1.4.1 Problem Analysis
Problem formulation is an important analytical activity. A badly formulated problem analsyis may lead to a problem persisting or getting worse. It may also lead to the wrong problem being solved or to an implementation of a solution that serves a different goal. There is a vast number of books and articles written on what a problem is, how problems can be characterized and how problems interact and may lead to solutions. At the end of this module, you find a list of background readings and a number of online courses we recommend if you would like to dive deeper into this subject.
The videos in this course discuss a number of methods, measurement standards and tools to evaluate the effects of an intervention in the energy system, based on a number of criteria. We will not dive deeper into the theory about the nature of problems. Instead, we give you the opportunity to pick a problem yourself. There are, however, two important conditions ‘your’ problem should meet:
- There needs to be a gap between the existing and the desired future situation and there should be a dilemma.
- There is an expectation that something can be done about the gap but it is not exactly clear what.
Note that if these conditions are not met, we do not refer to the situation as a problem or as John W. Kingdon said: ‘If you have only four fingers on one hand, that’s not a problem, that is a situation’.
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