Equinet Africa

EQUINET, the Regional Network on Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa, is a network of professionals, civil society members, policy makers, state officials and others within the region who have come together as an equity catalyst, to promote and realise shared values of equity and social justice in health.

EQUINET gathers people to overcome isolation, give voice and promote networking using bottom-up approaches built on shared values. We have come together in a spirit of self determination and collective self reliance working through existing government, civil society, research and other mechanisms and institutions in East and Southern Africa.

EQUINET is building a forum for dialogue, learning, sharing of information and experience and critical analysis. We do this to build knowledge and perspectives, shape effective strategies, strengthen our voice nationally, regionally and globally and to buiild strategic alliances to influence policy, politics and practice towards health equity and social justice.

EQUINET's work covers a wide range of areas identified as priorities for health equity, within the political economy of health, health services and inputs to health, covered in the theme areas shown on this site. EQUINET is governed by a steering committee with representatives from institutions in the region, has five cluster leads that co-ordinate major areas of work and has a secretariat at the Training and Research Support Centre Zimbabwe.

EQUINET meeting in Lusaka on health and wellbeing of urban youth, June 2018

TARSC as cluster lead of the “Equity Watch” work in EQUINET has been exploring urban health in east and southern African (ESA) countries, gathering diverse forms of evidence from literature review, analysis of quantitative data, internet searches on practices and a participatory validation amongst different social groups of youth. Lusaka District Health Authority (LDHO) has a history of over a decade of using participatory reflection and action (PRA) approaches to strengthen health literacy. In 2018, TARSC and LDHO hosted a meeting to explore the views of youth in the city on their health and wellbeing to better integrate this group within the health literacy programme, involving also selected Harare youth who had participated in a similar programme with TARSC and the CFHD in Harare.  The two day participatory meeting heard from different groups of Lusaka urban youth their perceptions and experiences on urban health and wellbeing; facilitated exchanges between Lusaka and Harare youth on urban health and wellbeing; identified the implications for urban health literacy and urban primary health care, and shared this with relevant authorities in Lusaka. The report of the meeting and other documents on the urban health work are available online.

EQUINET Desk review on “A critical assessment of different health financing options in east and southern African countries”

Call closed

This critical assessment of different health financing options in east and southern African countries is being commissioned by the Regional Network for Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa (EQUINET) through and in collaboration with key regional partners. It aims to inform policy makers on the positive and negative implications and issues to consider in applying the different domestic public health financing options current being explored, advocated and implemented in east and southern Africa -  including mandatory national health insurance; social health insurance, community based health insurance, voluntary insurance, earmarked taxes, wealth taxes, other direct/ indirect taxes and other sources. 

The paper will identify from online sources the different domestic public health financing options currently being explored, advocated and implemented in east and southern African countries, including in relation to financing policies for equitable universal health systems and for universal health coverage. 

Thereafter, using available grey and published literature from experience in other countries within and beyond the region; and drawing on experiences of advanced implementers of these different health financing options in and beyond the region, the paper will review the implications of each health financing option in terms of:   its stability relative to macroeconomic contexts;  its fiscal implications; the levels and potential share of revenue for universal public sector led health systems and UHC;  its progressiveness; its implications for pooling, income and risk cross subsidies and equity and potential to enable equitable allocation based on need; its efficiency and ease of their collection methods; its potential for and drivers of cost escalation; and its political and social acceptability. 

Noting that there is no one-size fits all policy on health financing and that specific country contexts affect decisions on health financing, the paper will provide, for each financing option, information on the contexts or conditions that are relevant to its application and as relevant to the specific features above. For each of the financing options the paper will raise the administrative implications and the immediate/short term and longer-term issues to be addressed in their implementation in east and southern African countries if they are to support equitable progression towards universal health coverage and health system strengthening.  

The paper will be produced as an EQUINET discussion paper and will be used to prepare a policy brief. It may be used thereafter as source material by the author for journal publication.  It will be drafted, reviewed and final version produced between end September 2018 and beginning March 2019. EQUINET will organise internal and external review and will organise for and support the author to present the paper at a relevant policy forum within the region, including to hear feedback and follow up issues. 

Latest Equinet Publications

Policy paper 7: Equity in health in Southern Africa: Turning values into practice
EQUINET Steering Committee (2000 September)
Values, policies and rights
Southern Africa Regional
Policy paper 8: An examination of public sector subsidies to the private health sector: A Zimbabwe case study
Mudyarabikwa, O; University of Zimbabwe Medical School (2000 September)
Resource allocation and health financing