Accepted paper:

Governing the gap: measuring health in Papua New Guinea's 'fragile state'

Authors:

Alice Street (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

How do modes of governance that depend upon routinized systems of measurement operate in places where those measures are absent or chronically unreliable?

Paper long abstract:

How do modes of governance that depend upon routinized systems of measurement operate in places where those measures are absent or chronically unreliable? How does a state govern the health of a population when statistical measures of disease incidence and health care provision are unknowable? How do development agencies continue to justify their interventions in an industry increasingly dominated by 'monitoring and evaluation' when there is no means of measuring the impact of their actions? This paper explores bureaucratic practices of measurement in Papua New Guinea's medical state, a place where government and development agencies have to act on statistics that they do not trust, and where improving measurement has become key to an international state-building agenda.

panel P68
Made to measure: measurement, anthropology and the enlightenment