Ebola epidemic: changing how we do development?

26 February, 2015

Landscape Analysis

The Institute for Development Studies (IDS) kicked off their Ebola: Lessons for development initiative with an event at the Wellcome Trust on 25 February.

Come March, we will have reached the one year anniversary of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

With the news that the cases of Ebola are declining, the global health and development communities are turning to the question of what can be learnt from the epidemic?

The Institute for Development Studies (IDS) kicked off their Ebola: Lessons for development initiative with an event at the Wellcome Trust on 25 February.

The initiative, organised in partnership with the STEPS Centre and DFID, looks to ask questions about how the current development model has contributed to shaping the magnitude of today’s crisis – and, importantly, point to what needs to change to realise a more resilient global future.

The high-level meeting discussed topics raised in the nine briefing papers written by IDS researchers, such as strengthening health systemsurbanisation and inequality.

Other reviews of the Ebola outbreak have suggested that efforts to save lives were undermined by a failure in communication with local people.

report supported by the Wellcome Trust found poor communication about Ebola treatments probably increased the epidemic’s scope and opportunities were missed to improve clinical trials through involving local people in their organisation.

In an effort to fight the current outbreak and learn for future epidemics, UKCDS has created the Ebola Research Database.

This database of all research directly relevant to the current outbreak aims to support alignment between research funders in order to reduce undue duplication and help develop complementary activities where enhanced effort is required.

You can see more about the Ebola: Lessons for development initiative on the IDS website. Follow the conversation on twitter via #Ebolalessons

For more on the failure in communicating the Ebola outbreak, see the SciDev.Net article.

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