Based on already available information from secondary sources and local resource persons, carry out a preliminary objective oriented analysis of the nutrition situation.
Provide the resource persons to be involved in the field appraisal and analysis with guidance on the underlying key concepts, approaches, methods and tools to be applied.
Based on the key issues that emerge from the preliminary analysis, design a thematic participatory appraisal focused on opportunities and constraints for improving nutrition within the broader context of people's livelihoods.
Step 1 makes use of key resource persons and stakeholders from various sectors that work directly or indirectly with the local people, as described under Section 2 - Stakeholders. They are expected to participate in training the field appraisal teams, in the analysis of the appraisal findings and in the local level strategy identification and planning.
Secondary data review
Prior to the appraisal, a review of secondary data should be carried out in order to focus the exercise on critical information gaps. To gather secondary information, one may, if time and resources are not limited, commission sector or thematic reviews from national consultants to gather and analyse secondary information. Sector reviews could be organised in such a way as to review the sectors performance and its impact on nutrition and household food security. Although, the latter may become very difficult when appropriate data are missing. A guidance sheet on how to proceed with secondary data analysis has been attached in annex 1.
District training cum planning workshop
The quickest and most cost-effective method to proceed with the preparation of the appraisal is to organise a training cum planning workshop involving stakeholders that work directly or indirectly with the local communities. At such a workshop, sector representatives can be invited so as to provide the necessary specialist technical input. Ideally, such a workshop is held at district level because this is the level that is closest and most relevant to local people in terms of stakeholder participation and knowledge on the local situation.
If several districts and regions are involved, one may proceed through a national workshop to cut down on the time needed for the follow-up district-based workshops. Although, a national workshop cannot substitute for a district workshop, given the need to involve those stakeholders that work directly with the local people.
The training cum planning workshops are designed as a participatory learning exercise. External experts and local resource persons share information and knowledge with the ultimate goal of reaching a better understanding of the local situation.
Identification of stakeholders
One of the very first tasks in preparation for the appraisal is the identification of the major local and external stakeholders. This should ideally be done prior to a training cum planning workshop, so as to ensure that all major stakeholders are invited. The workshop may then refine this identification and list the main roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder. Information should be included on their roles and responsibilities in relation to nutrition, their linkage to other stakeholders, and how they work with local people and institutions (e.g. by gender, socio-economic criteria, by affiliation with religious or other groups, etc.). A Stakeholder Venn Diagram is a good tool to get such a discussion going. The method is described as Tool 5 in annex 8.
Thematic focus and approaches
Following the stakeholder appraisal, the focus should shift to the theme of the appraisal and the underlying approaches. This can be done through a brainstorming session in working groups, whereby the participants reflect on the following four themes: (1) nutrition and household food security from a livelihoods perspective; (2) peoples participation and community institutions; (3) indigenous knowledge; and (4) gender and socio-economic differentiation. Guidance sheets on how to facilitate this session have been attached in annex 2.
Apart from orientating the participants, the brainstorming session also provides a first opportunity to raise important issues that will be dealt with in the causal analysis that is to follow. Such issues include: (1) what do local people understand by nutrition, (2) who are the nutritionally vulnerable groups, and (3) how do gender, socio-economic and other factors play a role. It is important that these issues are raised at this early stage, as the causal analysis will be developed around those groups that were identified as being particularly vulnerable. These may not just be age groups, but gender, socio-economic and agro-ecological factors may also play a major role.
Problem tree analysis
Based on the secondary data and the specific knowledge of the participants, the workshop may then proceed with a causal analysis of malnutrition. Ideally, this is done separately for all groups that were identified as nutritionally vulnerable. Problem tree analysis provides an excellent tool for this purpose. A Guidance sheet on how to facilitate such an analysis is given in annex 3.
Documenting workshop findings
Throughout the workshop, it is important to keep track of issues that need further investigation and information that is missing, doubtful or needs to be differentiated. For example, participants may be tempted to present unconfirmed hypotheses for facts and these may need to be verified. It may also happen that certain information has been over-generalised. Such generalisations may be true for some but not for all, depending on their socio-economic background, the agro-ecological zone they live in, the age group or gender they belong to. When there is an indication that this is the case, one should document such differentiation. Another major and very frequent source of error occurs when the absence of a solution is presented as a problem per se (e.g. lack of irrigation instead of drought). Such a statement pre-empts the selection of a specific solution, even if such a solution may not necessarily be appropriate. The facilitators should be extremely alert to avoid these possible sources of bias, as they will influence the ultimate outcome of the exercise. A guidance sheet has been attached in annex 4 on how to keep track of issues that need to be further investigated and information that needs to be gathered through the appraisal.
