The Seduction Of Quantification And Human Rights Measuring And Monitoring, Gender Violence And Sex Trafficking
1584 WordsOct 17, 20167 Pages
The use of quantification and indicators in human rights measuring and monitoring, gender violence and sex trafficking in the context of global governance is prevalent around the world. My internship at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) regional office in Dubai International Humanitarian City, made my reading of “The Seduction of Quantification” by Sally Merry an engaging and very relative. As I was analyzing development aid allocations, I came to realize the importance of indicators and how they can be manipulated in attracting aid funds. For example, a country in need of aid wants to appear vulnerable enough to receive funds, but not too vulnerable to be affected by corruption, so it falls off the category of countries that can be eligible. This part of the process was known to me, but the other part which pertains to the indicators as cultural projects become known through reading Merry’s dense and yet engaging book.
Merry offers a critique of the ‘indicator culture’, which is increasingly visible as evidence-based approaches are becoming the norm of governance around the world (2016:206). This approach relies on the availability of quantified data to evaluate the importance of an issue. Thus, the political visibility of a problem is dependent on measurement to highlight it, and what is not measured tend to be neglected. And to decide what to be counted is highly politicized according to the agendas of the quantifiers. Subsequently, comparisons are carried to