Fawcett S, Holt C, Solar-Hormazabal O, et al. Equity Lens Protocol: Reflecting on Harms From the COVID-19 Response and Mitigation Strategies Implemented in a Local Public Health System. Health Promotion Practice. 2023;0(0). doi:10.1177/15248399231173702


This report describes an Equity Lens Protocol and its use to guide partners' systematic reflection on harms and mitigation strategies of the COVID-19 response in a local public health system. This process evaluation tool is based on the Guidance document for assuring an equitable response to COVID-19 prepared by the Pan American Health Organization. We used a participatory approach to engage public health partners in systematically reflecting on harms, mitigation strategies, and lessons learned and implications for practice. Outputs from using this tool included identified: (a) specific harms (e.g., loss of income and challenges to learning) related to particular COVID-19 response measures (e.g., home confinement and school closure) and (b) mitigation strategies implemented to reduce harms. In response to the protocol's guiding questions, partners also identified lessons learned and practice recommendations for strengthening equity work in public health responses (e.g., an equitable response requires an investment in people, structures, and relationships before a crisis). This report, and accompanying protocol, illustrates use of a practical method for systematic reflection on public health responses through an equity lens.