Social Project Design


Problem tree

The problem tree analysis method is a valuable tool often used to identify the root causes of a problem in a project. It is often used in the needs assessment phase of a project to identify the underlying causes of a particular problem or issue.

The problem tree consists of three levels:

  1. The top level is the “problem statement,” which represents the main problem or issue that needs to be addressed by the project or program.
  2. The middle level is the “causes” of the problem, which represent the underlying factors that contribute to the problem.
  3. The bottom level is the “effects” of the problem, which represent the consequences or outcomes of the problem.

Preliminary Stakeholder Analysis

  • What do they expect from us?
  • What to do to meet their expectations?
  • How do they affect us/the project?
  • What do we expect from them?
  • How important are they to us?

Other roles

  • Target groups/Beneficiaries – the achievement of the purpose will have a direct positive impact on the target group
  • End users – they benefit from the project in the long term
  • Leading partner – responsible for project implementation
  • Project partners – implement the project in the country
  • Associates – they are not financed by the project, unlike partners

To construct a problem tree, project team members work together to identify the problem statement and then brainstorm the causes of the problem, which are written on branches extending from the problem statement. Each cause can then be further analyzed to identify its own underlying causes, creating a hierarchy of causes that represent the root causes of the problem.

It is necessary to remember.

Statement of needs/problem description must:

• be clear; the problem must be real and solvable
• be supported by the voice of the community, the support of other organizations working on the same problem, or experts in the field
• be supported by statistical data and other relevant information•there is no “correct” tree – it is important that it represents the consensus of the key actors
• the tree represents a simplified picture of the problem situation – do not complicate