IFGH 2010: EquiFrame: A New Framework for Evaluating and Developing Equity and Inclusion Through Health Policy Research and Planning

November 30, 2010

Aim: To develop and evaluate a framework for promoting equity and inclusion in health policies and provide a relevant tool for research seeking to promote equitable policies, especially in resource poor settings.

Method: A framework of 21 Core Concepts based on health as a human right and 12 Vulnerable Groups was developed and used to assess over 70 health policies drawn from Sudan, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, African regional and international health policies. These policies were evaluated in terms of coverage of core concepts, inclusion of vulnerable populations and level of commitment indicated.

Results: All Core Concepts and Vulnerable Groups were mentioned across the policies analysed lending support to the construct validity and relevance of the EquiFrame methodology. However, there was significant variation both between and within country health policies, as well as policies at the regional and international level, in the extend to which they addressed the Core Concepts of right to health and included Vulnerable Groups. A ranking of policies is presented and several particularly strong and weak policies are identified. Recommendations are made for how health polices can be evaluated and developed with regard to social inclusion and human rights.

Conclusions: EquiFrame is a relevant, innovative and informative tool for health policy research, analysis and development. Health systems research which seeks to establish and benchmark equitable health policies can help to design health care systems that addresses the right to health for all, including members of vulnerable groups, in resource poor settings and elsewhere.

Hasheem Mannan, PhD., Project Manager EquitAble: Universal Access to Healthcare for Vulnerable Populations Centre for Global Health Trinity College Dublin 3-4, Foster Place Dublin 2 Ireland






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