The Government of Liberia (GoL) and development partners are faced with the daunting task of responding to an Ebola epidemic of unprecedented scale and complexity. This effort has been hindered by a lack of basic information about the incidence of new cases and geographic spread of the disease.
To address the information needs required to respond to this complex emergency, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) partnered with NetHope under the USAID Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance (GBI) and collaborated with IBI International under the USAID Liberia – Governance and Economic Management Support Program (GEMS) to carry out a desk review assessing the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the response. The resulting assessment gives a snapshot of how ICT infrastructure, software, and data systems are being used in the Liberian Ebola response and contends that “the integration, harmonization, and availability of ICT infrastructure is a critical cross-cutting pillar in the response to the Ebola humanitarian crisis as well as necessary for the long-term socio-economic development of Liberia.”
The report was created as part of a two-week rapid assessment based on interviews with leaders in the humanitarian sector, technology partners, and Liberia experts and was conducted with a three-person team on the ground and support from a dozen external contributors. It is not claimed to be an authoritative or exhaustive catalogue of all systems and approaches deployed or contemplated in the sector, but rather a first step toward a longer, more exhaustive assessment necessary to gather empirical data. It is our hope that this report enables a collective drive and action to enhance the ICT capabilities in Liberia.