Tool: Root Cause Analysis: Understanding a Community Need

Author(s): NIRN

Publication Date: April 2024 

Core Competencies:  Ongoing Improvement

Frameworks:  Drivers

Resource Type:  Apply

Root cause analysis is a process used to investigate and categorize the root cause of community needs. The root cause is the fundamental reason for the occurrence of a problem. Root cause analysis allows teams to look more deeply at identified challenges and investigate precursors that could be addressed to prevent the need or problem from resurfacing. As with a weed, the challenge must be ‘rooted out’ to prevent it from reappearing in the future. In particular, root cause analysis helps identify systems-level factors related to identified needs and can assist organizations with implementation barrier-busting.  The guidance below provides templates for four root cause analysis protocols and facilitation tips.


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