What is PanamSTEPS?

It's a step-by-step method used for recollecting, analyzing and publish basic information to surveille risk factors and noncommunicable diseases. PAHO, in collaboration with Geneva WHO headquarters, adapted the original STEPS methodology and created Panamerican STEPS (STEPS PanAm), a tool and methodology that respond to the region's needs. Its implementation is recommended every 4 to 5 years.

How is it applied?

PanamSTEPS has three levels of "steps" of risk factor assessment:

  1. Application of questionnaire
  2. Physical measurements
  3. Biochemical measurements

These three steps contain minimum basic data to surveille noncommunicable diseases. It is sufficiently flexible to allow each country to expand on the core variable and risk factors, and to incorporate optional modules related to local or regional interests.

  • Manual: PanamSTEPS provides instructions and support material for countries that want to start the process of surveilling risk factors using STEPS approach for risk factors and chronic diseases. 
  • eSTEPS: It is an electronic tool to collect data for the PanamSTEPS approach. The app is currently available for the Android operating system. eSTEPS provides the following benefits:
    • immediate error-checking during data collection
    • ability to track fieldwork progress in real time
    • ability to send data to centralized server as it is collected
    • fewer materials to be carried by data collectors
    • no data entry needed
    • eSTEPS app can be downloaded from Google Play Store or clicking here:

Why apply this tool?

PanamSTEPS was designed to help countries to build and strengthen their capacity to conduct surveillance. Similarly,PanAm STEPS serves as a harmonizing tool to collect and display data throughout the Region in a unifying way.