This framework and resource guide is intended to help people involved in programs assisting orphans and vulnerable children conduct a situation analysis. It is hoped that this guide will bring about a better understanding ofthe essential elements and outcomes of a situation analysis in order to promote realistic, effective, and feasible interventions to protect and improve the well-being of the children and families who bear the greatest impact of the AIDS epidemic. The guide serves as a tool for collecting and synthesizing in-country and sub-national information. Examples of situation analyses and related research are provided throughout the document to draw upon the variety of approaches, and their components, that communities and institutions have undertaken to assess their particular situation. We hope that these will be used as applicable lessons from actual experience.