Diagnosis is inextricably linked to vision development as the foundation of a SMART change process. Whether vision or diagnosis should come first is a classic chicken and egg problem. Diagnosing where there is no clear vision is difficult, yet developing a vision that is not based on clear understanding of the current situation is equally problematic. In practice, both need to be done in parallel, and like visioning, diagnosis is something that must continue throughout the change process - and beyond.
While there is no single blueprint for delivering sustainable services, there are a number of elements that need to be in place (see delivering services section). Tools that help guide stakeholders through a consultative process of analysing what's working and what's not are critical for:
The requirements for effective diagnosis are very similar to what is required for visioning - and include:
The tools included here are limited to those that allow a comprehensive (sub)-sector diagnosis, and exclude tools that zoom into a specific aspect of service delivery.
The principles framework describes the essential conditions for sustainable service delivery at various institutional levels. The framework allows stakeholder to maintain the bigger picture of systemic change while identifying concrete areas of work, for which detailed strategies and plans can be developed. The framework was used to support change in the rural water subsector in Ghana and Uganda under the Triple-S project.