Rapid rural appraisal: Its use and value for health planners and managers

Susan B. Rifkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Rapid appraisals have proliferated in the field of health in the past decade because of their perceived promise of obtaining information for planning and managing programmes cheaply and quickly. This article examines one type of appraisal, Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) in order to assess the contribution of this approach. The background to its development is described, highlighting the relevance to primary health care (PHC). Its two essential characteristics - qualitative inquiry and community participation are noted. The approach is examined, the techniques described and case studies which have used the approach are presented. The strengths and weaknesses of the approach based on these examples are assessed. The article concludes that the RRA approach should not be seen merely as an approach to get information for the planning process but rather as an integral part of the process itself. Its contribution is to improve the quality of the information planners obtain and to develop plans of action by using qualitative inquiry and involving the community in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-526
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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