Rapid appraisal Methods
Rapid Appraisal Methods
What are they?
Rapid appraisal methods are quick, low-cost ways to gather the views and feedback of beneficiaries and other stakeholders, in order to respond to decision-makers’ needs for information.
What can we use them for?
- Providing rapid information for management decision-making, especially at the
project or program level.
- Providing qualitative understanding of complex socioeconomic changes, highly
interactive social situations, or people’s values, motivations, and reactions.
- Providing context and interpretation for quantitative data collected by more formal
- Low cost.
- Can be conducted quickly.
- Provides flexibility to explore new ideas.
- Findings usually relate to specific communities or localities—thus difficult to
generalize from findings.
- Less valid, reliable, and credible than formal surveys.
Low to medium, depending on the scale of methods adopted.
Non-directive interviewing, group facilitation, field observation, note-taking, and basic statistical skills.
Four to six weeks, depending on the size and location of the population interviewed and the number of sites observed.
- Key informant interview
a series of open-ended questions posed to individuals selected for their knowledge and experience in a topic of interest. Interviews are qualitative, in-depth, and semi-structured. They rely on interview guides that list topics or questions.
- Focus group discussion
a facilitated discussion among 8–12 carefully selected participants with similar backgrounds. Participants might be beneficiaries or program staff, for example. The facilitator uses a discussion guide. Note-takers record comments and observations.
- Community group interview
a series of questions and facilitated discussion
in a meeting open to all community members. The interviewer follows a
carefully prepared questionnaire.
- Direct observation
use of a detailed observation form to record what is seen
and heard at a program site. The information may be about ongoing activities,
processes, discussions, social interactions, and observable results.
a structured questionnaire with a limited number of closeended questions that is administered to 50–75 people. Selection of respondents may be random or ‘purposive’ (interviewing stakeholders at locations such as a clinic for a health care survey).