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Problems and difficulties

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Rapid assessment results are often qualitative and somewhat subjective. This makes it difficult to critically evaluate their validity and usefulness. In general, rapid assessments should be carried out by personnel experienced in humanitarian emergencies. Moreover, triangulation of data gathered will help assess the validity of the data and the certainly of the conclusions.

Regardless of the method employed, rapid assessments should be used to determine the immediate priorities. They should also include a set of recommendations for immediate action.

Some common problems with rapid assessment include:

  • Lack of coordination among organizations
  • Performed too late
  • Data not representative or misinterpreted
  • Lack of security preventing thorough assessment
  • Findings are ignored
  • Historical data are forgotten