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The EquiFrame Manual
A tool for Evaluating and Promoting the Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups and Core Concepts of Human Rights in Health Policy Documents


The purpose of this manual is to outline an analytical framework for assessing the degree to which social inclusion and human rights feature in policy and policy-related documents. The framework was developed with regard to health policy documents with the motivation to contribute to enhancing equity in healthcare. In its current form it is directed towards health policy-oriented researchers and policy-makers. It is hoped that this framework can be used to support the systematic review of the content of health policies, as well as being a means of facilitating greater social inclusion and human rights in the revision of existing policies and the development of new policies.

EquiFrame identifies the degree of commitment of a given policy to specified Vulnerable Groups and to Core Concepts of Human Rights. We see social inclusion and human rights as key components of equity in the context of service provision. We hope that health policies, that inculcate the values and importance of equity, are more likely to result in health services that are more justly distributed across the population. This means, in accordance with the World Health Organization (2008), that priority is given to vulnerable groups as healthcare founded on equity contributes to the empowerment and social inclusion of such groups.

 While we do not claim that this manual sets out a definitive approach to the complex concepts and issues it addresses, it is hoped that it does provide a useful step towards health policies more effectively addressing equity, social inclusion and human rights. We also recognise that policy development and policy implementation are critical determinants of the effectiveness of policy content: EquiFrame has been developed very deliberately to focus on the assessment of “policy on the books”. It is not an alternative but, hopefully, it is complementary to, the related and complex processes involved in assessing the development, implementation and evaluation of policy.

We would welcome, very much, ideas for the improvement and the development of EquiFrame, and offer this tool, free-to-download, without copyright restriction. We will also provide annual revisions and updates, available on the same bases, which may be downloaded from EquitAble partner websites (including http://global-health.tcd.ie)

Mannan, H., Amin, M., MacLachlan M. & the EquitAble Consortium. (2011).
The EquiFrame Manual: A tool for Evaluating and Promoting the Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups and Core Concepts of Human Rights in Health Policy Documents. Dublin: Global Health Press.

We are very grateful to other members of the EquitAble consortium who contributed to the development of EquiFrame; to Marcella Maughan for editorial assistance; to Dr Sunil Deepak and Professor Charles Normand for their comments on an earlier version of this manual; and to the European Union’s Framework Programme Seven (FP7) for funding the EquitAble Project (www.equitableproject.org). EquiFrame is a product of the EquitAble Project and is offered as a global public good which may be freely downloaded from the project website, the websites of project partners and other websites hosting it.

Download The EquiFrame Manual 

Published June 1, 2011