Trust in Humanitarian Numbers? Bringing Critical Data Studies into Humanitarian Studies
Organiser(s): Joel Glasman & Brendan Lawson

Is the data dream over? Ten years of optimism over “data revolution” and “evidence based humanitarianism” has left place for doubt. The Covid19 pandemic has brought back worries about “lack of data”, “hidden data”, “shadow numbers” or “silent epidemies”. As the historian of Sciences Lorraine Daston observes, “we’ve suddenly been catapulted back to the seventeenth century”. We are living in “a moment of ground-zero empiricism, in which almost everything is up for grabs, just as it was for the members of the earliest scientific societies – and everyone else — circa 1660” (Daston 2020).

This panel will offer new critical perspectives on humanitarian statistics (counting war casualties, humanitarian case loads, refugees, IDPs, children suffering malnutrition, etc.). The literature on the ..

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