As one of the four clusters of the Asia Network for Capacity Building in Health Systems Strengthening, the Equity Cluster aims to strengthen capacity in the Asia-Pacific region and countries to use up to date concepts, methods and knowledge to understand and assess inequities in health systems and to identify determinants and drivers of inequities, and through that to implement effective policy and health system responses to achieve more equitable health systems. The equity cluster seeks to do this by strengthening the capacity, skills and knowledge of policy-makers, managers and technical experts in Asia-Pacific countries through training based on global and regional best practice, and through training-of-trainers activities to strengthen the capacity of regional training institutions and network members to support these objectives.
A core focus of the equity cluster training effort is to enable professionals to speak a “common language” about equity in health and health systems, to understand why equity should be important, and to achieve deeper understanding of what drives equity in health and health systems, and the role that value judgments play. Upon completion of the cluster’s main course, participants should have developed the skills to understand and assess the equity performance of their own health systems, across a range of dimensions including financing, financial protection, service delivery and health outcomes; to understand what criteria and indicators can be used to assess health systems’ equity performance, and be familiar with the tools and resources available to measure them; to have learnt about key global experiences in thinking about and navigating the political challenges of making health systems more equitable; and to understand potential policy responses and interventions to improve equity in health systems, and be able to develop action plans for their own countries. Training provided by the equity cluster will draw on global knowledge and perspectives, but will emphasize their illustration through Asian experiences, so as to give participants both a global and regional perspective on the issues.
To support the capacity building effort in the region, the equity cluster will also offer training in statistical methods for health systems equity analysis which aims to train participants to use and apply established statistical methods to analyze household and other micro-data to measure and explore health systems equity, including inequities in financing, delivery, healthcare utilization, risk protection and health outcomes drawing on regional capacity and experience in applying and using such methods.