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Step - Situation analysis
by Changeroo
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What to Analyse?

Issues and situations are affected by the interplay of local, national, regional and international dynamics, so we need to think about ‘systems’. Lasting change requires system change. This means engaging with a multitude of influencing factors, interacting, pushing and pulling in different directions. System change is always contested: there are many actors with stakes in both the status quo as well as in changing it, and who have different interests and perspectives. Their positions and relationships are characterised and conditioned by power and possibly gender inequalities.

Setting Boundaries

It can be difficult to set boundaries for a situation analysis. You may be tempted to throw the net too wide or to go on for too long. How deep the analysis needs to be depends on your purpose. Therefore, ask yourself what you want to get out of it, and what questions you want answered. So make your situation analysis purposeful and focused.


A situation analysis generally consists of the following:


Questions to ask



More information

Rich Picturing

* Oakden, J. (2014). If a picture paints a thousand words: The use of rich pictures in evaluation. Kinnect Group. Available here.

* Multi-Stakeholder Processes Knowledge Co-Creation Portal on rich picture.

* ‘Rich pictures’ at The Open University.

Analysis of The External Macro Environment

* Strategic Management Insight on PEST analysis.

SWOT Analysis

* What is a SWOT analysis? Tools to help improve your business.

* Community Toolbox on SWOT analysis.

Problem Definition

* Multi-Stakeholder Processes Knowledge Co-Creation Portal on problem definition.


* Community Tool Box on Framing.

Appreciative Inquiry & Appreciative Storytelling

* Appreciative Inquiry Commons of Case Western Reserve University.

* E.H. Kessler, The Appreciative Inquiry Model.

* Wikipedia on Appreciative Inquiry.

* Multi-Stakeholder Processes Knowledge Co-Creation Portal on Appreciative Story Telling.

More About Situation Analysis

Situation Analysis: Its Relationship with Other ToC development steps

  • Vision of Success: The situational analysis forms the point of departure (“where are we at now”?) for defining your vision of success. It shows the problems to address. Your vision of success describes the desired future situation (“where do we want to be”), and shows how life is different when solving the identified problems. Hence, the situational analysis and the vision of success are each other’s counterparts.
  • Scope: The scope defines the stakeholders taken into account in your analyses. Hence, you’ll add a stakeholder analysis on the page dedicated to the Scope of your ToC.
  • Context: As part of this step you define the most important influential contextual factors.
  • Opportunities and Threats: You can describe developing situational trends, relevant to your ToC, as part of the Strategy Narrative.

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