This guide offers a menu of options for conducting a situational analysis in support of the design process in a program approach and adapted to the East and Central Africa Region (ECAR). This is not a guide to be rigidly applied. It casts a wide net of methods and tools within a strategically targeted set of themes so that design teams can choose intelligently the forms of analysis that best suit their contexts.

It is also meant to generate innovation in practice by COs as they engage in situational analysis as part of their program design process. Using this guide as a reference, we hope that teams will develop new ideas during the application process, to inform future situational analyses.

READ: Guidance Documents




Main Report
This section provides an overview of the levels of situational analysis (macro, meso and micro), their key dimensions and how they inter-relate. It describes use of situational analysis across the programmatic cycle and offers key tips in planning and preparing analysis.
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Appendix A: Macro Analysis Guidance
This section provides a menu of thematic guidance on key dimensions of analysis at the macro level. These dimensions – governance, gender, demographic, social and economic development, socio-cultural analysis, climate change and disaster risk/vulnerability, conflict – are strategic areas ECAR has identified as critical to understanding and addressing poverty and vulnerability in the region. Each section concludes with a list of key resources. While the thematic analysis frameworks are tailored to the macro level, they may also be adapted to explore thematic issues at meso and micro levels.
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Appendix B: Meso Analysis Guidance
This section elaborates the process of undertaking meso analysis. It specifically adds a spatial analysis to the macro level data, thereby making it possible to identify where the most marginalized populations are located within a country context. It also helps narrow the focus for the micro analysis

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Appendix C: Micro Analysis Guidance
Finally, the micro analysis section outlines a series of local level exercises adapted from the UCP analysis process of CARE Bangladesh and CARE Nepal for the ECA region. It also gleans helpful lessons and tips from the ECAR Capacity-Building Initiative which took place in rural Tanzania, and was subsequently applied in Uganda, South Sudan as well as Somaliland. The list of additional resources is instructive in the use of participatory local-level analysis for specific themes
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COMMENT: Situational Analysis


To promote learning and sharing, these resources are meant to be adapted and innovated for diverse contexts.Please fill in this form to share your own experiences and lessons learnt in situational analysis!


VIEW: CO Reflections


All reflections and comments are shared on the corresponding pages of the Gender Toolkit. To read CO comments for various levels and dimensions of situational analysis, follow these links: