Social science in humanitarian action and the battle against Ebola

Source: Sat, 12 Jan 2019 08:14 PM
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As the Ebola outbreak continues in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, evidence-based communication and community engagement activities are becoming ever more critical to curb the epidemic and prevent spread of the virus to neighbouring countries.

As part of the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP), Anthrologica has been leading the production of a series of rapid operational briefs that focus on key socio-cultural considerations regarding context and local specifics that may influence transmission and response.  The briefs provide action-orientated recommendations that can be used to shape interventions and engagement.

Whilst continuing to focus on DRC, the platform now has expanded their scope of work to support preparedness activities in the four neighbouring high priority countries (Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi).

Their latest brief summarises cross-border dynamics between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the context of the outbreak of Ebola in North Kivu and surrounding provinces (published December 2018). It conveys key considerations and immediate recommendations related to preparedness activities including community engagement in both DRC and in Uganda.

All briefs are open source and are available from

  • Context brief: North Kivu (Aug ‘18)

Available in English and French.

  • Key considerations: burials, funerals and mourning practices in North Kivu (Aug’ 18)

Available in English and French

  • Key considerations: changing behaviours and care-seeking practices in North Kivu (Sept ‘18)

Available in English and French.

  • WhatsApp and local media, North Kivu, 1-17 September 2018 (Sept ‘18)

Available here.

  • Key considerations: mental health and psychosocial support in North Kivu (Oct ‘18)

Available in English and French.

  • Media and local messages on Ebola in the Grand Nord, DRC, November-December 2018 (Dec ‘18)

Available here.

  • Social science and behavioural data compilation, August-November 2018 (Dec ‘18)

Available here.

  • Uganda-DRC cross-border dynamics (Dec ’18)

Available here.

Full portfolio of briefs relating to the Ebola outbreak in Equateur Province (2018), North Kivu and Ituri Provinces (ongoing) and prepardness activities in the neighbouring countries (ongoing) are available here.

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