This article describes the technique of ranking and provides three examples of using ranking to collect information. The exercises were all carried out by the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) in Kenya and Zimbabwe. The first example is from a baseline survey in Zimbabwe using wealth ranking. The second is a disease ranking which was carried out during monitoring of the Kenya Livestock and Pastoral Programme (KLPP). The third example is of a success ranking exercise conducted during an evaluation of a restocking programme in Isiolo District in Kenya. It was found that the main advantage of using ranking to collect baseline information or to prioritise problems and solutions was that the information generated could be analysed immediately and, if necessary, decisions could be made on the spot.