Step 2: Conduct a situational assessment
This step begins with the development of a data gathering plan (worksheet 2.1) and outlines the types of data you want, as well as the methods and sources to access the data. This data gathering plan expands on the draft workplan developed in step one (worksheet 1.4).
The data gathering plan is guided by research questions. These research questions are tailored versions of three broad, generic questions that must be answered as a part of situational assessment:
- What is the situation? (trends, public perception, stakeholder concerns, etc.)
- What is making the situation better and what is making it worse?
- What possible actions can you take to deal with the situation?
After you collect your data, step 2 continues with the creation of three reference documents (worksheets 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4) that summarize your findings and will inform your decisions in steps 3 and 4 about program goals, objectives, audience/s, promising strategies and activities.
Quick Track! If you already have data and a good understanding of the situation, factors that are influencing the situation, and possible actions you might take, you may want to go directly to worksheet 2.2, where you can begin to summarize what you know in a concise way.
The final worksheet (2.5) in this step is a reflection about the process to date, to help you decide whether to proceed to step 3 of the planning process.
While working on step 2, use the Learning Centre for:
- Tools, resources and evidence to support planning decisions, specifically related to step 2.
- Advice from THCU's Planning Workbook and case studies
There are also detailed how-to-instructions and completed samples for each worksheet.
And finally, remember to save, export and keep improving all your plans!