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Insights from an ethnographic study of a foreign response team during the EBOLA Outbreak in Liberia

Conference paper
Authors Jonas Landgren
Published in 12th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM 2015; CIEM, University of AgderKristiansand; Norway; 24 May 2015 through 27 May 2015
Volume Track 10
ISBN 978-82-7117-788-1
Publication year 2015
Published at
Language en
Keywords Ethnography, Crisis, Ebola, DSS, Information technology
Subject categories Interaction Technologies, Other Social Sciences

Abstract

Organizing response operations during large-scale and complex disasters requires an ability to meet and adapt to sudden changes of plans. This paper presents descriptive accounts from an ethnographic field study of the work of a foreign Ebola response team during the Ebola outbreak on location in Liberia. The findings illustrate how response work is subject to frequent and rapid changes that result in unforeseen consequences that could cause frictions and dilemmas. The findings imply tentative implications for design, suggesting a need for improved decision support for re-planning and re-designing of ongoing response operations.

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