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Recently, VfM framework had fourth element added to the list of objectives – Equity. When all four elements are evaluated the framework is often called 4E VFM. 

Equity objectives spans through all three previously mentioned to ensure that the results, impact and outcomes are equitably distributed. So what does it mean?

Before all, let’s make it clear – equity is not the same as equality. Coming back to the example of teaching STEM to kids. Equality would mean that all kids from a specific region have free and equal access to the free classes. But equitable solution would make the classes accessible before all to those, who can’t afford them! 

Just think of it. With all the free classes offered by youth for free on the internet are not taken up by those, who could really benefit from them! They are taken up mostly by kids who can afford to pay for these classes but chose not to, since they are freely available. And those who really need these classes are not aware or have no access to them. You don’t create equity like this. You increase the gap between social classes (rich get richer, poor get poorer). 

Always ask this question – is my solution equal or equitable?