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Defining and Analyzing Community Problems Matra Project Croatia Training of Croatian community workers HAN University Nijmegen Netherlands Drs. Hay van der Sterren.

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Presentation on theme: "Defining and Analyzing Community Problems Matra Project Croatia Training of Croatian community workers HAN University Nijmegen Netherlands Drs. Hay van der Sterren."— Presentation transcript:

1 Matra Project Croatia Defining and Analyzing Community Problems Matra Project Croatia Training of Croatian community workers Drs. Hay van der Sterren HAN University Nijmegen Netherlands References: The Community Tool Box, Paul Henderson, Alan Twelvetrees, Nick Wates

2 Matra Project Croatia Contents  What is a (community) problem?  Three basic concepts of Defining and Analyzing the problem Clarifying the problem Deciding to solve the problem Analyzing the problem  Exercise: Choosing for a problem to challange in this Matra project  Exercise: Deciding what neighbourhood to work in, in this Matra project  References

3 Matra Project Croatia What is a (community) problem?  Problems are part of life: they go together with being alive  Every community has problems: they go together with being a community  Communities (=people) try to solve their problems  Analyzing those problems helps in their solution

4 Matra Project Croatia The nature of problems  A problem or a need is the difference between what is (the present situation) and what should or might be (the future situation)  Problems always belong to people!  For example: Organisations don’t have problems as such; it’s the people within that organisation who have problems

5 Matra Project Croatia Some examples of community problems child abuse and neglect, corruption, crime, domestic violence, drugs, elder care, ethnic conflict, graffiti, health, housing, inequality, jobs, noise, nothing to do, poverty, public services, racism, safety, schools, sexism, teenage pregnancy, transportation, trash collection, vandalism

6 Matra Croatia 2nd ToT May Three basic concepts of Defining and Analyzing the problem  Clarifying the problem  Deciding to solve the problem  Analyzing the problem Not only analysis of problems / needs of the community, but also the strengths and resources (see also ABCD-approach)

7 Matra Project Croatia Clarifying the problem - 1  Start with what you, the residents, know (also from the community profile you’ve made)  Decide what information is missing Information is the key to effective decision making

8 Matra Project Croatia Clarifying the problem - 2  Gather information on the problem Different types of information (Use the information from your community profile) Different sources  Define the problem In terms of needs, and not solutions Avoid to blame certain people or groups in the problem definition

9 Matra Project Croatia Deciding to solve the problem - 1 1) Importance of the problem:  How often does the problem occur?  How many people are affected?  For what amount of time are they affected?  How severe (significant) are the effects?  How important is the problem or goal perceived to be by others?  How effective are efforts to address it likely to be?  Are there any likely negative impacts of addressing the problem or goal?

10 Matra Project Croatia Deciding to solve the problem - 2 2) Feasibility of the intervention / solution: Will you be able to solve it, or at least significantly improve the situation? In the period of our Matra project 3) Are you (as community workers and group of residents) the best people to solve the problem?: Is someone else better suited to the task?

11 Matra Project Croatia Deciding to solve the problem - 3 4) Negative impacts: If you do succeed in bringing about the solution you are working on, what are the possible negative consequences? For example: If you succeed in having measures implemented, how much will it cost? Where will you get that money? What are the consequences for other services (less money)?

12 Matra Croatia 2nd ToT May Analyzing the problem -1 Use the 5 question words:what, why, who, when, how  What is the problem? More or less already done  Why does the problem exist? The “But Why” Technique to find the cause(s) “Force Field Analysis”  “Restraining forces” that keep the situation the same  “Driving forces” that are pushing the situation to change

13 Matra Project Croatia Analyzing the problem -2  Who is causing the problem, and who is affected by it? Brainstorming session  When did the problem first occur, or when did it become significant? New or old problem? Why is it occuring now?

14 Matra Project Croatia Analyzing the problem -3  How much, or to what extent, is this problem occurring? Revisit all the questions under “ Deciding to solve the problem: Importance” Next step in the process: generating solutions

15 Matra Project Croatia Exercise: Choosing for a problem to challenge in our Matra project - 1  Write each down 3x: 1 main problem (in the neigbourhood) you want challange in this Matra project. Only one word or term on one post-it. 1 main cause of this problem 1 main consequence of this problem  Stick the post-its to a flipover-sheet: Top: Consequences Middle: Problems Bottom: Causes Note: This exercise covers only a small part of the Goal Oriented Planning (technique)!

16 Matra Project Croatia Exercise: Choosing for a problem to challenge in our Matra project - 2 Answer these questions for different problems:  How frequently does the problem occur?  How many people are affected?  For what amount of time are they affected?  How severe is the effect?  How important do group members perceive the problem to be?  How important is the problem perceived to be by others?  How likely is it that we can solve/signifycantly improve the problem?  Are there any negative impacts?

17 Matra Project Croatia The Community Planning Handbook Nick Wates (Earthscan Publ.)  “How people can shape their cities towns and vollages in any part of the world”  Contents: General principles of community planning Methods (techniques) for helping people to get involved in planning Scenarios covering some common planning and development situations (methods used in an overall strategy) Useful Formats and Checklists

18 Matra Project Croatia Website Community Tool box: “Promoting community health and development by connecting people, ideas and resources”  Table of Contents: To read about specific skills in community work (42 chapters)  Do the work: Guidance in doing key tasks of community work  Solve a problem: Troubleshooting guide  Use Promising Approaches: To explore best practices of community work  Connect with others: To connect with other people (online forums, advisor, links, sources)


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