The EquityTool was developed to simplify the measurement of client wealth. The comprehensive website includes guidance documents, instructional demos, and training tools for data collectors. Most importantly, data analysis is now automated — simply enter your data and see the wealth distribution of your clients immediately.

Metrics for Management supports the ongoing development of the EquityTool and provides technical assistance for its use. Contact M4M to learn more.

Read the briefing paper on equity.

equity

Metric: Proportion of clients receiving services distributed across national wealth quintiles

Why measure equity

Measuring equity makes it possible for a social service program to know if it is serving its target population. In practice, this most often means understanding whether the program is reaching the poor. While placing service-delivery points in low income neighborhoods and capping prices are critical approaches to encouraging use of health services among the poor, they do not guarantee that the poor are using the services to the degree that is anticipated. Measurement is key.

Few programs have reported on equity in the past. Now, resources for measuring equity are within reach.

Why measure equity using a standardized metric?

Consistent use of the same metric will permit comparison across years, and across programs. This type of analysis can lead to better programmatic decision making.

How can equity be measured?

The MWG advocates for the use of wealth indices adapted from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). The wealth indices measure relative wealth in terms of asset ownership and household characteristics. Using DHS as the source for questions allows for rigorous analysis by sub-populations, as well as useful comparisons within a country context.

Why is equity data valuable?

  • Understand which programs serve the poor, and to what extent
  • Understand if programs are serving specific sub-populations in relation to their need (such as people living with HIV or family planning users)
  • Make evidence-informed decisions
  • Report to donors and policy-makers
  • More broadly, these data are useful for setting global benchmarks

Systematically collected equity data has valuable uses

  • Understand which programs serve the poor, and to what extent
  • Understand if programs are serving specific sub-populations in relation to their need (such as people living with HIV or family planning users)
  • Make evidence-informed decisions
  • Report to donors and policy-makers
  • More broadly, these data are useful for setting global benchmarks