Monitoring equity and research to policy

Regional Equity Watch 2012: Assessing progress towards equity in health in East and Southern Africa

The 2012 Regional Equity Analysis can be downloaded in two parts on the EQUINET website. The 2012 Regional Equity Watch updates the 2007 EQUINET Regional analysis of equity in health, drawing on the Equity Watch framework developed by EQUINET in cooperation with the East, Central and Southern African Health Community and in consultation with WHO and UNICEF, with some modifications given its regional nature. The report provides evidence from 16 countries in East and Southern Africa, including more detailed evidence from the country Equity Watch reports, on 25 progress markers of equity in health in the region. For further information or hardcopy orders please contact admin [at]

The Equity Watch and equity monitoring

An Equity Watch is a means of monitoring progress on health equity by gathering, organizing, analysing, reporting and reviewing evidence on equity in health. It assesses the status and trends in a range of priority areas of health equity and to check progress on measures that promote health equity against commitments and goals. Reports have now been produced in six countries - Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, available on the EQUINET website. A regional equity analysis was produced in 2012 covering the 16 countries in EQUINET. The work has been done in association with the ECSA Health Community and in dialogue with WHO and UNICEF. On April 26 to 28th 2012 EQUINET held a regional workshop in Cape Town South Africa that included training on equity analysis; review of the country equity watch work and follow up country and district work; and review of the draft regional equity analysis 2012, as input to the dialogue on ongoing country work on planning, monitoring and research on health equity, including in relation to the regional resolutions and the MDGs. The report of the meeting can be found on the EQUINET website.

50th ECSA Regional Health Ministers Conference calls for monitoring of inequalities in health and EQUINET implements the EQUITY WATCH

The 50th ECSA Regional Health Ministers Conference, noting the 30th and 34th HMC resolutions on ensuring health equity and that it will be difficult and in some cases not possible to achieve the MDGs without reducing health inequalities, urged Member States to report on evidence on health equity and progress in addressing inequalities in health and directed the Secretariat to strengthen capacities and measures to monitor and report on progress in addressing inequalities in health.

In follow up to its Regional Equity Analysis, EQUINET is now supporting work and networking to produce an Equity Watch in 5 countries of east and southern Africa. The Equity Watch
* tracks and engages on priority indicators of equity in health and health care
* monitors progress against commitments and goals,
* identifies areas for research, advocacy
* critiques and offer positive alternatives to negative influences and initiatives harmful of equity, and
* exchanges information on promising practice.

A report of the 2009 regional methods meeting held to review the methods and progress markers for the watch can be found at The work is now underway is selected countries in the region. EQUINET is working with ECSA HC and liaising with its Monitoring and Evaluation Expert Group. Please send any input, queries or requests for information to admin [at] with EQUITY WATCH in the subject line.

Drawing from its analysis of equity at regional level in east and southern Africa, and the theme work over the past ten years, EQUINET has developed a framework for analysing equity at country level. This analysis does not simply focus on measuring inequity but also measures the extent to which measures that are known to enhance equity in health are being implemented within health systems. This equity watch is a tool for planners, policy makers, civil society organisations and researchers to assess progress towards policy goals of equity in health held in all countries in east and southern Africa.

Please contact us at admin [at] for further information on how to do an equity analysis or if you would like to be part of an exercise to carry out such analyses at country level.