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The Equity Gauge approach to enhancing equity of access to public health services: research challenges for health in developing countries from the African Gauges' experience

Date: Tuesday 30 October 10.45–12.15
Source: Forum 11
Authors: Thabale Jack Ngulube, Executive Director, Health, Science and Social Research, Health Research and Training, Centre for Health, Science and Social Research (CHESSORE), Zambia
with Thando Ngomane, Itai Rusike, Fredrick Mugisha and Banza Baya


Since 2001, the Global Equity Gauge Alliance (GEGA) has implemented an equity gauge approach as a way to promote greater equity of access to public health system benefits in developing countries. The alliance started with ten gauges and has since expanded to include more countries and reorganized to comprise four groupings as follows: 1) the GEGA headquarters; 2) the African Gauges; 3) the Latin American Gauges; and 4) the Asian Gauges.

The African Gauges have met to distil lessons learnt from the diverse approaches used in addressing equity issues in the public health systems in Burkina Faso, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The equity gauge approach in these African Gauges was undertaken by people with different attributes, whether as university academics, nongovernment organizations, research institutions, or in other capacities.

Taken together, the experiences from these equity gauge initiatives shed some unique light on research challenges for equitable access to health in developing countries and more effective knowledge translation.

The key findings from the African Gauges initiative will be presented as an opportunity for sharing perspectives, joint learning and possible consensus on the way forward. Our experiences of this approach have also persuaded us to advocate for deliberate approaches to adapting research skills in order to deal with identified health challenges for greater access to health services, particularly in the severely constrained public health systems commonly found in developing countries.