Scaling up a Rapid Assessment Method for Older People

Organisation: HelpAge International UK

Partners: HelpAge International; Valid International

Location: Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), Pakistan (Islamabad) and Bangladesh (Cox’s Bazar).

Type of grant: Core – diffusion

Status: Ongoing

  • Credit: Juma Khudonazarov, HelpAge International Ahmed Yusuf from Concern Worldwide taking part in group discussion at the RAM-OP workshop in Ethiopia.


This project aims to scale up and roll out RAM-OP (Rapid assessment Method for Older People) – a rapid, low cost, multi-sectoral and simple assessment method to address the needs of older people in humanitarian crises, which can also be used in development contexts.


Older people are frequently excluded from emergency responses by humanitarian organisations. This is due to a lack of available evidence-based data on the specific needs of older people, and there are currently no other validated assessments that cover the multi-sectoral needs of the increasingly ageing population around the globe. The utility of a low cost, quick, accurate assessment method is of particular importance in an increasingly fragile, complex world, where there is a growing gap between humanitarian need and available resources to respond.


RAM-OP is the first assessment of its kind, focusing exclusively on assessing the needs of older people in humanitarian crises.

RAM-OP was developed by HelpAge International in 2015, in collaboration with Valid International and Brixton Health, with funding from Humanitarian Innovation Fund. It is a thorough, quick, simple and low cost tool that allows humanitarian workers to obtain valuable information on older people’s specific needs, including their nutritional status, through a house to house survey.

It transforms current practice by providing a solution to the current data gap on the needs of older people in crises, and enables them to be easily included in agencies’ humanitarian programming plans in a low-cost, age-appropriate and effective manner. It can be used anywhere in the world, even without internet connectivity. This enables it to be particularly wide-reaching and relevant particularly to the localisation agenda, allowing national organisations to download and use it for free.


RAM-OP has the potential to expand the reach of humanitarian response by enabling humanitarian organisations to accurately and efficiently assess older people’s needs, including those with disabilities.

The project aims to ensure that humanitarian and development projects are inclusive of older people through easily-collected, reliable evidence-based data. The project also aims to include RAM-OP in the list of assessment tools for older people used by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and thus incorporate it within a sector-wide global, best practice framework. This project will also expand the impact of the RAM-OP tool by translating it into Arabic and French and by developing a digital/mobile application.

Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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