It describes why and how wealth ranking was used in the early stages of a collaborative policy research and training project in Mongolia. The Policy Alternatives for Livestock Development project aims to facilitate the transition from a command to a market economy in the extensive livestock sector which dominates the Mongolian rural economy. The paper addresses the role and value of wealth ranking by card sorting in the research and training process, and its sequencing with other activities, rather than the technical details of the method itself. Wealth ranking served two principle purposes, one direct and one indirect. It enabled the team parsimoniously to target the use of other research methods in subsequent rounds of fieldwork by means of positive sampling. This paper contains sections on the following: the research context, the direct use of wealth ranking, indebtedness, availability of labour, and the indirect uses of wealth ranking.
Agriculturalists, economists and researchers, fieldworkers and those working at the community and project level.