Evaluating & Prioritising Issues

Consider what level of control you have over issues management. Do you:
  • Control or significantly influence,
  • Only influence
  • Only offer guidance and inspiration
  • No control, but expectation is it’s your responsibility
Next consider the relevance and significance of the issues.

Then decide whether you will:

  • Do it now
  • Do it soon
  • Do it later
Determining relevance

Working out what should be focused on, what is relevant, where the biggest gains will be and where the ‘must-takes’ no matter the size of the potential impact, is the next step.

The biggest test of relevance is considering how important an issue is to the event’s stakeholders. It may be expected, on a societal level, that an event organiser would address certain issues and impacts.

For example, it would be a fairly common expectation that recycling be in place by an event held in a destination where its citizens are active and passionate recyclers. On a broader level, it’s expected by most societies that events at least clean up after themselves or arrange for someone else to do so.

The degree of relevance of the issues will depend on the nature, size and location of the event.

  • Societal expectations of the importance of the issue
  • Degree of frequency the issue comes up
  • Impact on stakeholders and Sustainable Development
  • Do you control or only influence?

Included in assessing relevance is how often an issue comes up, regardless of the size of the impact compared with other issues and impacts. If you have an issue that is reoccurring then it is likely to be quite a relevant aspect address. Noise complaints are an obvious one. Actually any complaints would be addressed if you get a lot of them!

Identifying regulations that apply to the event activities and sustainability impacts is also a measure of relevance of an issue. If it is regulated it has been done so as it is seen as a frequent or high-risk impact that society expects to be managed.

Keeping abreast of issues which are on the horizon for future consideration should also be flagged for future focus.

Determining significance

Once an organization has identified the broad range of issues relevant to its activities, it should look carefully at the issues identified and develop a set of criteria for deciding which core subjects and issues have the greatest significance and relative size of impact.

To do this further criteria should be set up to estimate the size of the issue and impact relative to others, so issues management can be prioritised.

The extent of the impact the issue has on stakeholders or on sustainability outcomes, is the first consideration. What will be the actual impact and just how big will it be? What would occur if no action were taken at all?

Closely tied to relevance to stakeholders is the scale of concern those stakeholders have for a particular issue or impact, regardless of the actual size of the impact. It is about the perception of size of impact that matters here.

  • Extent of impact on stakeholders and Sustainable Development
  • Relative size of the impact to other issues and impacts
  • Level of stakeholder concern about the issue
  • Effect of failing to take action
  • Effect of taking action
  • Effect related to effort and resources required
  • Existing laws, regulations or accepted best practice