Topic 2: Problem and context analysis

Within the landscape of project funding and development initiatives, donors increasingly emphasise the importance of understanding the context and complexity of the challenges at hand. Central to this understanding is the ability to formulate a clear and compelling problem statement that not only identifies the root causes of the issue but also outlines its effects and implications. The problem statement serves as the cornerstone of project development, providing a rationale for why the project is necessary and why it deserves support. Proper identification of the problem is essential for effective problem-solving, as it lays the groundwork for designing interventions that address the underlying issues.

When formulating a problem statement, it’s crucial to provide a thorough explanation of the issue that needs to be addressed and why it matters. This requires strong evidence, supported by quotes, examples, references, data, and press articles. Including citations adds credibility to the argument and demonstrates a deep understanding of the issue.

Moreover, referencing the work of other NGOs, governments, and relevant stakeholders can further support the project’s need and justify the proposed interventions. By showcasing alignment with existing initiatives and leveraging collective efforts, the project can position itself as part of a broader solution to the identified problem.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Remember, the problem comes before a project
  • Outline the root cause and effect
  • Proper problem identification is key to effective problem solving
  • Why address problem X?
  • Give an explanation about the issue that needs to be addressed by the project and why
  • Provide strong evidence
  • Use quotes, examples, references, data and press articles—include citations for credibility
  • Reference the work of other NGOs, governments, etc. to support project need

In summary, a well-crafted problem statement not only highlights the significance of the issue at hand but also lays the foundation for designing effective interventions. By thoroughly analysing the problem and providing compelling evidence, project proponents can make a compelling case for why their project deserves support and why it is essential for addressing pressing challenges in the community or context.