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Bull World Health Organ. 1993; 71(1): 15–21.
PMCID: PMC2393426

Rapid evaluation methods (REM) of health services performance: methodological observations.


The rapid evaluation method (REM) was developed by WHO in order to assess the performance and quality of health care services, identify operational problems, and assist in taking managerial action. It was tested in five developing countries (Botswana, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Uganda and Zambia) between 1988 and 1991. REM consists of a set of observation- and survey-based diagnostic activities, carried out mainly in health care facilities. The article describes the various steps of REM, methodological issues such as setting objectives and using an issue-information matrix, preparation of survey instruments, use of computer software (Epi Info), data quality control, fieldwork, and the use of data to produce useful information for decision-makers. REM aims at bringing prompt and relevant information to planners and decision-makers who need it for a specific purpose. In the present examples, REM provided information for preparing a programme proposal for external funding, for establishing baseline data for a situation analysis, and for assessing staff performance after extensive training in order to improve the curriculum.

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Selected References

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