A framework for conducting situation assessments
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Extension professionals are increasingly asked to convene communities facing conflict, including complex social, economic, environmental and technological situations. A collaborative process with facilitated problem solving can be an effective way to address such circumstances. Given their complex nature and the range of involved parties, convening and facilitating collaborative processes requires specific skills and methods. One important such method is a situation assessment, which involves interviewing a range of involved parties to understand interests, likely challenges, and opportunities. A situation assessment is a reliable first step to determine the feasibility and design of a collaborative process. This document is intended to provide guidance on conducting situation assessments for university Extension professionals. It offers a framework for conducting a situation assessment that allows for adaptation and tailoring to meet unique needs of Extension programs.