TOPIC 2: How to use situational analysis?

TOPIC 2: How to use situational analysis?

When we are talking about community gardens, the situational analysis incorporates several analyses into one – environmental analysis, status analysis, and needs analysis. If we create the analysis all together, it will help us to distinguish when we are focusing on our target group in community gardens and when we are focusing on ourselves. In this topic we will define properly all 3 steps of analysis with a focus on climate change mitigation in community gardens.

Environmental Analysis – Focuses on collecting information and data about the conditions in which we want to organize non-formal educational activities. It seeks to collect data that characterizes the general context in which people around community garden live (their socio-economic and cultural situation) and the reality of the specific individuals with whom we work or want to work. What is their family situation? What are their educational opportunities? What are their employment opportunities?

Status analysis – This is is intended to describe the existing situation in the context of the environment. While in the first step, the environmental analysis, we gathered information about what exists, what is created inside and outside our organization, at the level of the community and the wider society, in the state analysis we find out what state everything is in. Is the current system working? In this part of the analysis we try to find the connections between the pieces of the puzzle based on a range of indicators such as the community size, location and number of climate change mitigation arrangements and understand why things are the way they are.

Needs Analysis – Identifies the needs and problems of our target group in community gardens, our organisation or society in relation to our target group in community gardens. Although a needs analysis of the target group or a needs analysis of society can be done independently of a needs analysis of our organisation, one without the other will always give us only a partial picture.

How to do a situational analysis on climate change mitigation in community gardens?
  1. Be clear about what you want to find out and why.
  2. Think about the sources from which you can get different information.
  3. If you decide to ask, create a set of questions in advance to help you reach your target audience (inner and outer community). Also try to reach out to similar groups to supplement and/or clarify information. At the same time, create supporting questions to help you get to the answers you really need.
  4. Make a plan of who you want to ask what questions, how you want to ask them and in what timeframe. A questionnaire may not always be the most effective way, nor is an hour-long interview.
  5. Collect information and sort it out.

Situational analysis helps you to create a compass by which you can navigate a map of the situation and the environment, and at the same time determine where to go from and to on that map – that is, it answers the question “How should the situation change?”. In non-formal education in community gardens, we think about the development of the community holistically in the context of competences, which have three components – knowledge, skills and attitudes, as we explained in this lesson.

SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS TEMPLATE: How to make a new climate change mitigation measure in your community garden?

As a team, gather all the ways in which the participants and organizations around you can collect information about the conditions in which you are in. Think about what information is sufficient and what else you need to know. Think of two ways in which you can obtain the missing information, or what existing sources you can use. You may find helpful the following questions. What do you know about:

  • climate change mitigation measures
  • your target audience
  • another organizations and activities in your city or country
  • the ways in which you check whether what you are doing makes sense and is it really necessary

Based on the answers to the previous questions, think about by what 3 things you can start doing, doing differently or not doing, so that your activities are more based on situational analysis?


PEŠEK, Tomáš, Tibor ŠKRABSKÝ, Monika NOVOSÁDOVÁ and Jolana DOČKALOVÁ. Slabikář neformálního vzdělávání v práci s mládeží, 2019, p. 71-81.