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close this bookPHAST Step-by-Step Guide: A Participatory Approach for the Control of Diarrhoeal Disease (PHAST - SIDA - UNDP - WB - WHO, 2000, 137 p.)
close this folderPart II: Step-by-Step Activities
close this folderStep 5: Planning for new facilities and behaviour change
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentActivity 1: Planning for change
View the documentActivity 2: Planning who does what
View the documentActivity 3: Identifying what might go wrong

Activity 3: Identifying what might go wrong


· to get the group to think about possible problems in implementing the plan, and devise ways of overcoming them


· 1 hour


· tool: problem box
· paper and pens
· container (such as a basket, a hat or a box)


What to do

This activity is similar to the Taking time for questions activity carried out during Step 4, and is conducted in basically the same way.

1. If there has been a break between this activity and the previous one, start with a group discussion to review what was learned or decided at the previous meeting.

2. Present the task as follows:

“Could everyone please write on a slip of paper a problem they think might arise. Write this problem in the form of a question or a drawing. For example:

“What would we do if the person trained to do the maintenance leaves the community?”

3. Ask a group member to collect all the problems in the container. This container becomes the problem box.

4. When all the problems have been collected, pass the problem box to one participant at a time and ask each participant to pick out a slip of paper and answer the question. Participants who pick their own question should be asked to replace it and pick another.

5. Give the group plenty of time to discuss the answers. If a participant cannot answer a question, the question can be answered by someone else in the group.

6. Facilitate a discussion with the group on what it has learned during this activity, what it liked and what it did not like about this activity.

7. Optional: If there is time, it may be helpful to have the group sort the problems into different categories. Suggestions for two-pile sorting of problems are:

- pile 1:

start-up problems

pile 2:

ongoing problems

- pile 1:

technical problems

pile 2:

social problems

- pile 1:

problems the group can deal with by itself

pile 2:

problems the group needs outside help to solve


1. If necessary, more time can be allowed for participants to think of questions. For example, the activity could begin before a lunch break or at the end of the day, and continue after the break or on the next day.