Protection: RAPPAM tool
RAPPAM: A protected areas assessment methodology outlined
The most effective way of administering the questionnaire is to hold a participatory workshop involving protected area managers, administrators, and stakeholders. Participants discuss the questions and their interpretations, agree upon the answers, conduct the analyses, and recommend priorities and possible next steps.
WWF highly recommends the use of a participatory workshop for data collection because such an approach is likely to generate more accurate and thorough data, allow greater stakeholder participation, and be more widely accepted by protected area managers. Participatory workshops allow workshop participants to negotiate a common interpretation of each question, providing a more consistent and standardized approach to the Rapid Assessment Questionnaire system-wide.
However, in some cases, a workshop format may not be effective in eliciting accurate information. Depending on the local culture and circumstances of the assessment, a series of private interviews, followed by small workshops, may be more effective. Depending on the circumstances of the assessment (e.g. unique cultural or biological conditions, biomes other than forests), workshop participants may consider modifying the questionnaire. Modifications may include:
- developing specific indicators and verifiers for each question
- adding new questions
- modifying the wording and/or interpretation of existing questions
- deleting some questions
Perhaps the single most important issue to consider in administering the Rapid Assessment Questionnaire is the accuracy and credibility of the responses. There are several issues that users of this methodology may want to consider in order to ensure reliable data.