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Questions answered by rapid assessment

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Some specific questions to be answered by a rapid assessment include:

  • How many people are affected?
  • What is the likely evolution of the crisis? Will it get worse or are things improving?
  • What is the health status of the affected population?
  • What are immediate program priorities?
    • Water
    • Food
    • Shelter
    • Measles vaccination
  • What resources are available?
    • Coverage and quality of existing programmes
  • What outbreaks may occur?
    • Are there signs of current outbreaks?
    • What outbreaks might be anticipated, such as measles, cholera, dysentery, meningitis?
  • Other problems - security, logistics, environment, etc.

Therefore, rapid assessment is appropriate when any of these questions need answers so urgently that there is not sufficient time for a larger, more formal assessment, such as a survey or sophisticated qualitative investigation.