Blog Post

Rapid Community Assessments with Refugee Newcomer Populations (webinar recording)

By: Marco Campana
August 2, 2023

Hosted on July 27, 2023, this Switchboard training session on creating rapid community assessments (RCA) with refugees was delivered by Dr. Mary Bunn, PhD, LCSW; Ramsha Sohail, MPhil; and, Dr. Karin Wachter, PhD, MEd. RCAs help collect community insights and views on a certain issue and calculate the major needs of the target community. That means the approach is useful for technology, digital literacy, digital inclusion assessments as well.

A rapid community assessment (RCA) is an approach for understanding the needs and problems within a given community in a short period of time. RCAs help collect community insights and views on a certain issue (for example, public health, food and water insecurity, domestic violence, or cultural considerations) and calculate the major needs of the target community. This assessment can include reviewing available data and using methods such as interviews, listening sessions, observations, questionnaires, and surveys.

This webinar provides an overview of rapid community assessments and how they can be used by refugee service organizations to inform service delivery for refugees and other newcomers. Speakers shared details on how to prepare for an RCA and will review best-practice approaches for conducting them. They also provided examples from the field and discuss how RCAs can be applied in practice.

After watching this 75-minute session, you will be able to:  

  • Describe what a rapid community assessment is and why to conduct one; - Describe how to prepare for a rapid community assessment and the different data collection approaches that can be used;
  • Recognize common ethical considerations when conducting rapid community assessments; and
  • Name at least one practical application of rapid community assessments.

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