How Programs are using the EquityTool to Strengthen Equitable Service Delivery

The EquityTool is a simplified method to quickly and easily assess client wealth profiles, dividing clients into wealth quintiles based on Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data. The tool was launched in December 2015, and has already seen more than 30,000 surveys completed. But it’s not the sheer numbers of users that gets us excited – it’s the impact the EquityTool is making.

In Cambodia, Helen Keller International (HKI) used the EquityTool to measure the relative wealth of participants in their Homestead Food Production program. HKI wanted to understand not only the program’s nutritional benefits and impact on women’s empowerment, but also who was opting to join the program, and how their household wealth changed over time. In only two weeks, HKI conducted 4500 household surveys across four provinces, and was able to immediately calculate equity results. The information collected through the EquityTool has allowed HKI to use wealth data in a way they’ve never been able to do before and to strengthen program operations that improve the health status of women and children. Read the full case study.

Another program, the Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT), a large social franchise organization in India, used the EquityTool to understand how well they were reaching their target population. HLFPPT aims to meet the health needs of a middle-income demographic, positioning themselves between the overburdened government sector, which provides free services, and the often expensive private sector.  HLFPPT conducted surveys across more than 290 franchise facilities in four states and found that they have succeeded in reaching clients of middle-income. They have thus been able to demonstrate the important role they play to decrease the service load in the public sector, and to provide high quality health services for all. Read the full case study.

Metrics for Management now offers free technical assistance for programs interested in using the EquityTool, and continues to develop additional implementation, analysis, and technical guidance, which is available on the EquityTool’s website, www.equitytool.org. M4M has designed advanced user features for the tool, allowing users to add their own questions to the survey platform. Alternatively, users can learn how to incorporate the questions and factor weights into their own data collection methodology. M4M also continues to add new countries to the tool.

Attention to equity is growing, and the EquityTool allows programs to quickly and easily collect data on and interpret the relative wealth of their clients. This allows program leaders to make important service delivery decisions that ensure equitable delivery of health services.

 

A collaborating panel of experts in the field of wealth measurement and the DHS, including USAID, Population Services International, Marie Stopes International, Results for Development, BroadBranch, and Metrics for Management have worked together to develop this validated method to simplify equity assessment.