Insights from an ethnographic study of a foreign response team during the EBOLA Outbreak in Liberia

Jonas Landgren

ABSTRACT

Organizing response operations during large-scale and complex disasters requires an ability to meet and adapt to sudden changes of plans. This paper presents descriptive accounts from an ethnographic field study of the work of a foreign Ebola response team during the Ebola outbreak on location in Liberia. The findings illustrate how response work is subject to frequent and rapid changes that result in unforeseen consequences that could cause frictions and dilemmas. The findings imply tentative implications for design, suggesting a need for improved decision support for re-planning and re-designing of ongoing response operations. 

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