Working at the Problem Tree

After morning prayer, led by Brothers Ackim Simasiku and Bonaventure Muunga, Ms. Mpala Nkonkomalimba, our instructor for the Project Cycle Management course, directed the two groups of Brothers to resume work on their “problem tree,” which structures the problems, their sources and effects, of any intervention, or project, the Brothers might be involved in.  This day, however, the Brothers were to turn their problem tree into an “outcome tree” by turning problems into opportunities, e.g., the problem of the deforestation of the Western Province of Zambia is transformed into the afforestation of the same.  This transformation of problems into opportunities allowed the two groups of Brothers to imagine how they might form a work plan to achieve the desired results of their interventions, i.e., which parts of their developing plan they might actually work on, given their talents and the urgency of the problem.  It´s a matter of strategy.  The two groups of Brothers presented their newly-created outcome tree in a plenary session.

Ms Mpala then led the Brothers on a survey of “mainstreaming” issues that each project must take into consideration in forming its plan.  These issues, gender concerns, HIV-AIDS awareness, environmental response, and people with disabilities, must be included not as an add-on or afterthought, but must be woven into the fabric of the intervention design.  Funding agencies are increasingly asking that projects demonstrate this inclusiveness as an integral part of their planning

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