Objective tree and strategy analysis
From the problem tree analysis, the workshop participants continue with an objective tree analysis and identification of potential strategies. Guidance sheets on how to carry out objective tree and strategy analysis are attached in annexes 6 and 12. One may wonder about the use of proceeding with what looks like a planning exercise, prior to having carried out the actual appraisal. The purpose is dual. First, given that workshop participants will be involved at all stages of the exercise, it is important that they are familiar with all aspects of the methodology from appraisal, through analysis to planning. Secondly, and this is an aspect that is often overlooked and surfaces later on when there is little opportunity left to address the issue, planning is not just about the formulation of solutions from a purely technical perspective. While solutions should be technically sound, they should equally be locally acceptable and feasible. Hence, by having identified potential solutions, prior to the appraisal, the opportunity has been created to use the appraisal to investigate their local acceptability.
Designing the appraisal
Once the workshop participants have gone through the entire analysis, from problems, through objectives to strategies, a good overview should now be available of those issues that the appraisal is to investigate. If this information has been documented as explained in annex 4, it now becomes very easy to prepare a list of key issues that the appraisal is to address and essential information that needs to be gathered, verified or deepened.
Based on such a list, the workshop participants may develop a logical framework for the appraisal, outlining the objectives (what do we want to achieve) and activities (how can the objectives be achieved). An example has been given in annex 5. The activities can be translated into a package of participatory appraisal tools. The purpose of the logical framework is to establish a link between the various tools, so that the information generated with one tool may be applied in another. For example, a village map may be used to identify village resources and socio-economic groups. This map may then be overlaid with nutrition information obtained from key informants. By linking these two tools, socio-economic determinants of nutrition status can be identified. A further link could then be to use household interviews to understand the reasons why specific socio-economic groups are more or less prone to nutrition problems. Hence, the use of a more intricate design enables the facilitators to move away from a mechanical application of appraisal tools towards a process of gradual discovery and better understanding together with the community.
Preparing a tool box
Through group work, the workshop participants may decide on what tools to use, how to adapt them to the specific focus of the exercise and the particularities of the local people, how to make them gender-sensitive, and what and how to ask questions. At this stage, the benefit of having looked at the beginning of the workshop into what constitutes local knowledge becomes obvious. All too often, key questions are formulated in English or another international language and are then translated into a local language without having really understood the true meaning of the words in either language. Having looked into indigenous knowledge and terminology, the formulation of questions may be adapted to local peoples understanding without loosing the purpose of the question or risking to be misunderstood.
In general, the appraisal will be designed to assess from a community perspective the causes of malnutrition and food insecurity and how different socio-economic groups deal with the problems related to these issues. Depending on the outcome of the analysis, the design of the appraisal may include some of the field methods as mentioned in annex 8 and summarised below:
A range of different participatory tools to be used in both separate focus groups of men and women within the community as well as in mixed groups.
Key informant interviews with knowledgeable or leading people in the community.
Household case studies (semi-structured interviews) with households from different socio-economic groups in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of perceptions of causes of malnutrition and coping strategies.
The field methods need to be translated into a comprehensive tool package, which should include:
Information sheets for the various adapted participatory appraisal tools outlining a brief description of the tool, its objective, key questions to be answered and guidelines for the facilitators.
A detailed documentation sheet for each participatory appraisal tool.
Checklists of questions to ask in key informant interviews.
A checklist of questions for the household case studies.
Evaluation and analysis sheets, to be used for the daily wrap-up meeting among the field team.
Examples of adapted participatory appraisal tools that may be used during the field appraisal have been attached in annex 8 and include:
Resource Map; Social Map; Wealth Ranking; Malnutrition Mapping; Venn Diagram on Institutions; Resource Cards; Seasonal Calendar, Income and Expenditure Matrix; Daily Activity Clocks; Focus Group Discussion: Constraints and Opportunities to achieving Nutrition and Household Food Security; Semi-Structured Interview: Household Case Study; Daily Evaluation and Planning Meeting
Key issues and methods
While the appraisal is designed to gain a better understanding of the nature and local perceptions of the nutrition-related problems, it is also designed to gain a better comprehension of the magnitude and underlying reasons for these problems. Various tools exist to that end. To assess the magnitude of the problem, key informants with good knowledge of the community and with a background in health, like the Traditional Birth Attendant and the Community Health Worker, may be asked to identify those households known to them as having specific nutrition-related problems. These households may then be mapped and the map compared with the social map. The social map is basically designed as a village map indicating all households and social facilities. The map may be further enriched with information about the wealth status of the specific households. This information can be obtained through a wealth ranking exercise. Wealth ranking not only allows classifying the community in different local wealth categories, but also results in a better understanding of local perceptions and criteria of wealth. Linking the social map with the nutrition map provides the means for testing whether a specific nutrition status of household members is typical for a certain wealth status of a household. In other words it can be tested whether the wealth status can be regarded as a proxy indicator for nutrition status of household members. The combination of wealth ranking, social map and nutrition map also allows to define areas that need deeper probing.
