The Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform is supporting UNICEF, WHO, IFRC and other partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo to respond to the Ebola outbreak in Equateur Province. The Platform has four key streams of action:
1) Rapid briefs – a series of rapid operational briefs are being produced. These focus on key socio-cultural considerations regarding i) context and local specifics that may influence transmission and response; and ii) key themes that we can predict will be significant to the outbreak (e.g. local burial practices, health seeking behaviours etc).
2) Tools – a tools question bank is being produced that will include key questions clustered around a series of themes including: health beliefs and health-seeking behaviour; local burial practices; knowledge and perceptions of Ebola; knowledge and perceptions of the Ebola vaccine; trusted communication channels; and key influencers.
3) Technical expertise and remote analysis – when helpful and appropriate, the Platform can support partners on the ground by providing additional technical expertise to assist with the development of tools and rapid research protocols, and undertake rapid analysis of data gathered and help translate the findings into operational recommendations as needed.
4) Network of advisors – the Platform, in collaboration with the GOARN Social Science Group, the LSHTM and other partners including the Réseau Anthropologie des Epidémies Emergentes is developing a nework of advisors who can provide additional expertise as required.