By Hanna E. Huffstettler & Benjamin Mason Meier
The uncounted: Politics of data in global health, by Sara L. M. Davis, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 2020, 310 pp., US$35.99 (paperback), ISBN 9781108704830
The politics that shape data creation and utilisation hold the power to construct visibility in global health. This visibility through data – or lack thereof – not only influences what programmes and populations receive support, but ultimately plays a role in shaping who lives and who dies. This is the message at the heart of The Uncounted, which interrogates how quantitative evidence is developed and implemented in global health. Following from an initial article written under the same title three years ago, Sara Davis examines the global fight against HIV/AIDS to both acknowledge the necessity of data in global health and thoughtfully critique how data are gathered, transformed, and operationalised. The resulting book – intended for both scholars and practitioners – finds new meaning against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has underlined the limitations of data utilization in public health policy.
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