My research agenda weaves through concerns with visibility and inequality in global health. This work draws on my experience as both an anthropologist and a human rights advocate working in collaboration with activists in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, to reflect on how different forms of power shape what we know (or think we know) in global health. I am especially interested in the collision between qualitative, legal and quantitative forms of knowledge, and how to disrupt and shift power in global health in the current digital transformation. Above all, I’m always interested in how to take these abstract questions and make them useful in policy work.

Digital Health and Rights: A Participatory Action Research Project

While new technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) could transform weak health systems in low-resource settings, human rights experts have highlighted real threats to privacy, equality, and autonomy. These risks are greater for youth and for marginalised, criminalised groups, such as people living with HIV, migrants, women and girls, and key populations vulnerable to HIV and tuberculosis – who rarely have input into the policy decisions that shape what kinds of data are gathered about them, by whom, and how that data is used or managed.

I am principal investigator of this consortium project, which includes the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), STOPAIDS, KELIN, and researchers at BRAC University, Universidad de los Andes, and the University of Oslo. We are working together using a participatory action research approach develop five country case studies on digital health and human rights of young adults, and to reflect on the results for policy and action. Our focus countries include Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Vietnam. See more here and subscribe to our mailing list.

Human rights, civil society and pandemic governance

What human rights need to be upheld in any future pandemic lawmaking, and what should the role of those most affected by pandemics be in future pandemic governance mechanisms? Working in collaboration with civil society activists and drawing on human rights standards and principles, as well as lessons learned from the past, I’m interested to explore how the response to the Covid-19 crisis should address inequalities and redress human rights violations, by centering the voices of women, marginalized groups, and others who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and the response.