Equity and empowerment lens – first version
Multnomah County, OR
Equity and empowerment lens - first version is a guide to a series of tools that can help an organization assess programs or policies for equity impacts, and implement an action plan to improve equity.
See also: Equity and empowerment lens [updated]
This 120-page comprehensive guide to Multnomah County’s equity and empowerment lens asks a series of questions and uses tools to help an organization consider equity in specific issues, programs, or policies. The guide includes background on its development, an organizational readiness assessment, tips for using the lens, an "action guide" for planning purposes, and eight concept papers to help the user understand key concepts related to the lens and its framework.
The lens itself includes a series of nine questions related to people, place, process, and power (see p. 28). There is an organizational readiness summary and assessment on pp. 23-25, and a worksheet template of the questions that can be used during discussion and analysis on p. 29.
Two additional versions of the lens questions are included that build upon the initial questions. One is specific to resource allocation (pp. 37-38) and the other to policy and decision-making (pp. 39-40). These versions include additional questions related to those topics.
The "moving into action guide" includes details on how to develop an action plan based on the discussion and analysis of the lens questions. A sample action plan is included along with a template action plan. There are evaluation tips and things to consider on pp. 49-53.
Eight concept papers (pp. 54-97) are included to help users understand the underlying framework of the lens.
The document concludes with four appendices that include supplemental materials that support action planning.
When to use
The authors suggest that the Lens be used to identify underlying patterns, barriers, and root causes in processes, policies, programs, and services that can lead to inequities. It can be used by an individual or by a team, and includes guidance for each on pp. 18-19.
The guide can be used step-by-step or in sections, depending on your purpose.
- Organizational assessment: Use it to assess current agency readiness and capacity for equity work.
- Lens questions: Use them to identify existing organizational structures and practices that may contribute to inequities; to engage staff in reflection about health equity; or to help staff understand the strengths and challenges of the organization.
- Action plan: Use this if you are unsure about how to plan next steps. The authors recommend using appendix 1 during action planning, because it includes example strategies and desired outcomes.
- Concept papers: Use these to gain a better understanding of the lens or to build organizational readiness and knowledge.
Things to consider
This is a comprehensive resource that would require a significant time commitment to fully implement.
An updated version (2014) of the Equity and Empowerment Lens has been reviewed for this library: Equity and empowerment lens [updated]. It includes an updated set of equity lens questions, a logic model for achieving equity, and other supplemental tools.
Use this resource