Exploring Problems

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The Exploring Problems module includes tools to describe or tell the story about a core problem, and tools to assess the root of a problem. Following is a brief description of each tool. You can download the entire Exploring Problems module for personal use.

Telling the story

Timeline helps you tell a story of changes over time, significant events of the past or the chronology of steps in a current or planned activity. 

Previous Responses helps you assess the ways that key stakeholders have managed core problems in the past.

Resource Mapping helps you visualize and acknowledge the resources of communities.

Getting to the root of a problem

Problem Tree helps you identify the causes and effects of a core problem.

Gaps and Conflicts helps you identify the issues underlying a core problem, and find out if these issues are mostly about gaps or about conflicts in power, interests (gains and losses), moral values, or information and communication.

Force Field helps you examine the factors that contribute to a core problem, a situation or a project, and those that counteract it.

Analyze This helps you to acknowledge efforts and practices to handle an existing problem and at the same time explore individual and collective attitudes and behavior that maintain the problem, that are difficult to comprehend and that draw little attention.

Attribution or Contribution helps you assess the level of credit for change in a domain that results from a specific intervention (action, project, program) and implications for future actions.

More advanced tools for exploring problems are included in the module for Understanding Systems