Problem Tree and Solution Tree
A Problem Tree is used to uncover the underlying cause of a problem and a Solution Tree is used to discover possible answers to the challenge. In reading a Problem Tree diagram, it is important to understand that there is a hierarchy among the identified problems illustrated. “Each stated problem is preceded by the problem(s) which cause(s) it, and followed by the problem it causes itself.” (MDF, 2005) In order to read a Solution Tree, also known as the “Diagram of Objectives”, it is important to identify and cluster trends or themes within the Problem Tree, and then translate “the negative situations in the problem tree into a realised positive state.” Similar to the Problem Tree, it is important to develop a hierarchy within the diagram. Instead of a problem-cause relation, the Solution Tree is means-ends related, with the end being the final objective or the solution to the problem.
In preparation for the Problem Tree and Solution Tree diagrams, I visited the OMEN Feeding Center, a project that clothes and feeds 75 children every day. OGRA has taken me to visit clinics and primary schools that care for and teach OGRA orphans. I have also spent several days working with Fredah Ajowi, the OGRA Project Officer who manages the Orphan and Vulnerable Children program. She has provided me with information and insight on the challenges OVCs face each day.
The purpose of developing the Orphan Problem Tree and Solution Tree Diagrams is to uncover the underlying problems orphans face in Kisumu District and determine solutions to their challenges. Secondly, the tool will be used at OGRA as a means of analysis to uncover gaps in OGRAs OVC program, and determine whether OGRA or another organization can and should fulfill those needs.
To read the report in its entirety, click here.