Responding to Global Health Crises: Lessons from the U.S. Response to the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola Outbreak

Full Publication 
Abstract 

The report “Responding to Global Health Crises: Lessons from the U.S. Response to the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola Outbreak” is a version of the “All Hands on Deck” case produced in partnership with the IBM Center for The Business of Government. 

The DART was the first to involve a large-scale partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to combat an infectious disease outbreak. Although the deployment, which scaled up earlier assistance, took place five months after the first reported cases and required extensive adaptation of standard practices, it succeeded in helping bring the epidemic under control: the total number of people infected—28,616—was well below the potential levels predicted by the CDC’s models. This U.S.—focused case study highlights the challenges of making an interagency process work in the context of an infectious disease outbreak in areas where health systems are weak.

 

For more information on the IBM Center for The Business of Government, please visit: www.businessofgovernment.org

 

Keywords 
emergency response
disease outbreak
epidemiological modeling
pandemics
quarantine
infection control
incident management system
data management
coordination
epidemics
interagency process
Focus Area(s): 
Ebola Response
Critical Tasks: 
Action plans
Consensus building
Coordination
Follow-up & monitoring
Goal setting
Inter-ministerial coordination
Monitoring
Organization and staffing
Priority setting
Public outreach
Scenario building
Training
Country of Reform: 
United States
Type: 
Case Studies
Author: 
Jennifer Widner