Such a more in-depth understanding of the reasons underlying the observed problems can be obtained through thematic focus group discussions and case studies of households, whereby the households are carefully selected according to the previously identified household typology and nutrition problems. Checklists for both the focus group discussions and the household case studies should be prepared. These checklists focus on two important areas of interest. They are designed first of all to gain a better understanding of the causality of the problems. This can be visualised through a problem tree, showing the key problem, the effects and the causes. Secondly, the checklists are developed around an analysis of opportunities and constraints so as to appraise people's ability to cope with or prevent nutrition and household food security problems. During the training workshop, the participants should experiment with these checklists on imaginary case studies and report on their analysis using both a problem tree analysis and an analysis of constraints and opportunities.
To better understand the importance of food security and nutrition issues within the broader context of people's lives, the design of the appraisal should include a variety of development context and livelihood analysis tools. This more general information complements and serves as triangulation for the more in-depth analysis on the causes of malnutrition and food insecurity, being gathered through semi-structured interviews with households and key informants and the analysis of opportunities and constraints with the community at large. Additionally this information is important to get to know about local opportunities to overcome identified problems, e.g. to learn about the social capital, such as capacities and useful links of local institutions.
A social map is also a key tool in the design. The purpose of this tool is to identify key social resources (as opposed to physical resources), the number of households and their placement and socio-economic differentiation in the village. A gender-sensitive Venn Diagram may be introduced to identify local and other institutions and to analyse their roles, responsibilities and performance in relation to the community and to the food security and nutrition problems. Seasonal calendars dis-aggregated by gender and age groups covering tasks, food availability, illness, rainfall, labour patterns etc. may be designed to get a better look at seasonal variability and peak periods of nutritional stress.
Daily Activity Clocks for men, women and children may be included to analyse relative workloads and time spent collecting water and firewood or other tasks. Time usage is especially important to evaluate, given the impact of womens workloads on household nutrition, food preparation, income generating activities, etc. Who has access to and control over resources, including income, also has an impact on food security and coping-strategies within the household and the relative burden of men and women within each household to procure food and other essential necessities. To look at these dynamics, Resource Cards and Income and Expenditure Profiles can be included in the design.
Selecting a sample
The final task of the workshop is to agree on a representative sample and timeframe. The sample is to take into consideration various aspects, including what constitute administrative or indigenous boundaries of a village unit or area, what are the different agro-ecological zones, whether locations are remote, easily accessible by road, peri-urban or urban, access to public and private services, etc. A guidance sheet on how to go about sample selection is attached in annex 9. Depending on distances, means of transportation, staffing, etc. the duration and timeframe should be agreed upon in order to allow the local representatives to make the necessary arrangements with local staff and communities for the actual appraisal.
The purpose of the participatory appraisal is to identify and analyse together with local people the opportunities and constraints for improving nutrition and household food security within the broader context of their livelihoods. Apart from its role in assessing the local situation, the appraisal is also aimed at initiating a dialogue within and with the community on the importance and role of nutrition in their lives. Such a dialogue is not a one-off exercise but the appraisal should be seen as a starting point for a continued, iterative and participatory process of appraisal, planning and action.
Step 2 involves apart from the same participants involved in Step 1, also local communities, stakeholders, key informants and resource persons. The Step 1 participants carry out the training of the local resource persons who will facilitate the appraisal in the field.
Field team selection
The field team members ideally come from district, sub-district and other field level positions in the area and should represent the various sectors that are local key role players, including health workers, agricultural extension workers, home agents, representatives of womens associations, etc. If at all possible, it is best that some of the field team members have some prior experience with participatory appraisal. While field workers with an academic degree may appear to be better qualified to for analytical work, sound field experience and a close link with the local people may be equally important and valid criteria for the selection of field workers.
