Problem identification and analysis 25.02.14

Problem Identification and Analysis
Fannie Nthakomwa
Operations Manager
© Tilitonse 2014
Key issues in project identification
•This is meant to provide guidance on how you can identify project
•As in any project design, there are two main issues to consider
Relevance of the project idea.
Feasibility of the project idea.
A relevant project idea is :
one which is consistent and contributes to development priorities of
the proposed area of intervention e.g. the priorities in the District
Development Plan, Village Development Plans.
Addresses AT LEAST one of the four Tilitonse outputs especially output
3 and 4.
© Tilitonse 2014
•A feasible project idea must:
• Specify the benefits that the target group will get from the project
• Relate to stakeholders – Those with an interest in the project. The
project is largely doable if it has more support than opposition.
• Consider capacity to implement – Thinking ahead.
• Identify challenges/risk and how to deal with them
•Tilitonse provides support to projects that address any of the
following three problems
• Social exclusion
• Lack of accountability by duty bearers and/or service providers
• Lack of responsiveness from duty bearers and/or service providers
© Tilitonse 2014
Social exclusion
•Processes in which individuals or entire communities of people are
systematically blocked from rights, opportunities and resources that are
normally available to members of society and are key to social integration.
•Excluded groups may include the disabled, youth, women, PLWHIV etc
Geographical locations can also be structurally excluded eg Likoma district
•Exclusion may be caused by the way rules are applied in the community.
The rules may be based on culture/beliefs or may be influenced by the laws of the country
eg witchcraft, FISP guidelines
© Tilitonse 2014
Lack of accountability
•Accountability is a situation or a process in which duty bearers are
responsible or answerable to rights holders (citizens).
•Accountability is absent when:
Duty bearers do not provide explanations why certain decisions were made e.g. why
approved development projects stalled or not implemented.
Duty bearers or service providers providing explanations that are not satisfactory
•Lack of accountability may be caused by
Gaps in laws/rules (or their implementation) governing the issue at hand (eg LDF, CDF
Influence of cultural orientations e.g. Wamkulu salakwa
© Tilitonse 2014
Lack of responsiveness
•Unresponsiveness can take three forms
Where duty bearers/service providers DO NOT respond to citizen demands/voices – No
feedback on issues raised
Where duty bearers respond but do not respond favourably – “when we have resources,
we shall repair the bridge, no time given”.
Where duty bearers do not show consideration of citizen voices/demands – “will meet you
in the streets”/ “ if there is no fuel, try to stand in middle of road and see if you will not
be hit by a car”
© Tilitonse 2014
How to conduct problem Analysis
•Identify symptoms of the problem
• Things you see in your community that suggest that there is a problem of either
exclusion, accountability or responsiveness – e.g outbreak of cholera (lack of
clean water access points)
•Identify CAUSES of the problem
• Assess the problem on the elements that cause or lead to problems as
explained below
© Tilitonse 2014
Elements for analysing your problem
• Distribution of power, wealth and opportunities – people with
influence decision-making in their interest eg MPs and LDF/CDF
• Formal and Informal rules underlie how resources are distributed
• Formal: rules and procedures that are created and enforced through official channels
e.g. LDF, CDF guidelines
• Informal: rules that are socially shared and usually unwritten eg traditions, cultural
practices and norms that are treated as accepted ways of doing things
• Interests of the various groups including duty bearers and whether
they will be for or against more inclusion, accountability and
© Tilitonse 2014
Steps in conducting problem analysis
Step 1: What is the problem to be addressed.
Step 2: What are the underlying factors that make this problem exist? This
Involves mapping of:
relevant structures –VDC, ADC, DEC, COUNCIL, ministerial offices at district level,
regulations, guidelines etc
How these relate to the challenges identified?
Step 3: Why are things this way? Involves assessing the problem on the
key elements:
Distribution of power, wealth, opportunities around the issue
Formal and informal rules
Stakeholder analysis (refer slide below)
Step 4: What can be done?
What actions/interventions can be proposed?
© Tilitonse 2014
• Who are stakeholders:
• People and/or organisations who are affected by a particular issue or who
can influence the issue in any significant way
• Need to understand if they are going to be for or against
the project
• Remember different interests; project feasibility
• What role will they play
• How are you going to collaborate with them
© Tilitonse 2014
Why is this way of problem analysis important?
• Clearly identifies problem elements that have to be addressed
• Helps in making sure that root causes of the problem and not their
symptoms are addressed
• It helps in the design phase to identify appropriate assumptions,
and the means for engaging with different actors around the
chosen issues.
• Provides realistic analysis of the powers for and against the
• It gives a fair indication of how feasible the project is.
© Tilitonse 2014
Thank you very much!
© Tilitonse 2014

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