Health Inequity in Asia : Strengthening Research Capacity to Deepen the Analysis

Equitap, a developing country-led research network, has systematically documented the performance of 15 national health systems in Asia since 2000, with a significant impact on both researchers and policymakers. The first phase of Equitap revealed stark disparities in access to health care and risk protection between rich and poor in most countries. However, it also identified a number of countries at various income levels that were successfully reaching and protecting the poor.

Equitap remains committed to updating its descriptive country analyses as new data become available. It would also like to take the research agenda forward from questions of "what?" and "how much?" to "why?" and "what can we do about it?" But, to do so will require a substantial empirical research effort with fieldwork from many countries.

This grant will allow Equitap to sustain and expand its operations while advancing critical methodological and research questions. Specifically, the network will extend its coverage to include new countries, such as Laos and India; explore the link between system and outcome inequalities using maternal and child health as a tracer; test the feasibility of using adult (as well as child) measures of inequality in health across socioeconomic class; and improve on existing methodologies for studying the effects of catastrophic and out-of-pocket health spending on households. At the same time, Equitap will endeavor to disseminate its findings to policy and research audiences through, among other things, a substantial presence at the International Health Economics Association's 2009 Global Conference in Beijing.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Sunday, June 22, 2008

End Date

Friday, July 22, 2011


24 months

IDRC Officer

Ingabire, Marie-Gloriose

Total funding

CA$ 461,000


South Asia, Central Asia, Far East Asia, Laos


Maternal and Child Health

Project Leader

Dr. Ravi P. Rannan-Eliya


Institute for Health Policy

Institution Country

Sri Lanka

Institution Website