What is RaMPS?
RaMPS is a PAHO surveillance tool to quickly assess noncommunicable disease (NCD) policies and interventions using mobile phones. The RaMPS initiative was developed and first launched in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to rapidly collect NCD data when traditional surveillance efforts were paused. Mobile phone surveys are being used as an efficient, low-cost method to collect timely data from adults that can complement traditional NCD surveillance systems. RaMPS do not replace household surveys.
Through the use of mobile phone surveys, RaMPS is aimed to strengthen NCD surveillance capacity in countries to generate, analyze and disseminate accurate and timely data on the NCD policies and interventions at the population level.
Target population: adults aged 18 and older with access to a mobile phone.
Questionnaire: short set of questions on NCD policies and interventions, and population knowledge, attitudes and practices related with NCDs and their risk factors.
Mode: computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) conducted by trained interviewers.
Sampling: probability sampling of mobile phone numbers stratified by mobile network operator and by geography (where feasible). Allocation of sample based on the known distribution of the country population by sex and age.
Selection: random-digit dialing (RDD). Numbers are randomly generated using information from national telephone system. Mobile only. No landlines.
Periodicity: per countries need, and to assess the presence or absence of specific NCD policies.
Country support through the Ministry or Department of Health.
Ethical conduct: surveillance should adhere to the WHO Guidelines on Ethical Issues in Public Health Surveillance. The protocol should be submitted to a local research ethics committee and PAHO's committee (PAHOERC) to confirm it is not human subjects research and is thus exempted from ethics review.
Interviewer training: ensures that local interviewers understand the questionnaire, utilize standard data collection procedures and adhere to data quality assurance protocols.
Data collection timeline: 4-5 weeks.
Use of data
PAHO supports countries to implement the tool and countries are encouraged to produce factsheets, executive summaries, and coordinate the launch of the results with local media.
Data produced by RaMPS can be used to assess the implementation of NCD policies and interventions and serve as evidence to support policymakers.
Partners in the initiative
- Ministries of Health (MoH)
- Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Research Triangle Institute (RTI International)