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Abstract

In 2009–10, a Rapid Assessment of the Social and Poverty Impacts of the Economic Crisis was undertaken in Romania to gain timely and in-depth information about the impact of the crisis on particular groups in society. This article assesses the use of a rapid assessment as a Real Time Monitoring (RTM) tool and more broadly discusses the value of RTM in a middle-country context with a myriad of existing data collection and monitoring systems. Findings suggest that a rapid assessment can prove a cost-efficient and valuable tool if the appropriate research expertise and experience is available. The assessment of micro- and macro-level challenges in the education, health and child protection sectors points towards the importance of RTM initiatives being embedded within the wider data collection and monitoring systems. The translation of data and reports into policy influence and impact emerged as a recurrent theme in this study.