Improving AAPI health with Better Data

By Sonia Sarkar, The Nonprofit Quarterly |

AAPI is an umbrella term that includes people from more than 50 countries who speak over 100 languages. Asians and Asian Americans represent more than 20 different countries in East, South, and Southeast Asia. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders represent dozens of countries and islands, including Polynesia, Melanesia, and more.

There are several ways that healthcare practitioners and social service providers can address gaps in current approaches to AAPI health data. These include:

  • Engaging AAPI advocacy groups and community members. Starting with AAPI groups’ insights on inequities in data design is crucial. AAPI Data, a clearinghouse for data and policy research, created a framework for data equity that calls for incorporation of AAPI voices into research development, collection, analysis, and dissemination. This inclusion can ensure that research objectives and data collection take place in culturally appropriate ways. It can also help to bring granularity to data assessment and the solutions that follow. Rather than health systems assuming that they have Asian patient representation on a research advisory board, for example, a local group could push for specific subgroup representation.