Global Health Metrics & Evaluation: Data, Debates, Directions: Metrics for what?

Richard Horton
Global Health Metrics & Evaluation
Published online: 17 June 2013

Abstract / Resumen:

149 abstracts from 48 countries. The research presented at this third Global Health Metrics and Evaluation Conference is a powerful example of the global conversation about health that a rapidly expanding international metrics community has helped to sustain and strengthen. I owe a great debt of thanks to the team at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) for coordinating the organisation of this event, together with friends and colleagues at the University of Washington, Harvard School of Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the University of Melbourne. This meeting is now planned and happening. So, enough, enjoy, and celebrate. Instead, perhaps the question we should be asking today is not about the present, but about the future for global health metrics. Some observers might have predicted bright prospects after publication of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010 in December, 2012. The GBD showed once again the extraordinary potential for metrics to shape discussions about the future of global health, as did the first two global health metrics conferences in 2009 and 2011. But data inevitably also have the ability to polarise and provoke, sometimes in confusing ways. While I was privileged to see policy makers in at least one country—the UK—respond enthusiastically to GBD data, I have to concede that GBD 2010 was not universally welcomed. How could that be so?

Keywords / Palabras clave: Global Health Metrics; Public Health; Global Burden of Disease; data;  global health metrics.

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