1. Produce a strong diagnostic hypothesis which includes a logically consistent causal chain that accounts, as much as possible, for the facts that are observed. Such a causal story could be referred to as a syndrome. Check the validity of the diagnostic hypothesis by deriving other symptoms that should be present (in the Operations Realm) if the proposed syndrome is true.
  2. Record diagnostic alternatives that could replace the selected hypothesis if new evidence would prove it to be false.
  3. Obtain feedback and approval by stakeholders on a consensus diagnostic hypothesis.
  4. Record any assumptions that are made in the course of the diagnostic work, or that have been made in scientific works referenced in formulating the diagnostic hypothesis.
  5. Clarifying the decoupling of the causal chains/problem messes that are to be addressed by different diagnostic hypotheses.

UNDP: the problem analysis plays a crucial role in:

  1. Developing a clear understanding of not only the surface problems, but also their underlying causes and constraints
  2. Determining the real size and complexity of the problem and the relationships between different contributing factors
  3. Determining how the problem affects groups (women, men, marginalized populations) or may be caused by the unequal treatment of different groups in society
  4. Determining short, medium and long-term interventions that may be necessary for a sustainable solution
  5. Identifying the partnerships that may be necessary to effectively address the problem
  6. Assessing the roles that different stakeholders may need to play in solving the problem
  7. Estimating the resources that may be required to deal with the problem and its causes

Some background: diagnosis and Collaborative diagnostics.