Governing Global Health Data Workshop

On 2nd June 2023, two members of our team, Thandeka Cochrane and David Reubi, presented a paper at an online workshop on Governing Global Health Data: Key Tensions with Sovereignity, Access and Equity. Hosted by the University of Toronto and organised by Drs Amaya Perez-Brumer, Lukas Engelmann and Kelika Konda, the workshop examined issues related to the collection, analytics, access and ownership of the health data that saturates and is so critical to global health today. Entitled Networks of (In) Justice: Towards Data Justice in the Surveillance of Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa, Thandeka and David’s paper focused on the African Cancer Registry Network (AFCRN), a group of cancer registrars, pathologists and epidemiologists from Africa and beyond whose data is critical to the making of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer’s Global Cancer Maps. The paper was especially concerned with the languages and practices of justice and solidarity that inform and shape the AFCRN. Indeed, the AFCRN was created with the hope to give Africans more control of the collection, analysis and use of cancer data from the continent, seeking to build local data production capacities and infrastructures. We explore these hopes and how they were operationalised through the AFCRN and, at the same time, we remain attentive to some of the inequalities and injusticies that have persisted.