This report reflects insights from over a year of interviews with individuals involved in some aspect of the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that began in December 2013. Interviewees, listed below, represented international organizations, bilateral donors, regional organizations, national governments, nongovernmental organizations, companies, local communities, and other actors engaged in the response.  

This report was funded and managed by USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab and written by Larissa Fast and Adele Waugaman, with editing support from Kaaren Christopherson and Nina Getachew via the Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project at FHI 360. Karana Olivier provided critical research assistance. John O’Bryan and Marc Friend in the U.S. Global Development Lab provided assistance with report production and dissemination, and Brian Bakker and Juliana Kuhn of the U.S. Global Development Lab’s GeoCenter created the maps in this report. Report design and graphics were provided by Design Lab at FHI 360. mSTAR team members Michael Dawson, Sara Seavey and Patrick Malone and Design Lab’s Aziza Mukhamedkhanova provided project management and design support.

The authors extend their appreciation to all USAID staff who participated in internal discussions and review of this report. In addition to those listed as interviewees or as providing feedback to the report, we particularly thank the following individuals from USAID who assisted with the field research and with whom we have had extensive conversations that have shaped this report--Carolyn Baer, Jaclyn Carlsen, Bob Fagan, Karin Huster, Joe Tritschler, and Sam Vigersky--and USAID partner GOAL in Sierra Leone for facilitating a visit to Port Loko.

The authors also extend their deep gratitude to a number of current and former USAID staff who provided extensive feedback on previous versions of the report. These individuals include: Anwer Aqil, Mark Cardwell, Shubha Chandrasekharan, Margaret D’Adamo, Samir Doshi, Robert Emrey, Sarah Glass, Matthew Hulse, Linda Mobula, Lungi Okoko, Justin Pendarvis, Rebecca Saxton-Fox, Merrick Schaefer, Adam Slote, Maria “Bea” Spadicini, and Steven VanRoekel.

In addition, we are grateful to those individuals from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who provided comments on an earlier draft of the report. These include: Mark Anderson, Sarah Bennett, Cynthia Cassell, Dee Dee Downie, Leah Fischer, Richard Garfield, Jean Baptiste Kamgang, Carl Kincade, Barbara Marston, Martin Meltzer, Ray Ransom, Schabbethai Sainvil, Scott Santibanez, Samuel Tchwenko, and Mary Claire Worrell.

The report authors accept responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies contained in this report. The views reflected in this report are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of USAID.

List of Interviewees

This research would not have been possible without the time and insights of over 130 people from more than 60 organizations interviewed for this research. We are grateful to the following individuals who contributed their time, insights, and perspectives. Numerous others shared their stories but asked to remain anonymous; they are not included in the list below. Individuals are listed with their affiliation at the time of interview.

