Health Data as a Global Public Good?

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract The international provision of health data was long considered the responsibility of the World Health Organization (WHO). Recently, there has been a proliferation of actors who produce heath data. The increasingly articulated idea that this data could serve as a global public good (GPG) is intriguing and inspiring. It highlights common interests and the great potential that data has for global health. However, the paper will argue that there are multiple ways in which the idea could be understood and that it runs the risk of portraying GPGs as static end points at which positive results have been achieved. Embracing a broader understanding, the paper will propose that the idea is at its best if it is interpreted as an analytic approach and if (digital) health data is analysed through the lens of the contemporary scholarly literature on GPGs. Such an analysis must also take into consideration in what broader societal context (digital) health data will be embedded. In the present case, this includes discussions regarding the contemporary digital or data economy since any data that is made public will presumably be available in a digital format and become part of this (political) economy. This alerts us to issues such as the big data divide and contemporary business models with their inherent drive towards monopolization, which is often based on network effects and made possible because goods are provided as GPGs, which makes it difficult for competitors to emerge while consumers pay by means other than money.
Authors Eckl, Julian
Language English
Subjects social sciences
political science
health sciences
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SEPS - Global Democratic Governance
Date 20 August 2020
Event Title EASST+4S conference “Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and Agency of STS in Emerging Worlds”
Event Location Prague/online
Depositing User Dr. Julian Eckl
Date Deposited 18 Sep 2020 08:01
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 17:43


Full text not available from this repository.


Eckl, Julian: Health Data as a Global Public Good? 2020. - EASST+4S conference “Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and Agency of STS in Emerging Worlds”. - Prague/online.

Edit item Edit item