting.

    NGT is called 'nominal' because there is minimal dialogue or interaction among the team. The relatively low amount of interaction makes it an effective tool for approaching controversial issues. NGT can also be used to defuse a domineering staff member or influential employee who would otherwise control the discussion and dominate the process. NGT allows each team member to have an equal say and vote on each topic. Because of this equality, it can help build team ownership of decisions.

    NGT has two stages – formalized brainstorming and decision-making.

    Formalized Brainstorming: the steps in Formalized Brainstorming are similar to general brainstorming; however everything is written down. Before the meeting, the team leader or facilitator prepares a question which is then posed at the beginning of the meeting. At that time, he or she also describes the purpose of the discussion and the team rules and procedures. The steps are:

    1. Introduce and clarify the question. The leader may want to display the question on a chalkboard, whiteboard, overhead, etc., and/or provide a handout for easy reference. 
    2. Ask the group to explain their understanding of the question. This discussion should not evolve into a discussion of the issue itself.
    3. Generate ideas – ask team members to write down their thoughts, in silence. There should be no whispering, moving around or joking. Those that finish first should sit quietly until the others are finished.
    4. When everyone is finished, ask each member to read one idea from his or her list. Write each idea on a flipchart. Continue around the team until everyone has given all of their ideas, or at the end of 30 minutes. There is to be no talking during this step – no discussion, no questions.
    5. If the ideas occupy more than one page of the flipchart to display, remove all of the pages and post them next to each other, on a wall. Make sure everyone can see all of the ideas. Ask if anyone has any questions. The person who offered the idea should be the one to answer the question. Others may join into the discussion to help clarify and focus the wording of the idea. The wording may be changed with the agreement of the person who originally offered the idea.
    6. When there are no more questions, condense the list as much as possible, but require the originators of any ideas to be combined to give consent. If the brainstorming generated more than 50 ideas, try some method of reducing the list. One approach is to let team members withdraw the less serious ideas they put on the list. No one is allowed to remove another member’s idea.
    7. Once the list has been condensed, number each idea for ease of reference. 

    Making the Decision 

    1. Give every member a set of index cards or sheets of paper. The number of cards or paper should be a rough fraction of the number of ideas on the list – 4 cards for 20 items, 6 cards for 35 items, 8 cards for 36-50 items, etc.
    2. Ask the members to select ideas from the list according to their own sense of what is important. Have them write one item per card.
    3. Ask each team member to write a numeric ranking on each card (1 through 4 if 4 cards were distributed, 1-6 if 6 cards, etc.), with the highest value going to the most important or best idea.
    4. After each member has assigned a value to each of their selected ideas, collect the cards and tally the votes. It is easiest to record directly on the flipchart pages, noting the point value next to each idea. The item with the highest total point value is the team’s selection for the most important item.
    5. Review the results as a group, and discuss the findings. Are there any surprises? Any objections? Is another vote called for?
    6. Should the team disagree on the top priority idea selected using NGT steps, the team may opt to spread their efforts over two or three of the highest scoring (total point value).

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Discounted Dues: Eligible North American Countries 
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Netherlands Antilles
St. Vincent & Grenadines
Country    Country    Country 
Afghanistan   Grenada   Pakistan
Albania   Guatemala   Papua New Guinea
Algeria   Guinea   Paraguay
Angola   Guinea-Bissau   Peru
Armenia   Guyana   Phillippines
Azerbaijan   Haiti   Rwanda
Bangladesh   Honduras   Samoa
Belarus   India   Sao Tome & Principe
Belize   Indonesia   Senegal
Benin   Iran   Serbia
Bhutan   Iraq   Sierra Leone
Bolivia   Jordan   Solomon Islands
Bosnia & Herzegovina   Jamaica   Somalia
Botswana   Kenya   South Africa
Bulgaria   Kiribati   South Sudan
Burkina Faso   Korea, Dem Rep (North)   Sri Lanka
Burundi   Kosovo   St Lucia
Cambodia   Kyrgyzstan   St Vincent & Grenadines
Cameroon   Laos\Lao PDR   Sudan
Cape Verde   Lesotho   Swaziland
Central African Republic   Liberia   Syria
Chad   Macedonia   Tajikistan
China   Madagascar   Tanzania
Colombia   Malawi   Thailand
Comoros   Maldives   Timor-Leste
Congo, Dem. Rep.   Mali   Togo
Congo, Republic of   Marshall Islands   Tonga
Cote d'Ivoire   Mauritania   Tunisia
Djibouti   Micronesia, Fed. Sts.   Turkmenistan
Dominica   Moldova   Tuvalu
Domicican Republic   Mongolia   Uganda
Ecuador   Montenegro   Ukraine
Egypt   Morocco   Uzbekistan
El Salvador   Mozambique   Vanuatu
Eritrea   Myanmar   Vietnam
Ethiopia   Namibia   West Bank & Gaza
Fiji   Nepal   Yemen
Gambia, The   Nicaragua   Zambia
Georgia   Niger   Zimbabwe
Ghana   Nigeria    

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