Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Volume 95, Number 2, February 2017, 85-164
Special theme: vulnerable populations
POLICY & PRACTICE
An equity dashboard to monitor vaccination coverage
Catherine Arsenault, Sam Harper, Arijit Nandi, José M Mendoza Rodríguez, Peter M Hansen & Mira Johri
Equity monitoring is a priority for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and for those implementing The 2030 agenda for sustainable development. For its new phase of operations, Gavi reassessed its approach to monitoring equity in vaccination coverage. To help inform this effort, we made a systematic analysis of inequalities in vaccination coverage across 45 Gavi-supported countries and compared results from different measurement approaches. Based on our findings, we formulated recommendations for Gavi’s equity monitoring approach. The approach involved defining the vulnerable populations, choosing appropriate measures to quantify inequalities, and defining equity benchmarks that reflect the ambitions of the sustainable development agenda.
In this article, we explain the rationale for the recommendations and for the development of an improved equity monitoring tool. Gavi’s previous approach to measuring equity was the difference in vaccination coverage between a country’s richest and poorest wealth quintiles. In addition to the wealth index, we recommend monitoring other dimensions of vulnerability (maternal education, place of residence, child sex and the multidimensional poverty index). For dimensions with multiple subgroups, measures of inequality that consider information on all subgroups should be used. We also recommend that both absolute and relative measures of inequality be tracked over time.
Finally, we propose that equity benchmarks target complete elimination of inequalities. To facilitate equity monitoring, we recommend the use of a data display tool – the equity dashboard – to support decision-making in the sustainable development period. We highlight its key advantages using data from Côte d’Ivoire and Haiti.