A glossary of policy frameworks: the many forms of ‘universalism’ and policy ‘targeting’

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The recognition that certain characteristics (such as poverty, disadvantage or membership of marginalised social or cultural groups) can make individuals more susceptible to illness has reignited interest in how to combine universal programmes and policies with ones targeted at specific groups. However, ‘universalism’ and ‘targeting’ are used in different ways for different purposes. In this glossary, we define different types and approaches to universalism and targeting. We anticipate that greater clarity in relation to what is meant by ‘universalism’ and ‘targeting’ will lead to a more nuanced debate and practice in this area.

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