Rapid Assessment Method for Older People opens eyes in Africa



Juma Khudonazarov

At the end of June, HelpAge International and partners organised a two-day workshop in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to train various UN, NGO and government organisations on how to use our innovative Rapid Assessment Method for Older People (RAM-OP).

RAM-OP is a simple, low-cost and effective assessment tool that enables us to understand the needs of older people, and thereby support their inclusion in different humanitarian, transition and development projects. It covers predominantly health and nutrition, but also explores information on water and sanitation, income and disabilities.

The method requires a sample size of just 192 (regardless of the size of the population), which means it can be completed in just two weeks, including both training, the collection, entry and analysis of the data.

Over the past five years, we have rigorously field-tested RAM-OP in various settings in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, and published the results in peer-reviewed reports.

Our workshop in Addis Ababa was a great opportunity to roll out RAM-OP to key agencies working across Africa, including UNHCR, UNICEF, GOAL, Concern WorldWide, World Food Programme, Action Against Hunger and African Ministries of Health.

We demonstrated RAM-OP methodology and delegates discussed essential strategies and hands-on practice. There was tremendous interest and engagement from all participants, and we worked hard from early morning to late evening to make sure all questions were answered, and participants really gained a great understanding and knowledge.

I was particularly happy to hear feedback from key participants. A representative of Malawi’s Ministry of Health said: “This workshop opened my eyes not only how to assess and address the needs and gaps of older people as a vulnerable segment of populations, both in humanitarian and development settings, but I have also learned the sampling methodology behind RAM-OP assessment”.

The workshop helped participants to use creativity, and learn methods and strategies that provide a powerful solution to identify and fill data gaps in a user-friendly way.

To learn more about RAM-OP, please visit our website.

RAM-OP was developed by HelpAge International in collaboration with Valid International and Brixton Health, and with funding from Humanitarian Innovation Fund.