What is RPAR?

Developed originally as a tool to fight HIV/AIDS among sex workers, injection drug users, and members of other marginalized populations at the city level, Rapid Policy Assessment and Response (RPAR) is an intervention that mobilizes local knowledge to tackle complex health problems and builds capacity to make interventions sustainable. 

As a general approach to assessing policy and health, the RPAR is applicable to virtually any health issue, from asthma to health care access.   This methodology focuses on health and policy implementation at the local level. It is designed to enable structural interventions–interventions that change the risk environment for the better, rather than merely assisting communities cope with an unchanged environment more effectively. It is meant to be used by people who do not have training or extensive experience in qualitative research or policy analysis.

Law and policy shape health program development and implementation, defining what can be done and how effective the efforts can be. Customarily, these structural factors had been measured by assessing black letter law, even though official policy statements often widely differ from actual street-level practice. The RPAR was originally developed to fill this gap.  An interdisciplinary methodology, the RPAR provides a standardized way to conduct baseline assessments and time-series analyses, both to inform program design and to assess program impact.

This website was designed to provide information about the RPAR methodology, offer open access to the tools developed through its application, and invite inquiries and proposals for future RPAR projects.  We welcome your feedback.


Last Updated: February 2006