Equity Monitoring for Social Marketing: Use of Wealth Quintiles and the Concentration Index for Decision-making in HIV Prevention, Family Planning, and Malaria Programs


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The majority of social marketing programs are intended to reach the poor. It is therefore essential that social marketing organizations monitor the health equity of their programs and improve targeting when the poor are not being reached. Current measurement approaches are often insufficient for decision making because they fail to show a program’s ability to reach the poor and demonstrate progress over time. Further, effective program equity metrics should be benchmarked against a national reference population and consider exposure, not just health outcomes, to measure direct results of implementation. This study compares two measures of health equity, concentration indices and wealth quintiles, using a defined reference population, and considers benefits of both measures together to inform programmatic decision making.