Equitap is a network of research groups in the Asia-Pacific region, bound by a shared commitment to inform the development of more equitable health systems in their countries, through collaboration to jointly profile, compare and analyze equity in their health systems. That commitment is expressed both in joint research and communication, as well as a core emphasis on building capacity for health systems equity research in its participating institutions.
Equitap has been continuously engaged since 2001 in profiling the overall equity performance of health systems, emphasizing equity in financing and delivery. With members in over 20 Asia-Pacific countries, it provides a unique platform for joint, cross-country and comparative research on specific equity research and policy issues.
Equitap's work has been highly influential in transforming the understanding of how and whether different health systems in the region achieve equity. Its work on inequalities in out-of-pocket payments has increased the attention given to financial risk protection in health policies, and informed the decision of the UK government to support countries who abolish user fees for health. At the same time, its comparative profiling of the targeting of government health spending has drawn attention to the feasibility of health systems in developing countries reaching the poor. In the methodological area, the standard protocols field tested during Equitap 1 form the core methods published by the World Bank Institute in its guidelines for equity analysis using household survey data.