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Module 1.

Situational Analysis
The Planning Process Development is a cyclical process. It starts with plan formulation; i.e., identifying a problem and a plan to solve this. The plan is then implemented and monitored. As a result of monitoring and eva luation, the plan is reviewed and adjusted. Adjustments are correspondingly made in the implementation. The iteration continues until the plan is declared as successfully completed (or abandoned). The first step in formulating a plan is to do a situationa l analysis, as shown in Figure 1 below. Figure 1. Steps in plan formulation1 Situational analysis

To identify and prioritize problem situations affecting the target population or specific segments of the population.

Formulation of goals, objectives and targets

To specify the desired outcomes to be achieved by addressing the priority problem identified in the situational analysis.

Formulation of policies and strategies

To provide a broad direction on how to achieve the stated goals, objectives and targets.

Identification of programs and projects

To translate the policies and strategies into specific implementable activities.

Investment programming or budgeting

To identify which programs and projects can be funded and implemented according to a definite schedule or time frame.

Orbeta (1994) developed an integrated planning framework for the social sectors by merging the framework on proximate determinants of social sector outcomes and that of the social sector service production, delivery and financing system. The framework serves as a basis for identifying the problem, providing possible solutions, and prioritizing the actions needed to

Orbeta (1994)

solve the problem. A simplified adaptation of the framework is used in used in this discussion.

Situational Analysis Problem identification is a deductive process. This activity identifies the issues and problems that need to be addressed. It seeks to answer several questions : What is the problem? Why is there a problem? o What are the probable causes of the problem? o How serious is the problem? Who are affected by the problem? o How many are they? o Where are they located? o What are their characteristics? What has been done to solve the problem?

The information needed to answer these questions are both quantitative and qualitative. They could be categorized in the framework given below.

Figure 2. Framework for Analyzing Social Outcomes

2. Resources A B

1. Outcomes

5. Environment

3. Services and facilities

4. Access and utilization of services and facilities

1. Outcomes describe the effects of policy on the area of concern. Outcomes can be described in terms of status, participation, or equity. 2. Resources can be in terms of human, financial, and other materials allocated for bringing about changes in the outcomes.

3. The allocated resources are expected to produce appropriate services and facilities. 4. The services and facilities are expected to result in the outcomes only if there is access and utilization by the intended clients. Access can be described in terms of geographic proximity, lack of barriers (legal, cultural, behavioral, material time), or capacity of clients to use the services and facilities. 5. The environment provides the context in which policy is expected to bring about changes. The environment includes the physical, economic, social, cultural, and political context. Some authors include the population, its composition and distribution, as part of the environment (unless it is the object of policy itself). Proximate determinants such as the extent to which the target population access and use the services and facilities directly affect the outcomes. Thus, policies could influence these determinants in the short- and medium- term. Underlying socioeconomic, demographic and cultural factors, such as the environment, on the other hand, may form several layers of causal relationships before they affect the proximate determinants. Therefore, it may take a longer time and more efforts to effect changes in the outcomes through policies directed at the underlying factors.

Information Requirements for Situational Analysis The profile of the target population defines the context; i.e., the physical, economic, social, cultural, and political environment within which the population lives. At the same time, it includes a profile of the population in terms of the areas of concern that are the object of policy. This is done through the use of quantitative social and economic outcome indicators hand in hand with the descriptive analysis of the cultural and legal setting. Table 1 below shows examples of information to be used in the profile. Context Socio-demographic Type of information Population composition and distribution Households and family formation Health and health services Learning and educational services Housing conditions Peace and order status Economic activity National accounts Labor force participation Wages Household income and expenditure patterns Poverty Socio-cultural and political Political structure Political participation Relevant laws, statutes, policies Predominant social structure Gender roles in the household Time use Decision- making patterns in the household

Time series data and cross sectional data should complement each other. Time series show the extent and direction of changes over time. On the other hand, cross sectional data, or those describing various groups within the population, show possible disparities among the groups. The data in the profile should have meaningful disaggregations, such as those by sex, age, urban-rural, ethnic ity, among others. Disaggregated data show the possible inequalities in allocation of resources, opportunities, access, and use of available services and facilities. The use of disaggregated information is premised on the fact that development affects different groups of people in different ways. Another set of information that would be needed in the analysis is the set of norms or standards against which the indicators on the actual situation is to be compared. These may be based on national planning standards or international commitments. Where standards have not been set, comparisons may be made on past data, data for similar localities, national average, or international averages. Information on the outcomes are generally impact indicators from surve ys and censuses. On the other hand, information on resources and use of services and facilities, are available from administrative records of concerned agencies. Statistical information on the environment from all three sources, while qualitative information are available from records review. The national statistical services of the region have varying degrees of capability to provide the necessary information. If the data needs cannot be met by secondary data, there may be a need to conduct other forms of data-gathering, such as focused group iscussions and rapid appraisals.

Analyzing the information The analysis of the outcomes would basically be gap analysis; i.e., comparing the actual situation with the planning standards or other norms. Analysis of the time series would show whether the situation is improving or deteriorating. Comparing the situation of various groups would In addition, the analysis should answer the following questions to help identify the problems, extent of the problems, the target population, the location, and other characteristics of the target population, as well as the immediate and underlying causes of the problem: A. Outcomes Resources What resources are needed to improve the outcomes? What resources are being provided? Are the allocated resources enough?

B. Resources Services and Facilities Are services and facilities produced efficiently? Are the right kind of services and facilities produced from the available resources?

C. Services and facilities Access and Utilization of Services and Facilities-

Are the services and facilities located where they are needed? Do people know that the services and facilities are available? Are the services and facilities available to everyone who needs them? Are the services and facilities when needed? Are the services and facilities affordable? Do people actually use the services and facilities?

D. Access and Utilization of Services and Facilities Outcomes Do the services and facilities have an impact on the target population? Is the impact positive or negative?

E. Environment What are the demographic, economic, social, political, and cultural conditions? How do the conditions affect the availability of resources, provision of services and facilities, access to and use of these, and the corresponding outcomes? The findings should be validated through various means; e.g., focused group discussions and consultations with the representatives of the target population. The identified problems should also be prioritized based on given criteria.