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Principal Investigator: Francesco Checchi, LSHTM

Research Snapshot: Community feedback in Ebola outbreaks

This snapshot showcases the findings from one element of this broader study, which aimed to understand how a new qualitative community feedback system was used during the North Kivu Ebola outbreak by decision-makers to shape response policy.

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The study will describe and evaluate the epidemiological and decision-making impact of two community-based interventions implemented by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to control Ebola in DRC. These are i) a system to collect and analyse community feedback on the epidemic and the response and ii) the Safe and Dignified Burials (SDB) programme. The study will analyse the evolution of community perceptions regarding Ebola and the response and explore how community feedback information has been used to adapt the response. An evaluation of the intervention fidelity and performance of the SDB intervention will also be conducted and estimate its effect on EVD transmission.

Francesco Checchi

Principal Investigator

Robust evaluation of interventions taking place during epidemics is challenging, but very important to ensure that the activities are working as effectively as possible to stop transmission. This research will help ensure that the IFRC’s community based interventions (Safe and Dignified Burials and Community Feedback) benefit from the analytical support of the London School to ensure they are responsive to local epidemiological and community needs.

Expected Outcomes

The study will identify factors associated with negative community perceptions in the EVD response, identified as key factors in the current EVD epidemic. Research will provide actionable insights for the current and future outbreaks. The study will make recommendations for the use of community feedback data to influence practical adaptations in strategy and response activities, and help inform the management of Safe and Dignified Burials in the current and future outbreaks. Findings will support the promotion of the systematic establishment of community feedback systems in future epidemic and humanitarian responses, and help define community engagement strategies from the outset of future epidemics.

Photo Credit: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Methodology (Brief Summary)

The study will combine existing datasets collected by the SDB programme, data on Ebola cases and contacts, and timelines of interventions and insecurity events into statistical models that quantify indicators of performance and the transmission effect of SDB. The study will also explore a large dataset of community feedback and conduct qualitative research with response actors to understand how community perceptions have evolved, whether data provide early warning of attacks against responders, and how feedback has been integrated into decision making.

Photo Credit: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Related Resources

Article, Peer Reviewed Ebola

‘The response is like a big ship’: community feedback as a case study of evidence uptake and use in the 2018–2020 Ebola epidemic

Research Snapshot Ebola

Research Snapshot: Community feedback in Ebola outbreaks

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