Rapid HEA


A rapid HEA is not a substitute for a full HEA, but is an adaptation of it.

When is a rapid HEA suitable?

It is appropriate when:

  • a full HEA assessment is not possible;
  • a full HEA baseline for a livelihood zone does not already exist, and;
  • a quick assessment of the situation is required to inform emergency interventions.


Analytical framework and methodology

The framework and methodology for a rapid HEA are essentially the same as for a full HEA: a baseline is developed for a reference year, including livelihood zoning, wealth ranking, and the quantification of food, income and expenditure. At village level the interviews are also the same, including focus group discussions with community leaders and with representatives of different wealth groups. As with a full HEA this information is stored in a ‘Baseline Storage-Spreadsheet’, and information can be either collected using paper forms or, electronically, using tablets.

Differences between a rapid HEA and a full HEA baseline

There are two main differences between a rapid HEA and a full HEA. First, a rapid HEA is quicker, and is led by one or two very experienced HEA practitioners with a small team that can learn fast. There are: two days of classroom training for the team members instead of five days, which includes tailoring the interview forms to the local context; six days of fieldwork instead of 10-12 days; and five villages visited instead of 8-12 villages. Overall, a rapid assessment for a single livelihood zone takes about two weeks compared to four weeks for a standard HEA baseline. The second main difference is that, where in a full HEA a baseline assessment is conducted first and then scenario analysis is carried out later as a separate exercise, in a rapid HEA these steps are combined into one single assessment. So, in a rapid HEA current year monitoring information is gathered in addition to the standard baseline information. The team leader will then set up a single zone analysis spreadsheet and run scenarios to determine the effects of the current year hazard on the population in question and the number of households likely to need assistance. These differences are summed up in the table below.

Rapid HEA (Baseline & Outcome analysis) Full HEA baseline (Baseline only)
Classroom training 2 days 6 days
Fieldwork 6 days 12 days
Data collection 5 villages 8-12 villages
Period of analysis Reference year & current season Reference year only
Data entry, analysis & report writing 3 days 6 days
TOTAL 2 weeks 4 weeks


Limitations of a rapid HEA

Because a rapid HEA involves a smaller sample size than a standard HEA, the results are less reliable. The results of a rapid HEA are not valid beyond the year when the assessment is carried out, unlike a full HEA that can typically be used for at least 5 years. 
It is therefore not advised to use the results of a rapid HEA to inform longer-term programming.

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