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International Journal of Infectious Diseases
The 2014-16 West Africa Ebola epidemic was the largest Ebola outbreak on record, and thousands of individuals were involved in the response, including local and national governments as well as numerous philanthropies and other non-governmental organizations. A number of after-action reports and other reviews of the global response to the epidemic routinely pointed out key challenges, including gaps in operational research. To determine the extent to which operational research studies were conducted during the 2014-16 West Africa Ebola epidemic, the authors conducted a quantitative analysis of literature published during and immediately after the epidemic.
Improved sharing of firsthand, operational knowledge from practitioners who respond to outbreaks is critical for improving preparedness activities and informing the development of sound, effective policies that support ongoing and future preparedness efforts. Based on the results from this review, we propose several policy and programmatic innovations that can facilitate knowledge sharing during future outbreaks.