Measurement of health equity as a driver for impacting policies

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Social Research Center (SRC)

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Research Article

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Health Promotion International

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© 2014 The Author. This paper proposes measurement tracks of health equity (HE) and presents practical illustrations to influence, inform and guide the uptake of equity-sensitive policies. It discusses the basic requirements that allow the effective use of the proposed measurement tracks. Egypt is used as a demonstration of this practice. The paper differentiates between the policy needs of two groups of countries. The first set of measurement tracks are specifically tailored to countries at the early stages of considering health equity, requiring support in placing HE on the policy agenda. Key messages for this group of countries are that the policy influence of measurement can be strengthened through the implementation of four self-reinforcing tracks that recognize the need to effectively use the available current databases prior to engaging in new data collection, emphasize the importance of a social justice reframing of the documented health inequities, present health inequity facts in simple visual messages and move beyond the why to what needs to be done and how. The tracks also recognizes that placing an issue on the policy agenda is a complex matter requiring reinforcement from many actors and navigation among competing forces and policy circles. For the second group of countries the paper discusses the monitoring framework. The key messages include the importance of moving toward a more comprehensive system that sustains the monitoring system which is embedded within affective participatory accountability mechanisms. The paper discusses the basic requirements and the institutional, financial, technical and human capacity-building considerations for implementing the proposed measurement tracks.

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