As a first step to tackle a challenge, it is important to make the right diagnosis by examining the local context. The tools below will help you:

  • to have a clear problem statement
  • to better understand the problem itself and have a proper analysis of the situation
  • to create a shared vision on how to tackle the problem

Before diving into this section, we recommend you have a look at this session of the URBACT e-University by Christophe Gouache, designer and URBACT expert, where he compared the problem analysis to a police investigation and examined methods to obtain the right diagnosis and develop adequate and integrated solutions, in a collaborative way.

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The 4Ws Tool is a problem framing method that helps describing and interpreting a problem to arrive at a problem statement.


5 Whys

The 5 Whys Technique is an iterative interrogative problem framing/solving method used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.


Evidence analysis & improvement table

The Evidence Analysis & Improvement Table aims to identify, gather and analyse sources of relevant information to get a proper and complete overview of the issue.


Problem tree

The Problem Tree is a graphical representation of an existing problem, its causes and effects which aims to get a clear and shared understanding of the issue.


Newspaper of Tomorrow

The Newspaper of Tomorrow tool gives you the opportunity to project into the future to create a shared vision on a certain topic. 

Next stage

You may also need

Engaging Stakeholders

Know who your stakeholders are and how to engage and work with them, at each step of the process.
More detail about Engaging Stakeholders

Sharing knowledge

Capture, reflect on and disseminate the lessons learnt along the process, to make your plan sustainable.
More detail about Sharing knowledge