Rapid Assessment Procedures (RAP) is a data collection tool which takes standard anthropological techniques and adapts them for use with health programmes. It provides a systematic methodology for conducting rapid qualitative assessments of local conditions and needs, knowledge, attitudes and practices. The methods used include formal and informal interviews, conversations, observation, participant observation and focus groups (01). RAP can be used with other techniques to make quick assessments for planning or evaluation (02). The video documents a RAP survey carried out by Foster Parents Plan International in Guatemala. RAP was used to assemble data for programme planning with the aim of understanding people's attitudes towards vaccination. By comparing their views with the programme's objectives the two could be merged to optimise access to primary health care (03). The various techniques used during the survey included formal and informal interviews (05), conversation (06), observation (06.30), participant observation (07) and focus group discussions (07.30). The survey also investigated existing health services such as the pharmacy and local healers to provide a total analysis of the health needs of the community (08). The different methods and sources used in the survey provided triangulation and increased the accuracy of the information (09). RAP can be used at different stages of the project cycle, for project planning as well as process and concluding evaluations (011). It is a flexible tool which can be adapted to fit different areas, situations and populations (14).
The focus of this video is on rapid assessment techniques rather than RRA or PRA. It may be of interest to health workers at the community level.
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