Anthropology in Global Health?

10 July, 2019

The title of this introduction to a special issue of Anthropology in Action ends with a question mark. On HIFA we don't need to question the role of anthropology in global health - it is very clear that it makes a huge and growing contribution, and we are fortunate to have many anthropologists among our membership. We look forward to discussion and debate on how better to apply anthropological approaches to our understanding of concepts and beliefs of health and illness, community engagement, Ebola response, vaccine hesitancy... to name but a few of the almost unlimited range of global and local health applications.

CITATION: Introduction: Anthropological Knowledge and Practice in Global Health

By: Rodney Reynolds and Isabelle L. Lange

Anthropology in Action, Volume 26 (2019): Issue 1 (Mar 2019): Anthropology in Global Health? Creating a space for critical incongruity

Pages: 1–11

ABSTRACT: Since the turn of the millennium, conceptual and practice-oriented shifts in global health have increasingly given emphasis to health indicator production over research and interventions that emerge out of local social practices, environments and concerns. In this special issue of Anthropology in Action, we ask whether such globalised contexts allow for, recognise and sufficiently value the research contributions of our discipline. We question how global health research, ostensibly inter- or multi-disciplinary, generates knowledge. We query ‘not-knowing’ practices that inform and shape global health evidence as influenced by funders’ and collaborators’ expectations. The articles published here provide analyses of historical and ethnographic field experiences that show how sidelining anthropological contributions results in poorer research outcomes for the public. Citing experiences in Latin America, Angola, Sen-egal, Nigeria and the domain of global health evaluation, the authors consider anthropology’s roles in global health.

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: