What is Define?

Define is the first step of the CABS Approach. The goal of the Define step is to identify the problem affecting the population of interest, understand the scope of the problem, and summarize the problem as a neutral problem statement.

Key Activities

During Define, CABS consults previous research related to the problem and works with the partner to answer a few key questions:

  • What can you observe about what is or isn’t happening in a program or process?
  • What outcomes are the population of interest currently not achieving?
  • Why does this problem matter to the population of interest?
  • How can the scale of the problem be measured?

After answering those questions, CABS and our partner use the information gathered to create a problem statement. The problem statement frames the problem in a way that specifies which people will be targeted, what parts of the process will be analyzed, and how the problem will be measured without making any assumptions about the cause of the problem or its solution.