Last Name, First Name - Affiliation

Amponsah, Monica - OCHA
Arafa, Sherif - IOM
Bae, Ji - eHealth Africa
Baike, Bruce - Inveneo
Bailey, Christopher -WHO
Bangura, Mohamed - GOAL
Barry, Mamadou Bailo - UNICEF
Bawo, Luke -MOH/Liberia
Bedford, Juliet - UNMEER
Berg, Matt - Ona
Bishop, Nick - IOM
Blevins, Chad - USAID
Bolletino, Vincenzo -Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Braddock, Jocelyn - Catholic Relief Services
Burton, Joseph - U.S. Department of State
Caleo, Grazia - MSF
Caley, Luke - DFID
Campo, Stuart - UNICEF
Carlson, Sabina - IOM
Carroll, Dennis - USAID
Catalano, Michael - Mercy Corps
Chan, Jennifer - NetHope
Cheah, Patrick - GOAL
Chokki-Laleye, Felicité - WAHO
Cleon, Joshua - Naymote
Comes, Tina - Disaster Resilience Lab
Crowley, John - World Bank/Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)
Davies, Benetta - Naymote
DeVries, Piet - Global Communities
Diallo, Alpha Samba - UNICEF
Dijkerman, Dirk - USAID
Doshi, Samir - USAID
DuBois, Marc - Independent consultant
Dumbuya, Alhassan - GOAL
Dunbar, Nelson - MOH/Liberia
Faure, Marie-Elisabeth - WFP
Ferraro, Nazzarena - OCHA
Flock, Jim - ACDI/VOCA
Fluder, Jen - USAID
Frohardt, Mark - InterNews
Gage, Kate - USAID
Gembara, Al - USAID
Glasow, Jerry - U.S. Dept of Defense
Gordon, Patrick - OCHA
Hamblion, Esther - WHO
Helland, Anna - Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Herranz, Manuel Garcia - UNICEF
Hicks, Neelley - United Methodist Communications
Higgins, Eilidh - International Rescue Committee
Hoffman, Bill - World Economic Forum
Hulse, Matthew - USAID
Hutchfield, David - Grameen Foundation
Ir Gigo, Abdel Nasser - Earth Institute, Columbia University
Jaisinghani, Priya -USAID
Jalloh, Mohamed - FOCUS 1000/SMAC
Jarwolo, Eddie - Naymote
Jazayeri, Darius - ThoughtWork
Johnson, Simon - British Red Cross
Jusu, Phileas - United Methodist Communications
Kabah, Samuka - Naymote
Kaiser, Nils - eHealth Africa
Karege, Clément - OCHA
Karlyn, Andrew - USAID
King, Eric - USAID
Kinkade, Carl - CDC
Konyndyk, Jeremy -USAID
Koroma, Julius - GOAL
Lacey-Hall, Oliver - OCHA
Lamb, Sarah - MSF
Larsen, Lynette -UNMEER
Lash, Ryan - CDC
Leson, Heather - Qatar Computing Research Institute
Mahmood, Jemilah - OCHA/World Humanitarian Summit
Manning, Craig - CDC
Margie, Paul -Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP
Maron, Mikel - U.S. Department of State
Martell, Lise - CDC
Matthews, Hilton - GOAL
McCann, Sheena - Concern Worldwide
McClelland, Amanda -  International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
McKewon, Simon - sQuid
Megginson, David - OCHA
Mehl, Garrett - WHO
Mesfin, Samuel -WHO
Moore, Roxanne - Digital Humanitarian Network
Mukenge, Guillaume Bakadi - Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Ndoye, Babacar - MOH/Senegal
Nyahn Jr., Jzohn Alexander - Chess Liberia
Nyenswah, Tolbert - IMS/Liberia
Obregon, Rafael - UNICEF
Okoko, Lungi - USAID
Olubunmi, Ojo - MOH/Nigeria
Owen, Katharine - GOAL/SMAC
Oza, Shefali - Save the Children International
Pendarvis, Justin - USAID
Rader, Patricia - USAID
Ransom, Ray - CDC
Reid, Kyla - GSMA
Rivers, Caitlin - Virginia Tech University
Roden, Sophie - Mercy Corps
Rosling, Hans - Karolinska Institutet
Schaefer, Merrick - USAID
Selanikio, Joel - Magpi
Sene, Jean-Baptiste - UNICEF
Serlemitsos, Elizabeth - Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Shashati, Habib - WFP
Sidikou, Fatouma Mabeye - Women and Health Alliance International
Sortino, Salvatore - IOM
Staring, Knut - University of Oslo/Health Information Systems Programme
Stone, Erin - International Rescue Committee
Swen, Julu - United Methodist Communications
Taliesin, Brian - PATH
Telford, Sarah - OCHA
Thompson, Adam - eHealth Africa
Tran, Alex - GOAL
van der Walle, Bartel - Disaster Resilience Lab
VanRoekel, Steven - USAID
Veltsos, Philippe - Novel-T Sàrl
Villaceves, Jeffrey - UNMEER
Waddell, Anthony - Liberia Governance and Economic Management Support
Walia, Sonia -USAID
Warren, Wade - USAID
Washburn, Faith - CDC
White, Jamila - eHealth Africa
Wilder, Benson - U.S. Department of State
Wishnie, Jeff - Mercy Corps
Yewondwossen, Assefa -UNMEER
Zingeser, Jim - CDC
Zinner, Lauren Shear - Clinton Health Access Initiative

Suggested Citation:

Fast, Larissa and Adele Waugaman. 2016. Fighting Ebola with Information: Learning From Data and Information Flows in the West Africa Ebola Response. Washington, DC: USAID.

Photo Credits

Garrett Mehl, WHO, February 2016.
Adam Parr, USAID
Morgana Wingard
Neil Brandvold
Sarah McElroy, USAID