ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Numerical Narratives and Documentary Practices

The documentary practices of target-setting, reporting, evaluation and supervision at the level of the district and the primary health centres are built around a bureaucratic organisation of information and allow for the production of 'numerical narratives' to fulfil the needs of the bureaucratic imagination of a successful public health programme wherein the record gains primacy over the event. Front-line health workers, ANMs are the focus of the analysis here, as they constantly negotiate between the health bureaucracy and the communities (local bureaucracies). This article demonstrates how programmatic goals are mediated by local contexts through these health workers, and how their perceptions and practices produce numerical narratives which meet the demands of rule and record bound bureaucratic imagination.

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