A5 Rapid Ethnographic Assessment As a Tool for STD Programs: An Introduction to the Approach

Earn CE Credit for viewing the archived recordings of the 2012 STD Conference.

Deadline: April 12, 2014

For details, click Continuing Education Information

Tuesday, March 13, 2012: 10:15 AM-12:00 PM
Greenway Ballroom A/B/C

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention programs face one of the most challenging environments in recent history. Changing health reform priorities severely diminished resources, increased emphasis on reducing health disparities, and the need to engage affected communities in new prevention and care models are requiring programs to innovate and adapt quickly to new conditions. STD program planners and staff need practical research tools and skills that help them obtain timely information on emerging problems, engage local community members in problem solving, foster new collaborations, and inform program adjustments. 

Rapid ethnographic assessment is a practical approach to collecting locally relevant data. Based on anthropological principles, the use of qualitative methods facilitates exploration of the “how” and “why” of phenomena from the perspective of those most affected, resulting in a rich understanding of factors that contribute to STD trends. This team-based, multi-method, relatively low-cost approach to data collection provides rapid feedback to program staff, and complements other traditional forms of public health data. Rapid assessments have a proven history of success in global health and development where resources and local research capacity are often limited, and where the success of interventions requires direct engagement with local communities. Rapid assessments typically result in findings and recommendations that are practical and based on local realities.   


The purpose of the workshop is to introduce participants to the key concepts and principles of rapid assessment, including interview and observation techniques, triangulation, field notes and debriefing, and theoretical saturation. The workshop will discuss key steps in carrying out a rapid assessment, and when rapid assessments are appropriate.

Methods (instructional approach): 

The presenters will provide an overview of rapid assessment concepts, along with examples from STD programs. Participants will work through a scenario that calls for planning a rapid assessment. Materials and tools regarding the conduct of rapid assessments will be shared.

10:15 AM
Concepts and Principles
Karen Kroeger, PhD, NCHHSTP, Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
10:35 AM
Methods: Interviews and Observations
Thurka Sangaramoorthy, PhD, MPH, NCHHSTP, Office of Health Equity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
10:55 AM
Analysis and Reporting
Fred Bloom, PhD, Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
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