Field-based secondary data review
Prior to the appraisal, selected members of the field teams should carry out a review of locally available secondary data, so as to capture locally relevant information that may not have been captured in the sector reports. That would allow the teams to already establish a preliminary village profile for each site, which may considerably speed up and enhance the quality of the appraisal work.
Field team training and orientation
Once the appraisal has been designed and trainers have been trained, the task ahead is to train the field teams that will carry out the appraisal. a training course is organised to discuss and define with the field teams the key concepts of the exercise, introduce them to the participatory methodology, and the specific use of the tools and methods that they will be using during the field appraisal.
In order to ensure a good understanding of the appraisal methodology, an introduction to the background, main features and principles of participatory appraisal may be given. Roles, responsibilities and attitudes of participatory appraisal facilitators should be presented, discussed and probed in role games and tested in the field.
To enable an appropriate daily evaluation process during the appraisal, a daily evaluation procedure to be applied by the field teams should be developed. During this daily evaluation the field teams use an evaluation matrix to structure the discussion, to document the core results, to identify open questions and to plan the next day. An example of such a matrix is given in annex 7.
To ensure that valuable information does not get lost, specific documentation sheets need to be prepared for every appraisal tool. The documentation should follow along the specific set of key questions to be answered when applying the appraisal tool.
The field team training workshop is organised along the same thematic lines as the training of trainers workshop, with the difference that the focus is now much more on how to apply the appraisal tools in the field and how to document the findings. Although, the conceptual training should not be neglected given that a participatory appraisal is as much about understanding the issues, and probing as it is about applying a research methodology.
The training workshop also serves the purpose of refining, field testing and adapting the appraisal methodology to the reality on the ground. The workshop will initially review the appraisal tools and key questions from the participants local experience and knowledge. The tools are then field tested by the field teams in a community that is not part of the sample of communities. It allows for the identification of possible weaknesses in the methodology. At the same time, the field testing exercise provides an essential field training for the field team members, as well as being a team building exercise. The field testing exercise will also serve as a good opportunity to demonstrate the importance of accurate documentation of the appraisal findings and observations. The findings of each team will be discussed during the last part of the workshop. From there, the tool sheets and documentation sheets may be adapted, and further training be provided to field team members on skills that were found to be weak.
Meeting the community - implementing the appraisal
In preparation of the appraisal, it is important that appointments are made with the community leaders well in advance of the appraisal. They should be briefed on the purpose of the appraisal, the methodology and the proposed timeframe. It is important to spell out the need to have the broadest possible participation in terms of gender, socio-economic groups, community-based institutions, grass-roots staff from governmental and non-governmental organisations, etc. Care should be taken to avoid that selected community members or special interest groups marginalise others.
The actual appraisal should start off with a meeting with the community at large to introduce the team members and community members to one another. This meeting will also serve to brief the community on the purpose of the exercise, their role, the procedures that will be followed and any follow-up that may be anticipated. The appraisal teams will then proceed with the schedule of tasks as agreed upon during the training workshops. Daily meetings of the appraisal team following the days tasks are essential to ensure that the findings are documented, to adjust the workplan as required and plan for filling in gaps that were identified. It is important that enough time is allocated to these meetings.
A second community-wide meeting will be held at the end of the apraisal to brief the community on the findings and provide an opportunity for them to comment. This may be done either as the last meeting of the appraisal exercise, or after the teams have gone through the entire exercise in all communities and have written up a village profile. At any rate, a meeting with the communities once a first analysis has been made is always extremely useful in refining the findings, as well as in providing the team that is tasked with project formulation with a solid backing from the local communities for the proposed actions. This may be important in cases where community participation in programme planning is weak or absent and the exercise runs the risk of being biased through top-down decision making. If such a situation is anticipated, decision makers or their representatives should be invited to participate in all stages of the exercise. This is at any rate recommended in all cases given that a dialogue needs to be established among local level stakeholders, as well as between higher and lower level stakeholders.
Structuring appraisal findings by site
During the appraisal, the field teams have documented their findings on the special documentation sheets that go with each appraisal tool. Findings have ideally also been summarised already on an evaluation matrix that was completed after each days session. Based on these documents, the appraisal team will proceed with the preparation of village profiles. These are structured along the major subject areas of the appraisal. A village profile should in the first place provide and answer to all the key questions that were stated in the outline of the appraisal. In addition, a village profile should also contain all the primary and secondary information that was gathered prior to and during the appraisal. This should be done in a simple format. It is good to use visual illustrations like maps, diagrams, clocks, historical profiles, matrices, tables, etc. A guidance sheet on how to prepare a village profile has been attached in annex 10.
