In the simplest case, a coastal stretch does not fulfil
its requirements and people (the government, interest
groups) want certain functions to be improved. It becomes
more complicated when a coastal stretch does fulfil its
requirements, but that it is anticipated that within a
few years it will not. When will that be, and when should
measures be taken, and which measures are viable? It becomes
even more complicated, when a single party has a problem
(for instance a project developer) whereas all other parties
judge the situation as being acceptable.
The policy maker is not only confronted with problems
or wishes, but sometimes also with preferred directions
of solutions. He then can follow two approaches:
 The solutionoriented approach. This approach
is characterized by the implicit decision to start
a project. Studies focus on the possible effects and
costs of the proposed intervention, and result in
a view on the feasibility of alternatives.
 The problemoriented approach. This approach
first analyses the underlying problem then studies
the possible solutions.
The solutionoriented approach does not include an analysis
of the problem for which the solution is meant. Consequently,
one runs the risk that at the end, the 'best' alternative
does not solve the problem. Quite often it occurs that
during the policy making process, the question arises
to which problem the proposed solutions actually refer.
Then the underlying problem is analysed, which actually
means that a shift occurs in the orientation of the research:
from solutionoriented towards problemoriented approach.
A problem analysis following the problemoriented approach
consists of problem
orientation, problem
delimitation and problem
definition.

Excersise
The steps in problem analysis can be done
simultaneously to improve the speed of decision
making

