Accepted paper:

An ethnographic glance at health indicators on ageing and malaria in Indonesia


John Kreager (Oxford University)
Elisabeth Schroeder-Butterfill (University of Southampton)

Paper short abstract:

Ethnographic research in 6 Indonesian field sites will be used to evaluate standard WHO global health indicators relating to malaria and population ageing.

Paper long abstract:

The World Health Organisation records roughly 50 categories of health indicator for Indonesia (of which there are myriad sub-classifications). These measures are drawn from survey sources that rely on the much more extensive inquiries of the Indonesian statistical office, the BPS. We propose to discuss the set of indicators that relate to two major current global health concerns, population ageing and malaria. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative research over the last 15 years (in three ethnic groups on the main islands of Java and Sumatra, and three small ethnicities on the island of Alor in the Eastern Archipelago), we will consider the sub-set of indicators that describe the health and social conditions of places such as these with respect to ageing and malaria. What is intended is an off-the-record critique of the stories that can be built with survey variables from the perspective of in-depth ethnography of social, economic and cultural variation in the six sites, the forces that shape health variation at the local level, and the degree to which variables applied on a nationwide basis can be expected to capture it.

panel P03
Anthropology of health indicators and statistics