By Noha Zeitoun, PSI
Population Services International’s (PSI) social franchise health clinics prioritize serving the poor in developing countries. But because methods for identifying clients living at the bottom of the pyramid have been imperfect, expensive and used infrequently, it can be difficult to understand how well the franchises perform against this goal. NGOs everywhere experience this problem.
Programs often learn about their impact at the end of a project or after an expensive program evaluation, when it may be too late to improve service delivery. Knowing about the relative wealth of clients in real time permits course correction and can help ensure that programs such as PSI are meeting their goal of providing equitable services to beneficiaries. PSI partnered with USAID; Marie Stopes International; Results for Development; University of California, San Francisco; BroadBranch and Metrics for Management to develop the EquityTool app, a free, easy-to-use, easy-to-interpret way of assessing the relative wealth of program clients.
The EquityTool uses just six to 18 questions from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) Wealth Index for each country and benchmarks the results to national or urban-only comparison groups. The survey is pre-translated into local languages and can be completed in a few short minutes. Functioning online and off, the app allows multiple survey collectors to gather and upload data simultaneously, securing it in a cloud-based database. Users can calculate results automatically and immediately generate a report to use as a real-time management tool.