‘It’s in the data’: an exploration on how data gaps are worsening addressing health inequalities for Black British people
Keywords:data, health inequalities, global health, interventions, racial inequality, Black British
Data gaps have continued to persist within global health, especially for Black British people. This has largely had dire impacts on their health outcomes and has made it harder to provide interventions that meet their needs. This article assesses the problem of data gaps, the impact of these gaps on our health and most importantly why we need better data practices. Too often, it is thought that there is already enough data for minoritized communities that exists, and the focus should largely be on addressing the racism that persists at an institutional, and structural level. However, I argue that it is not enough to just have homogenised data; we need specific and nuanced data that accurately captures the data on how inequalities impact Black British people so we know how to accurately address them. The homogenisation fails to answer how and why these things keep affecting us especially some ethnic groups more than others, and not how we can stop it from happening altogether. Access to better data would also cut through the veneer of generalisations. My vision for the future of health data is having data that is readily available on all health issues affecting Black people, that will help accurately challenge racism at every level: individual, collective, structural racism and institutional racism. In order to achieve this, I conclude with the hope this article can be a starting point for critique and interrogation of all forms of data for those working within, and across the field because improving the data practices for Black British people and their health inequalities, will consequently improve all our health inequalities.