Africa APPG submission to IDC inquiry on responses to the Ebola crisis

November 2015
The Africa APPG's evidence to the International Development Committee inquiry (for more info see here) is based on the ongoing inquiry that the APPG originally started in October 2014 regarding
community led approaches to health systems strengthening and lessons from the Ebola outbreak.
The final report is in draft form and due for release in December 2015.
 
During a series of Africa APPG events focused on the West African Ebola crisis, it became apparent
that the initial Ebola response was undermined by and often perpetuated a culture of mistrust
between the affected communities and the response efforts from governments and partners.
Consequently, the Africa APPG commissioned a report with researchers from Polygeia, a student-run
global health think tank, to further explore the weaknesses in community engagement exposed by
the Ebola outbreak and to examine the lessons and policy implications for community engagement
in health crises and for systems strengthening.
 
Research was undertaken through a mixture of literature reviews, 31 written submissions in
response to a call for evidence in addition to 7 evidence gathering meetings in Parliament. A central
component of the report was evidence collected during field research commissioned to Restless
Development in Sierra Leone and PHDI in Liberia. Researchers carried out 23 qualitative interviews
with community leaders using questionnaires designed to elicit the health needs of communities.
 
The Africa APPG calls for DFID and the wider development and humanitarian sectors to put
community ownership at the centre of response efforts during health crises, and more broadly of
health systems, as a critical component of health systems strengthening.