How to Conduct a Rapid Community Assessment
A Guide to Understanding Your Community’s Needs Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines
Rapid community assessment (RCA) is a process for quickly collecting community insights about a public health issue in order to inform program design. The assessment involves reviewing existing data and conducting community-based interviews, listening sessions, observations, social listening, and surveys.
On this page, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares an assessment guide and tools for those who wish to better understand their community’s needs regarding COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake among adults, adolescents, and children.
- To identify communities at risk for low COVID-19 vaccine uptake among adults, adolescents, or children.
- To understand what communities are thinking about COVID-19 vaccines for adults, adolescents, and children, and plan for potential solutions to increase confidence and uptake.
- To identify community leaders, trusted messengers, and other important channels through which you can reach communities.
- To identify areas of intervention and prioritize potential intervention strategies to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake.
Sample Rapid Community Assessment
Prior to starting a rapid community assessment, get support from the leadership of your health department, coalition, or organization for conducting the assessment and creating a plan for action. Early awareness and support from leadership makes it more likely findings will be put to good use in planning and guiding vaccination efforts.
Week 1: Planning and Buy-In
- Identify main objectives and your community(ies) of focus.
- Identify and form assessment team.
- Review existing data.
Week 2: Implementation and Analysis
- Use decision tool to identify data collection methods.
- Conduct data collection.
- Synthesize key findings across different tools and identify interventions for prioritization.
Week 3: Report Findings and Plan for Action
- Write report (narrative, one-page summary, slide presentation).
- Share/report out assessment results with the assessment team and wider community (department of health officials, healthcare providers, school officials, and other partners).
- Prioritize solutions and develop implementation plans.
- Evaluate your efforts and plan for future community engagement.
Download, edit, or print Word versions of the tools:
- COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Learning Template
- Implementation Guide for Community Interviews and Listening Sessions
- Intercept Interviews
- Social Listening and Monitoring Tools
- Insights Synthesis Tool
Download ZIP file in:
Download and use the RCA Findings PowerPoint Presentation Template:
- Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines
- What is Vaccine Confidence?
- COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Data
- 12 COVID-19 Strategies for Your Community
- Community Engagement Playbook (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) – Guidance on what programs/partners could consider as they develop a plan for engaging communities, to include four phases and nine key activities of community engagement.