The shift from international health development to global health in the sixty-
year-old postcolonial infrastructure of transnational health aid is not a
simple case of new bottles for old wine. Emergent trends attending to the
desires for global health reveal complex transformations in the practices
of audit, funding, and intervention. One of the most important features of
this shift has been the growing push for and reliance upon specific kinds of
quantitative metrics that make use of evidence-based statistical measures,
experimental research platforms, and cost-effectiveness rubrics for even
the most intractable health problems and most promising interventions.
Anthropologists have been writing in interesting ways about these shifts,
and we sense a need for both applause and caution in the embrace of these
rubrics for doing health work in global ways. This book offers a series of
ethnographic explorations of these trends, focusing on the on-the-ground
realities of what we might call metrics work while also investigating the ex-
pectations and accomplishments that the metrics create, for better or worse,
in global health today.
Global Health: Rupture and Persistence
The phrase global health is used to name a variety of familiar and unfamiliar
activities, most of which are in perpetual motion. Chapter 1 offers a more
complete overview of the central argument of the book, mapping the tra-
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