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close this bookTraining Manual in Combatting Childhood Communicable Diseases Part I (Peace Corps, 1985, 579 pages)
close this folderModule 3: Community analysis and involvement
close this folderSession 15: Working as a counterpart
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentHandout 15A: Working style inventory
View the documentHandout 15B: Continuum of volunteer helping/work styles
View the documentHandout 15C: The OFPISA problem solving model
View the documentTrainer Attachment 15A: Style analysis

Handout 15C: The OFPISA problem solving model

Buckminster fuller said that a problem well stated is a problem solved. In order to state a problem completely and well, as much relevant information as possible oust be gathered. The following model 15 designed to assist in the definition of the problem, the examination of all its aspects and an acceptable resolution to the conflicts and challenges presented by it.

In the model, first the original problem is stated. This nay also be a goal, objective or issue.

Then, the factors relating to the problem are listed. The problem may be defined as a temporary equilibrium between factors that move toward change and those that restrain it. In order to solve the problem, the equilibrium or tension must be broken. The equilibrium may be likened to a force field: the problem is held static between opposing forces that push and pull. All factors are listed that have any bearing on the problem) One list notes the driving forces toward resolution and another notes factors that serve as restraining forces. The Journalistic "w's" are useful in identifying the factors: who, what, why, where, when and how.

The problem redefined or restated is considered next. After all the factors both for and against resolution are identified, the real problem may emerge. This may be a simple restatement of the original problem or it may be another problem entirely, based on new information provided by examining the various factors.

Many and different ideas are generated by brainstorming: all ideas, suggestions and possible solutions are listed without discriminating among them. These serve to either increase the forces driving towards resolution or decrease the restraining forces. The brainstormed list may be comprised of logical, sensible ideas as well as those that seem crazy or not at all feasible. It should be remembered that most of the important or mayor inventions of the world had their origin in a "strange" idea that somehow worked! Therefore, Judgment should be suspended during this phase and all creative suggestions listed, regardless of their initial appearance.

To devise a solution to the problem, a selection and comparison of the various ideas are made, thereby generating concrete end potentially viable solutions.

Each potential solution is evaluated to determine its acceptance by those affected by it. If the solution is not acceptable, another solution must be tried. If it is viable, then it is implemented and the problem has begun to be resolved.

One way of remembering this model is to term it the OFPISA (as in the leaning tower):

O - Original problem.
F - Factors
P - Problem redefined
I - Ideas
S - Solutions
A - Acceptance


O - Original Problem
F - Factors: Driving Forces - Restraining Forces

P - Problem Restatement
I - Ideas

S - Solution
A - Acceptance

(Adapted from: CHP international Inc., Staff Training Materials)