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Social Anthropology: Events


Metrics and Markets: Counting Everything in Global Health

Metrics and Markets: Counting Everything in Global Health
Speaker: Professor Vincanne Adams # University of California
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Date and Time
18th Sep 2015 15:00 - 18th Sep 2015 16:00
Meadows Lecture Theatre

The recent shift from International Health Development to Global Health Sciences has ushered in complex transformations in the practices of audit, funding, and intervention in the effort to improve health outcomes on a global scale.  One of the most important features of this shift has been the growing reliance on specific kinds of quantitative metrics that make use of evidence-based measures, experimental research platforms, and cost-effectiveness rubrics for even the most intractable problems and most promising interventions. Collectively these trends pose a problem of knowledge in relation to how we understand efficacy and how we pay for these efforts.  By tracing the shift from DALYs to Randomized Controlled Trials in global health, this paper investigates how counting practices matter not only in relation to health but also in relation to market-driven commercial funding infrastructures.  When do efforts to “scale up” become the best indices for successful innovation and, alternatively, when do they become an impediment to health?  Do public-private for-profit partnerships in global health work to improve health outcomes and what metrics should be used to determine this? These and other questions will be pursued in this paper.

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