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Module 2 - Focus on Problems

Module 2 - Focus on Problems

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Published by: Chris on Dec 16, 2012
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Participatory Developmental Project Cycle Management for IWRM Module 2: FOCUS ON PROBLEMS 
DWAF/Danida IWRM Project South Africa Page 1
Module 2
By the end of the module participants will
Understand why there is a need for undertaking a problem analysis
Understand the principles of cause and effect hierarchical approach to problemanalysis
Be able to prepare a preliminary problem analysis for their projects
Understand the concepts of problems and barriers in conducting a problem treeanalysis
Through teamwork understand the importance of dialogue when conducting aproblem analysis
Be able to identify areas where base line information is inadequate and preparean action plan for obtaining information on a team basis
Unit 0:
Unit 1:
Cause and effect
Unit 2:
Preliminary problem analysis
Unit 3:
Problem and barriers clusters
 Unit 4:
Planning for information gatheringShort lectures by facilitator and group work, followed by practical assignments inperiod between Module 2 and 3Duration 20 hrs workshop 16 hrs self study approx 16 hrs field work
Participatory Developmental Project Cycle Management for IWRM Module 2: FOCUS ON PROBLEMS 
DWAF/Danida IWRM Project South Africa Page
Focus on ProblemsIntroductory text
Problems and Barriers
The work in the Problem Focus Area aims atestablishing
an overview of problems and anoverview of the relations between problems
. Thishas two important consequences:
The level of detail must be suitable to createoverview. Too many details will confuseinstead of creating clarity.
The relations between problems are never simple. The relations between problems mayappear to be linear cause-effect relationshipswhere one level of problems are directcauses of other problems. However,problems in the real world cannot be isolatedand be traced to a single cause or set of causes as it is maybe possible to do in alaboratory.The purpose of the Problem Focus is to shareperceptions of reality, by simplifying the realcomplexities. This is useful - and necessary - to getto action, but it is essential that the limitations of theshared perception is kept in mind all the time.Work in the Problem Focus is not limited to the earlystages in the project cycle. It can be as helpfulduring later stages, where the focus of attention mayno longer be on the problems that the projectintends to address, but on implementation problemsof the project (team conflicts, resistance fromstakeholders, slow progress etc.). A notoriously difficult concept when working withproblems is the general rule that a problem shouldnot be formulated as the absence of a solution, i.e.a "lack" of something - but as an existing negativestate, i.e. a state that somebody finds negative. Asan example, we can look at a single string of apparent cause-effect relationships:
My notes
Participatory Developmental Project Cycle Management for IWRM Module 2: FOCUS ON PROBLEMS 
DWAF/Danida IWRM Project South Africa Page 3
Cause and EffectIntroductory text
 All these problems are negative states. But lookingfor causes for the frequent pump breakdowns willinevitably lead to problem formulations that - directlyor indirectly - are absences of solutions
No stock of spare parts (= lack of spare parts),or 
Poor maintenance practice (= lack of good maintenance practices)
 Both these problem formulations are pointing toabsent solutions. This implies that the problemformulation easily induces a specific strategy: supplyspare parts or improve maintenance practice.These strategies may be the best answer in thesituation. The point is that we may overlook other valid alternatives, for example substituting the pumpswith technology that does not require difficultmaintenance etc. When starting with a problemanalysis - before outlining a vision or objective - werun the risk of letting an only apparent objectivity (thecause-effect relationships) determine our choice of strategy.
My notes
High infant mortality
Frequent use of infected river water 
Unstable supply of piped water 
Frequent pumpbreakdowns

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