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.
Click here to read the full review in Global Public Health.
Click here to order your hardcover, paperback or e-book copy of The Uncounted: Politics of data in global health, for 20% off using code DAVIS20 at checkout.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought questions around global healthcare financing and equitable access to treatments to the fore. But this is not the first time a spotlight has been thrown on the thorny issue of fair resource allocation in efforts to tackle global health issues. In her book, “The Uncounted: Politics of Data in Global Health” (Cambridge University Press), Dr Sara Davis considers how human rights issues can affect the data which underlie global healthcare funding. She looks closely at the indicators which drive resource allocation, the metrics used to measure success in tackling health issues, and the people whose experiences healthcare data often fails to capture. Ultimately, in a world of finite resources, this data plays an important role in determining who is more likely to live or die.
Available on Spotify or Soundcloud, here.
Interview with: Sara Davis (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
Host: Natasha Holcroft-Emmess
Producer/Editor: Christy Callaway-Gale
Executive Producer: Kira Allmann
Music: Rosemary Allmann
Photo: DFID – UK Department for International Development/flickr, CC BY 2.0
Reprinted from Med in Switzerland #21, Medicus Mundi International.
As the International AIDS Conference holds its first virtual meeting, it’s time to consider the politics that create gaps in data for the fight against HIV, writes Sara L.M. Davis
This year was supposed to be a celebration – the year we reached the milestones set by the UN General Assembly to end HIV by 2030. But as the International AIDS Conference, the world’s largest meeting of HIV scientists, officials and activists, convenes online, it is clear that the world is far off track. Why? Continue reading
This webinar was organized on June 26, 2020 by the Kampala Initiative: Challenging Realities of “Aid”. Speakers included Dr. John Waters (Caribbean Vulnerable Communities) and Hayden Barthelmy (GrenCHAP), civil society activists from the Caribbean who successfully conducted an HIV study in partnership with communities and researchers; Dr. Carolyn Gomes, winner of the UN Human Rights Prize and Alternate Board Member representing Developing Countries NGO Delegation on the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; and Sara (Meg) Davis.
Click here for the slides and here for the recording.
I can’t quite believe this is finally happening, but…my new book, The Uncounted: Politics of Data in Global Health, will launch with a virtual conversation between me and Ryan Whitacre on Thursday, June 11th, from 16:00 – 17:00 CET. The webinar is co-sponsored by the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute; GENDRO; and the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action.
Register here to get the Zoom link, and you can order the hardcover and ebook here — a more affordable paperback will be out in a few months.
I just turned in my book manuscript, The Uncounted: Politics of Data in Global Health to the publisher this week. It will come out in mid-2020, if all goes well.
Meanwhile, here’s something I’ve been playing with: questions to ask if you’re in a global health meeting and confronting a slide presentation with indicators, targets and models.
In 2017 I was honored to be one of three recipients of the International Geneva Award from the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS). Here’s a 4-minute video interview about that work, now transmogrifying into part of my forthcoming book, The Uncounted: Politics of Data in Global Health. Many thanks to Ruxandra Stoicescu and the SNIS team.
Last month I got to join this great online webinar, “The Global Fund, Governance and Public Health”, with AIDS-activist-turned-prof Matt Kavanagh (Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute) and Dr. Eric Goosby (UCSF, currently UN Special Envoy on TB and former head of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR), moderated by Philip Landrigan (Boston College).
Matt shared his recent study on the impact of the Global Fund on good governance in countries, Dr. Goosby and I shared comments, and we had a rich, focused discussion with some good audience questions. In hindsight, I only wish that I had spoken slower 🙂
Listen to the recording, and see the slides, here.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (WHO) and Ambassador François Rivasseau (France). Photo: The Global Fund
Meg Davis and David Ruiz Villafranca
This blog appeared on Health and Human Rights.
In exploring what can be learned from the experience of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in the shift towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), speakers on a recent high-level panel in Geneva pointed to three key lessons: the importance of embracing health as a human right; the role of the Global Fund’s investments in building stronger health and community systems and in advocating for the rights of key populations, women and girls; and the central role played by communities in advocating for their rights and in planning, implementing and evaluating the HIV response.
In 2016, UN member states committed to two goals as part of the big global push to end AIDS: Ensure that 30% of all HIV service delivery is community-led, and ensure that 6% of HIV resources are allocated to advocacy, community mobilization, and other “social enablers”. But a recent UNAIDS report to which I contributed found that instead, global investment in these two commitments has declined. Continue reading