This innovation was first supported by the HIF in 2015 to be developed and tested. Now, with a Diffusion grant, the HIF continues to support HelpAge scale up their rapid assessment method for older people.
In emergencies, older people are rarely identified as a vulnerable group by ministries’ officials, non-governmental organisations or donors. Surveys and assessments largely focus on children, pregnant and lactating women. As a consequence, little information is available about the nutritional status and the needs of older people in emergencies, and these needs are thus going unaddressed.
Humanitarian workers often argue that the methodology for assessing the nutritional status of older people is costly and complicated. There is a need for more cost effective methods than the traditional SMART surveys.
RAM as a product is innovative because of its rapidity in providing statistically robust and precise information for humanitarian programming compared to currently used assessment methods.
Innovation Phases Description:
Development & testing:
A rapid assessment method (RAM) to assess the needs of older people is needed in order to encourage and enable humanitarian organisations to identify the specific needs of this vulnerable group. This survey method would require less time, fewer staff, and would be less costly than the usual methods. RAM-OP can be used in both emergency situations and development contexts. It is hoped that by offering a simplified and cost-effective approach to nutritional surveys, humanitarian workers will be encouraged to consider older people and their needs, and, having a thorough knowledge of their nutritional needs, will implement appropriate feeding programmes targeting older people.
HelpAge are now working to scale this innovation but you can read the final project report from the first stage of their project. This report provides information on the project methodology, activities, outputs, impact and dissemination of learning.
This 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 this 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.
After their workshop in Ethiopia in June, HelpAge took their RAM-OP workshops to Bangladesh and Pakistan in DecemberView
At the end of June, HelpAge International and partners organised a two-day workshop in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to train various UN, NGO and government organisations on how to use our innovative Rapid Assessment Method for Older People (RAM-OP).View
HelpAge are awareded a HIF Diffusion Grant to further scale their RAM-OP innovation.
A lot of data is collected in the humanitarian space but specific information about older people is still very limited.View
In this article, published in Field Exchange, the team compare a prototype RAM-OP with the SMART method in a pilot in an urban/peri-urban setting in Ethiopia.View
HelpAge International’s Emergency Humanitarian Health and Nutrition Adviser, Pascale Fritch, gives her insights on their newly launched innovation.View
Two field tests were carried out, each comparing RAM with the SMART method.View
The first field trial of the RAM-OP method is undertaken in Kolfe Keranyio, a sub-city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.View
The next RAM-OP field test is going to take place in Tanzania: Kibaha District Council, west of Dar es Salaam. This district is largely rural.View
In the team's first field test a total of 889 people were interviewed, aged between 50 and 102, and including 568 women.View
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