Problem solving with limited resources

Competency 6: Problem-solving with limited resources


SLTs in low and middle income countries are not likely to have access to the same materials and resources as those in high income countries. An ability to think creatively and make use of the resources available is key. Be aware that your own knowledge and practice of resolving problems will not have been tried and tested locally so seek co-creation of solutions with local partners. This may include collaborating with local partners to develop SLT resources created with local material. This may relate to assessments, therapy, training, making resources and forming networks.



Aware Proficient Advisor
Aware that local solutions may not correspond directly to ones you are familiar with e.g. use of maize flour instead of commercial thickener in dysphagia


Aware of factors affecting how resources may be perceived and how others may view use of second hand materials e.g.  Is it taboo to share certain things? May people feel as if not perceived worthy of new things?


Being alert to barriers to people in LMIC obtaining knowledge and tailor activities as required (e.g. low literacy levels, limited internet access)


Aware of appropriate resources to take from HIC to LMIC and seek information on what resources (e.g. stationery, craft items, toys, books etc) can be sourced within the country affordably


Awareness that some solutions may be outside the remit of the SLT and care to be taken that not taking away someone else’s job in areas of low employment e.g. a carpenter making children’s toys

Use of frameworks/ protocols/ solutions when no local solutions exists this (e.g. IDDSI)




Be able to think creatively and flexibly to make use of local materials and create sustainable solutions to problems encountered





Able to develop some solutions to ways in which people can obtain information (e.g. use of radio media)


Able to select appropriate bought and donated  resources to take to LMIC






Consideration of specific cultural norms around the presentation of solutions to problems and how that intersects with perceived status as ‘expert’

Able to work with local counterparts to co-create locally appropriate  solutions e.g. to food textures




Able to develop networks of craftspeople and create sustainable work for others







Able to teach flexible thinking, e.g. by use of problem based learning to students and




Generates funding solutions to local resource problems







Development of and guidance given on solutions to work collaborative work with local practitioner’s and communities.





Key knowledge and skills:


  • Understanding of problem based learning
  • Knowledge of informal options for assessment and therapy
  • Research skills to seek out local resources
  • Problem solving skills