Knowledge Bank

RAPID Outcome Assessment

December 02, 2021, Evaluation Observatory

An organization working in the field of HIV AIDS prevention wanted to understand how their work over the course of twenty-five years had influenced the larger health policy ecosystem – including awareness, key actors, projects, and policies - concerning below poverty line individuals affected by the disease.

Was there a reduction in the stigma associated with the disease? Was there an increase in the number of social organizations addressing issues associated with HIV-AIDs? Did the policy environment shift to enable better health-care services to the affected population?

An ROA is an effective visual tool which can enable the organization to empirically answer these questions.

Developed by the Research and Policy in Development Centre (RAPID) at Overseas Development Institute (ODI), RAPID Outcome Assessment (ROA) is defined as a “learning methodology to assess and map the contribution of a project’s actions on a particular change in policy or the policy environment.” It was developed to assess the impact of research and policy on development effectively.

This visual tool can be easily used along with other evaluation tools and methods including Outcome Mapping, Most Significant Change, Episode Studies etc.

Conducting an ROA, involves three stages:

  • Briefly, an ex-post evaluation is an assessment done after the completion of the project to examine whether the intended project outcomes have been achieved or not, providing information on the project’s effectiveness. It is a useful tool in helping policy makers and program managers in deciding whether to continue or end a given project.

    The ROA Workshops: This step involves mapping the behavioural changes in key actors and identifying external influences (events, trends, shocks) on the project along a given timeline.

    Triangulating and Refining Conclusions: Using information from the first two steps, this step assesses the nature of contribution of the project towards the observed outcomes. Stories of change are developed and triangulated through indepth follow-up interviews with key informants. (RAPID Outcome Assessment, n.d.):

List of recommended resources:

For a broad overview

For in depth understanding

  • Chapter 1 of this resource highlights the utility of RAPID Outcome Mapping Approach for maximising the impact of transdisciplinary research and discusses the experiences of The Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South in applying RAPID Outcome Assessment using case studies.

Case Study

  • This resource is developed by the International Livestock Research Institute and ODI, which use ROA to investigate the role of Research in the Pro-Poor Dairy Policy Shift in Kenya. The Case Study analyses policy changes and presents findings concerning a Smallholder Dairy Project in Kenya.


  • Developed by ODI, this resource describes the key steps in ROA using diagrams.

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