A village profile should provide information and answers in a comprehensive, and easily accessible manner, given that the information will provide the basis for further analysis and aggregation, and should equally be understandable for the community members themselves.
Given that the appraisal is the starting point of a dialogue within and with the community, a village profile is also a reference point for participatory monitoring and evaluation. It is therefore a living document that will evolve over time and reflects the dynamic nature of community participation in development. It belongs to the community and should therefore also be shared with them. This can be done prior to starting causal analysis, so that the opportunity can be used to verify remaining assumptions or filling crucial information gaps.
Aggregation of appraisal finding
Once on the village profiles have been compiled, the findings from different communities need to be compared so as to come up with useful generalisations and differentiation. This may be in the form of a district or regional profile. The answers on the key questions need to be summarised for each of the appraisal tools. One should always make sure that what will finally be presented are valid findings. When feasible and relevant, missing information should still be collected. It is therefore useful to structure the findings in a matrix that allows to distinguish between what may be regarded as:
(1) Confirmed findings;
(2) Remaining information gaps and open questions;
(3) Assumptions that were not verified; and
(4) Findings that were found to be valid in some cases, but not in others depending on factors like gender, socio-economic group, agro-ecological zone, rural-urban bias, etc.
The available confirmed information may then be further interpreted using an analysis of constraints and opportunities. A more sophisticated way, but often too complex for the field level, is the SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The difference is that SWOT makes a difference between constraint and opportunities found within the community (called strengths and weaknesses) and those that were found to be beyond the immediate control of the community and can therefore be regarded as external to the community (called opportunities and threats). The principle of SWOT analysis and of the more simple analysis of constraints and opportunities is therefore identical. Namely, to find out what has helped (strengths and opportunities) and what has hindered (weaknesses and threats) people in achieving household food security and good nutrition.
The added value of using SWOT is that it provides an excellent starting point for outlining potential directions for intervention. Using the SWOT categories, the findings are available in a format that can be readily used in the problem tree and objectives tree analyses. In this way, SWOT helps planners to focus not only on problems (weaknesses and threats), but forces them to define solutions starting from those very potentials and capacities that are already present within the community (strengths) as well as outside the community (opportunities). SWOT is therefore also a good way of avoiding duplication of efforts and strengthening local initiative. A guidance sheet on how to apply SWOT has been attached in annex 10, which also explains how to go about the writing of a regional profile.
Presentation and verification of main findings and conclusions
As already indicated earlier on, it is always useful to present the major findings and conclusions of the appraisal to the communities. This may have already been done in a preliminary way during the last session of the field workshop. However, to get local endorsement of the findings and their interpretation, it is good to present the final findings and conclusions to a community workshop once the village and consolidated profiles have been prepared and prior to commencing with the actual planning exercise. Apart from local endorsement, such a workshop also provides a last opportunity to fill in missing information and check on remaining assumptions. Given that at this stage, the appraisal team may be short of time, community workshops may be organised in a sub-sample of the selected sites.
The purpose of the causal analysis is to identify the origins and effects of nutrition problems and the linkages between their causes. Each of the nutritionally vulnerable groups is looked at separately with a view to move beyond the immediate causes and to capture the underlying livelihood related factors that are specific for each of the groups. In this sense, the causal analysis constitutes a holistic livelihoods analysis focused on nutrition as one of the most basic livelihood outcome.
The sector representatives and other stakeholders that participated in Step 1 and representing different levels and sectors, as well as non-governmental organisations and facilitators of the appraisal.
The appraisal and secondary data review generated a wealth of information on the nutrition situation and livelihoods of various groups of people. The appraisal led to an identification of who is nutritionally vulnerable, what is the extent and nature of this vulnerability and what are the underlying reasons. The nutrition mapping exercise as well as other tools allowed to identify and characterise nutritional vulnerability from various perspectives, including lifecycle, socio-economic, agro-ecological, cultural, political, and other factors.
The purpose of Step 3 is to prepare a holistic analysis of the reasons underlying this vulnerability. A simple and pragmatic way of doing this is through a problem tree analysis. This method is basically a visualisation technique whereby a graphical presentation is made of the connections between a core problem, its causes, its effects, and their respective inter-connections. For the purpose of this exercise, the core problem statement gives a characterisation of the nutrition problems faced by a specific group of people. The group may be an age group, a socio-economic group, a group of people living in a certain agro-ecological zone or any other grouping of people. The problem tree looks like a tree whereby the trunk is the core problem. The branches and twigs are the effects and the roots are the causes of the situation, all of which are perceived and formulated as negative states.
