Rapid Assessment of Nutrition - RAN - Advantages and Limitations

  • Provides information on nutrition before a final decision on the nature of the project is made (project identification).
  • Is partly participatory since the perception of the problems and needs of the population is assessed through group discussions.
  • Provides a methodology for choosing alternatives or different affected areas through comparing existing indicators or surveys (if available).
  • Provides tools and semi-structured guidelines for sensitisation on nutritional problems.
  • Is a relatively open method, where different subjects and areas, as well as different participatory approaches for data collection, are combined.
  • Provides important information on institutional and organisational aspects and capacities.
  • Integrates local specialists in the screening process.
  • Can be applied in a relatively short time frame (3 weeks).
  • Provides the possibility of negotiation with the local institutions and government officers, and making them more sensible regarding nutrition.
  • Is a resource consuming additional methodology, during project identification. (At least two specialists from different disciplines should be engaged in the RAN mission.)
  • Needs specific knowledge on nutrition, rapid appraisal approach, management of participatory needs assessment and data analysis for adequate interpretation of the results.
  • Is not objective or quantitatively assured, but appreciative!
  • Is not a sufficient tool to assess all aspects of the nutritional situation. Nutrition is a complex subject and needs to combine different quantitative and qualitative methodologies, as described in the Nutrition Baseline Survey Methodology.
  • A general criticism of all assessment methods within deprived areas is that there will be no service or intervention, in all survey regions, after RAN assessment procedures have been finished.