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The Politics of Plague
The scale of the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014 and 2015 challenged the national governments and international development and humanitarian agencies on multiple levels.
It reverberated around the world, caused huge suffering for those affected, gripped the media and ultimately forced us all to examine how we responded, what we did well, and how we can do better.
Concern was at the forefront of the response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia during 2014 and 2015. In this paper, we reflect on how politics affected our response as a medium-sized INGO and the national and international response.
We examine primarily politics with a small ‘p’, which is about people on the ground trying to do the best they can in a difficult situation and the challenges and obstacles that impede their progress.
We also touch on the big ‘P’ politics where the national and international governments and multilateral institutions are all thrown together with a common goal but often different and competing agendas where an initial lack of leadership and decisiveness transformed into a situation with arguably too many leaders.
External evaluation of Concern Worldwide Ebola response in Sierra LeoneIn March 2014, a rapidly evolving outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) started in Guinea and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as other countries in West Africa. Concern had existing long term programmes in the region since the mid-90s and as a result of the Ebola outbreak they started a wide ranging response. The focus of the External Evaluation was the Concern Worldwide DEC funded Ebola Response Programme in Sierra Leone, consisting of an emergency and recovery phase, starting 29 Oct 2014 and due to complete by 31 Oct 2016.