A problem tree is of course nothing more than a visual aid. The importance the methodology lies in the actual drawing of the tree because it provides an excellent way of engaging a diverse group of people in a discussion on what they perceive as the causes and effects of a problem and how these are inter-related. This technique was already used during the preparation of the appraisal. It was then used to get a better understanding of the local situation, identify information gaps, and generate hypotheses that needed to be tested trough the appraisal. The same technique is now used to further analyse the information generated by the appraisal and reach a consensus among the key stakeholders. The difference with the preparatory phase is that the analysis is no longer carried out through a brainstorming, but now follows a more strict application of the findings of the appraisal and secondary data review.
In terms of consensus building, it is important that agreement on the analysis is reached prior to the planning exercise, because the findings of the causal analysis form the basis for setting objectives and selecting intervention strategies. It is therefore useful to combine Steps 3 and 4 in an analysis and planning workshop so as to ensure consensus among all major stakeholders at the local and district level.
The workshop should make use of working groups that may be formed to focus on different clusters of causes of malnutrition. Specific problem trees should be developed for those socio-economic groups that are affected by malnutrition. The ingredients for drawing the problem trees are the "weaknesses" and " threats" that were formulated during the SWOT analysis or the constraints derived from the analysis of constraints and opportunities. These together with additional problem statements that are suggested by the workshop participants and which can be verified, are written on cards and used to build the problem trees. A guidance sheet on how to facilitate problem tree analysis is given in Annex 3.
The purpose of objective oriented planning is to first reach a consensus among stakeholders on the objectives that will lead to a reversal from the present core problems into a positive situation in the future. From these objectives, the stakeholders will then outline the required intervention strategies that will achieve the overall objective of improving the nutrition situation of the vulnerable groups.
The sector representatives and other stakeholders that participated in Step 1 and representing different levels and sectors, as well as non-governmental organisations and facilitators of the appraisal.
The problem tree analysis has led to a consensus among stakeholders on the reasons why some members of the community are more affected by malnutrition than others. The next task of the analysis and planning workshop is to reach agreement on the way forward for the local community and to draw a picture of a targeted positive situation in the future.
Building on the technique that was used to analyse the situation, the working groups should turn the trees of problems into trees of objectives. The method is a simple visualisation technique through which a situation can be described in the future when the problems are solved. The methods aims at identifying objectives related to the core problem that one wishes to address. The tree visualises the means and results relationships, whereby the trunk is the core objective. The branches and twigs are results and the roots are the means needed to achieve the core objective. A guidance sheet on how to facilitate objectives tree analysis has been attached in annex 6.
The conventional way of developing an objective tree is by converting the problem tree statements into positive states and thus turning the cause-effect chains into means-results linkages. One should be careful with a too mechanical and simplistic application of this tool. Problem tree analysis should be used first and foremost to engage stakeholders in a discussion about the feasibility of objectives and the identification of alternative objectives.
The 'strengths' and 'opportunities' that were identified during the SWOT analysis are an excellent starting point for stakeholders to reflect about the potentials available within the community and the opportunities that are available to them from outside. This will help to identify realistic objectives as well as feasible, ethically acceptable and sustainable means of achieving these objectives. It is an approach that builds and reinforces local potentials and initiatives and avoids the creation of dependence on external and unsustainable means.
Having developed objective trees for all the vulnerable groups, the next task is to outline the different potential intervention strategies that are required to achieve the overall objective. These strategies may then be prioritised by means of a set of criteria that are developed by the stakeholders.
Strategy analysis consists of identifying within the objective trees those means-results chains that contribute to a common objective. The various chains with their common objective are formulated as a potential intervention strategy. All objectives that were identified in the objective tree analysis should be considered and defined as strategies. Important criteria that may be used to prioritise the strategies include the feasibility within a given budget and time frame, the expected impact on the nutrition situation and the sustainability of the intervention.
It should be noted that prioritisation is not about excluding certain strategies. All the strategies that can be identified within a given objective tree are valid, important and essential to achieve the overall objective. However, given that in the real world resources and time are always limited, choices have to be made about what to do first. Those strategies that are rated lower may therefore be implemented at a later stage when additional resources become available. Prioritisation is, therefore, a tool that helps those tasked with project and programme formulation in making a final selection of strategies that will serve as a basis for the development of a logical framework. A guidance sheet on how to facilitate strategy analysis has been attached in annex 12.