What is the Equity Informative Economic Evaluation ("triple E") Special Interest Group?
Equity in health and healthcare is an area of growing global policy interest. Health economists are familiar with well-established economic evaluation methods that provide information about the efficiency of alternative healthcare and public health decisions in terms of aggregate costs and benefits. However, there is now a growing literature and interest in using the methods of economic evaluation to provide information about equity in the distribution of costs and benefits.
Many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are seeking to expand their health systems on the path to universal health coverage, while many high-income countries (HICs) are struggling to maintain universal coverage in the face of rising healthcare costs. All countries face equity dilemmas about who receives access to which health services, at what level of public subsidy, and about how to tackle persistent social inequalities in health.
This group will seek to be at the forefront of the application and development of methods for using economic evaluation to provide useful information about equity impacts and trade-offs in health care and public health decision-making. As this area of work grows, we hope to provide a platform to connect those who are interested in equity and economic evaluation to share ideas and information about training, and to foster international collaboration and to build a network for experienced researchers as well as newcomers.
The group will seek to be inclusive and eclectic. We welcome researchers working on equity issues in both HIC and LMIC countries, using diverse methods, and addressing the full range of distributional equity concerns that arise in economic evaluation and health technology assessment in healthcare and public health - including concern for unfair differences in health, healthcare delivery and financial protection that are related to social factors, disease categories and other equity-relevant characteristics of concern to decision makers such as end-of-life, rare conditions, severity of illness, age and disability discrimination.
Aim & Objectives
Aim: To bring together health economists across the globe with an interest in using economic evaluation to provide decision makers with useful information about health equity.
- To encourage the development and synthesis of methods for using economic evaluation to address equity concerns.
- To provide a networking space to facilitate international collaboration between health economists interested in equity and economic evaluation, specifically related to developing early career researcher networks.
- To share information on projects, publications and training resources in order to keep members up-to-date with the latest research and methods in the field.
- To ensure that issues confronting LMIC researchers (e.g. severe data constraints) are recognised and seen as a core consideration in developing methods of equity informative economic evaluation.
- To draw on expertise from other academic disciplines and the policy sphere in order to create a higher standard of debate in the application of economics to health and health care systems.
Initial survey of members
Once the group is set up, there will be a brief survey seeking member’s opinions on aims, objectives and activities, including recommendations for webinar speakers or newsletter content. There will also be a question asking for challenges faced in producing equity informative economic evaluation. This will highlight areas for focus and may differ depending on the researcher’s context including healthcare systems, policy environment and data infrastructure. Analysis of the needs of health economists based in LMICs will be a priority in planning the forthcoming activities. The responses will feed into the planning of the following activities.
Periodic email updates
An email update will be sent to all members periodically (e.g. once every two months) including recently published papers in the field, SIG activities (such as webinars or congress meetings) and any relevant national or international policy developments or consultations that may be applicable.
The group proposes delivering two webinars a year. Each webinar will comprise two presentations showcasing empirical or methodological work that uses economic evaluation to address equity concerns. The presentations will be short (around 10 - 15 minutes) and will be followed by facilitated questions. Presentations and papers (if available) will be circulated to the group following the session. The webinars will also be archived on the website if that facility is available. Members of the group will be asked if they would like to present, or they may recommend presenters. A balance of contribution from LMICs and HICs will be a priority. Presenters external to iHEA will also be invited to encourage research which may have a broader impact and an interdisciplinary focus.
Face-to-face learning and networking
The group will meet together for a session at the iHEA biennial conference subject to approval via the Scientific Committee process. The session may either involve a series of presentations or may take a more interactive workshop approach. Informal social meet-ups will also be organised to provide the opportunity for group members to network informally.
There will be a group set up within the iHEA members’ community area to facilitate discussion among members throughout the year and the opportunity to share work, ask questions or highlight developments in the field.
EEE SIG Conveners
Name: Naomi Gibbs
Affiliation: PhD student, Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Centre in Public Health and Economic Decision Science, University of Sheffield, UK.
Web page: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/scharr/staff-pgrs/studentprofiles/naomigibbs
Naomi’s PhD focuses on decision modelling to inform alcohol pricing policy decisions in South Africa. Her undergraduate degree was a BSc in Economics from the University of Manchester, graduating with the Manchester School Prize for Economics, and she has an MSc in Economics and Health Economics from Sheffield, funded by a UK NIHR studentship.
In between her undergraduate and postgraduate training she worked in the third sector, initially working with refugees in Sheffield before moving to the British Red Cross facilitating leadership development and broader learning provision, before joining the University of Sheffield in 2015 to work on a national evaluation of a programme supporting individuals with multiple needs (substance misuse, homelessness, mental ill health and reoffending). During this time she gained experience designing and delivering seminars, webinars and conferences.
Name: Andrew Mirelman
Affiliation: Technical Officer, The World Health Organisation. Associate, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
Andrew works as a Technical Officer at the World Health Organisation in the Health Systems Governance and Finance team. He was previously a Research Fellow in the Global Health Economics group at the University of York’s Centre for Health Economics (CHE). His research deals with economic issues of policy evaluation and decision-making in low and middle-income countries. He has several years of experience conducting cost-effectiveness analyses in different country settings. He also currently works on developing methods for using economic evaluation to address equity concerns and for estimating opportunity cost thresholds as part of the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI) network. He is a Non-resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), an international think tank, and an Associate Consultant with LAMP Development Ltd. He obtained his PhD and MPH from the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014 where his dissertation focused on the economics of chronic disease in rural Bangladesh.
Name: Richard Cookson
Affiliation: Professor, Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK.
Web page: https://www.york.ac.uk/che/staff/research/richard-cookson/
Richard Cookson is a professor at the Centre for Health Economics, University of York, and an honorary public health academic, Public Health England. He has helped to pioneer “equity-informative” methods of health policy analysis including methods of distributional cost-effectiveness analysis; methods of health equity monitoring for healthcare quality assurance; and methods for investigating public concern for reducing health inequality. He has co-chaired various international working groups on equity, and his UK public service includes working in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and serving on NICE advisory committees and the NHS Advisory Committee for Resource Allocation.
Name: Stephane Verguet
Affiliation: Assistant Professor of Global Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA.
Stéphane Verguet is Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Verguet’s multidisciplinary research focuses on health decision science and priority setting, particularly the development of mathematical and computational decision-making models to better design health policies. His research interests include health economics, cost-effectiveness analysis, equity, and health systems performance. Most recently, he has been working on the estimation of non-health benefits, particularly the poverty alleviation benefits, of health policies and interventions.
Name: Ijeoma Edoka
Affiliation: Research director at PRICELESS SA, University of Witswatersrand, South Africa.
Web page: https://www.wits.ac.za/publichealth/staff/ijeoma-edoka/
Dr Ijeoma Edoka is a health economist with several years’ experience in applied health econometrics. Her research focuses on health systems research in low and middle income countries and the application of economic tools in setting health priorities. Dr Edoka also leads a number of capacity building initiatives aimed at strengthening health economics capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining PRICELESS, Dr Edoka was a research fellow at the Institute for Global Health and Development, Edinburgh.
Membership is open to iHEA members who are working and/or studying in the field.
Membership can be requested by logging in to the iHEA website, selecting the "groups" section and clicking "request to join" by the SIG name. Membership is approved by the convener(s) of the SIG.