Author: James Beebe
Source: Encyclopedia of Social Measurement
From the article: “The acronym for the rapid assessment process, ‘‘RAP,’’ expresses well the need to communicate with participants using their vocabulary and rhythm, in that one definition of ‘‘rap’’ is ‘‘to talk freely and frankly.’’
‘‘Rapid’’ means a minimum of four days and, in most situations, a maximum of six weeks. Responding to the need for almost immediate results involves compromises and requires special attention to methodological rigor.
‘‘Process’’ means a series of actions or operations conducive to an end. A process approach suggests that at least as much attention is given to the way results are obtained as to the results.
References to rapid appraisal, rapid rural assessment, rapid rural appraisal, participatory rural appraisal, and the acronym RAP have been widely used in the literature to identify different rapid qualitative research methods. Although the rapid assessment process can also be referred to as simply rapid assessment, not everything labeled ‘‘rapid assessment’’ meets the methodological rigor of the rapid assessment process.”