9.3.2 Problem analysis checklist


  • What are causes of the problem and who is most affected by it? This helps to determine whether advocacy is an appropriate response to the problem. Baseline assessments and surveys, interviews with local actors, and eyewitness accounts are all common approaches to gather humanitarian information, while tools such as problem tree analyses can be useful to analyse information (see Chapter on Assessment, and Annex 28.9 Problem Tree Analysis).
  • Who are the key actors and institutions that make or influence policy decisions on this issue? This involves identifying the actual individuals who directly make and implement policies, as well as those who can (indirectly) influence decision-makers and determine their positions on relevant policies and actions, their degree of influence, their resources, and their (political or economic) interests (see Annex 28.10 Stakeholder Map and Analysis Tool).
  • What is the social and political context? This includes identifying the distribution of political power among key actors-including civil society, understanding the formal and informal policymaking processes and determining the extent of public participation in decision-making on the given issue (that is, political or social restrictions on public dialogue). This analysis must also take into account the impact of local and national events such as elections, ongoing conflict, major policy changes and economic trends (see Annex 28.7 CARE’s Benefit-Harm Analysis Tool, pp. 23-24; and Chapter on Conflict sensitivity).
  • What are the options for policy change? After analysing the problem’s causes, effects, key actors and policy context, it may be possible to develop recommendations for policy solutions or changes necessary to address the problem.

What are the changes required for CARE’s advocacy to have a positive outcome or impact? What is CARE’s access to and ability to influence key officials and other audiences at the local, national and international level that can deliver the desired policy change? This analysis requires assessment of any significant political barriers to success as well as any political support among key policymakers, constituencies and allies for the advocacy goal and objectives.