Define the Problem with Data

"Define the problem with data" tool graphic

Purpose of the Tool:

  • A large part of consciously working towards equity is fully understanding the context your group/program/organization is working within, as well as understanding what you are actually hoping to influence. This tool helps group members methodically think through different contextual considerations.
  • The information defined here can help to identify areas or populations of focus, stakeholders to include in the planning and implementation, and potential problem areas in the landscape to be aware of.

Suggested Use:

  1. Have group members work individually to answer each question prompt.
  2. Come together to discuss similarities in responses, reconcile any opposing differences, and decide on a common understanding.
  3. Decide which prompts the group does not have enough information about. Create an action plan to discover what is needed.
  4. Identify current inequities. Consider how barriers, competition, the status quo, or stakeholder’s situatedness currently perpetuate these inequities.
  5. What can be done to address inequities within the scope of your group’s work? What does the group realize it cannot address? Can the group illuminate inequities outside of its scope to others (i.e. partners, stakeholders, decision-makers, power brokers)?

Example: The Engaging External Systems group decides to form a deeper partnership with the mental health system. This tool can help the group understand more fully why they may want to pursue that partnership and the context they will be stepping into.

Please complete the following feedback survey regarding this tool.