FAO Capacity Development

Capacity-focused Problem Tree

When to use it

During the planning phase of the project cycle

What it is

This tool identifies a capacity issue as a core problem, as well as its effects and root causes.This method helps initiate and follow up on the collaborative design and implementation phase. It is an interesting tool that helps clarify the precise capacity‑developmento bjectives that the intervention aims to achieve. It is helpful to develop and/orrevise a logframe and reach clarity about the outputs that will be monitored.

How to use it

Step 1: Start by brainstorming about all major capacity problems identified during thecontext analysis or derived from a capacity assessment. Within the group, decide on thecore capacity problem for the enabling environment, organizations and individuals.

Step 2: Draw a “tree” and write the key capacity problem on the trunk. If you think thereis more than one key capacity problem, you need to draw one tree per problem.

Step 3: Encourage the stakeholders to brainstorm on the causes of the keycapacity problem and write them on cards. Prioritize the causes.

Step 4: Discuss the capacity factors that are possibly contributing to the causes. Focus onthe factors that are potential drivers of change and write them on the roots of the tree.

Step 5: Look at the effects/impacts of the capacity problem and writedown the primary effects on the branches of the tree.

Step 6: The diagram generated in this exercise provides a basis for discussion and can beconverted into a capacity objectives tree, turning the negative statements into positive ones.


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