Rapid anthropological assessment procedures (RAP) have evolved as a form of shortcut anthropological techniques which complement quantitative data. RAP is suited for social scientists spending approximately six weeks in the field. The core of the RAP approach is guidelines or "shopping lists" which form the basis for both data collection and analysis. Data are collected through several techniques; formal interviewing, informal interviewing, conversations, observations, participant observations, focus groups, secondary data sources. The advantages and disadvantages of each technique are discussed. Comments are made on the complementarity of qualitative versus quantitative information. Constraints to the RAP approach are acknowledged and analysis is made of the use of RAP for understanding maternal and child mortality.
Although of primary interest to anthropologists, this thorough article will be of interest to many social science researchers and health practitioners. It is probably the best RAP overview.
IUSSP Seminar on Measurement of Maternal and Child Mortality, Morbidity and Health Care: Interdisciplinary Approaches