How to use the 5 Why Approach ? A concrete example in the domain of child and maternal health.

Hi Pulse Volunteers and GSK colleagues!

During our PULSE training in London, we discussed about the utility to use the 5 Why Approach in order to identify the root cause of a problem. During my mission in Kongolo, I have found that UNICEF and its governmental partners employ this approach during their monitoring and evaluation (M&E) sessions. The purpose of the M&E sessions is to analyse the situation of health zones with respect to child and maternal health (step 1) in order to identify system bottlenecks (step 2) and then to set up a strategic and operational plan to address the bottlenecks (step 3). To identify the causes of system bottlenecks, they perform a discussion with local communities by using the 5 Why Approach. The idea behind this approach is that when you address the root cause of a problem, you can solve several problems in the same time.

The methodology used for conducting M&E sessions is based on the Tanahashi Model (WHO). The purpose of this methodological approach is to analyse the situation to assess system bottlenecks. Once the bottlenecks have been identified, we discuss with local communities in order to identify the root causes of bottlenecks (5 Why Approach). One the root causes has been identified; we define a strategic and operational plan with the active involvement of local communities to make sure that actions defined will make sense for communities.

You can learn more about the Tanahashi model here: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/bulletin/1978/Vol56-No2/bulletin_1978_56(2)_295-303.pdf

Laure Benjamin, PULSE 2014, Volunteer at UNICEF, Democratic Republic of Congo

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