Developing Equitable, Evidence-Based Policies and Strategies for Mothers, Newborns, and Young Children Using the EQUIST Tool


Adeline Azrack, UNICEF
Mickey Chopra, World Bank
Carlos Carrera, UNICEF

EQUIST is a web-based strategic planning, modeling and monitoring tool to support health systems strengthening in developing and middle-income countries. It was developed to assist the global health community in determining equity issues affecting maternal, newborn and child health in a more systematic and evidence-based way. The tool guides users to work through options for reducing MNCH disparities, design cost-effective health strategies that will lead to more resilient health systems, and develop equity-focused policies and operational plans for improving the coverage of quality MNCH services.   Participants will be oriented on the tool through a simulation exercise using practical examples of MNCH systems challenges in developing countries. Users will be led through a systematic process to assess weaknesses in health systems, prioritize strategies to address the constraints, and to compare the costs and benefits of the strategies. Participants will gain hands-on experience using this exciting tool for their own country contexts.