1 Develop Systems to Involve Stakeholders in the Planning of Change

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Module 5: Planning for Change: Project planning

Module aims
This module will help you facilitate stakeholders to work from an understanding of resource management issues to a project design. Specifically, it covers how to facilitate a: Solutions tree activity.

Participatory impact assessment activity.
Discussion of project options.

Topics
5.1Developing a solutions tree
5.2Assessing social, economic and ecological impacts
5.3Selecting options
5.4Checklist of project planning issues

Introduction
The previous modules have taken project staff and stakeholders through a process of understanding resource management issues, and their social and economic context. The next stage in a participatory resource management program is planning. During this stage, facilitators working with the project can use the activities in this module involve stakeholders to develop potential solutions and selection appropriate options for development into a project plan.

Topic 5.1 Developing a solutions tree
Once the causes of resource management issues have been analysed, stakeholders are in a better position to develop targeted strategies to address some of the ‘root causes’. The solutions tree activity that follows works with the outputs of the Participatory Problem Analysis (Topic 3.3) to develop potential solutions to the identified causes of the resource management problems. It is important to clarify that not all of the solutions identified in a solutions tree would be picked up in a project plan. In any event, time, skill and money constraints are likely to limit the ability of projects to tackle a problem from every possible angle. Therefore, the solution tree activity discussed overleaf aims to provide a logical basis for considering alternative solutions and planning for the implementation of the solutions selected. After the potential solutions have been identified, stakeholders can discuss criteria for choosing between alternative strategies to develop into a project map (see Module 6). The activities solutions tree activity can also identify potential areas for action that stakeholders may be able to work on outside of the project framework.

Activity: Developing a “Solutions tree”
Purpose
To show stakeholders how the problem analysis can be used to identify solutions and possible activities for the pilot project. To better understand what stakeholders believe are possible solutions and valid activities for the pilot project. The identification of solutions at this stage is not final. The options are assessed and discussed. A ‘project map’ is later developed for the set of objectives and actions that are likely to gain the greatest benefit with the least negative consequences (the greatest ‘net’ benefit). Participants:

Stakeholders who have worked on the participatory problem analysis process follow on to this activity. Materials:
Flip-chart paper
Post-it notes
Coloured marker pens.
Preparation:
Organise the workspace to enable groups of up to 5-6 to work on the task. Time:
1 ½ to 2 hours
Steps:
1. Ask participants to review their problem tree and make any needed revisions based on further thoughts and discussions on possible underlying causes. 2. When they are finished with revisions, invite participants to construct a Solutions Tree by converting each ‘problem’ (the negative statement) into a future positive action. For example, the negative statement ‘lack of public awareness of the impact of waste on water quality’ may be converted to a positive action such as ‘increase public awareness of the impact of waste on water quality’. 3. As participants work, ask them to keep checking the logic of the relationship between different levels to ensure that activities clearly address the problem. Do this by asking IF…THEN as you move up the chart (see figure below on “checking the logic of the solutions tree”). They could do this by asking IF we do the positive action, THEN will the...
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