Although we have different backgrounds, ranging from modeling and optimisation to ethnographic approaches, our observations were strikingly similar. The use of technology often dominated the discourse. Reporting, mapping, or data collection became a purpose, instead of being an enabler. Coordination and project management structures were constantly shifting and adapting to the changing needs, or because it was clear that the current solution was not good enough. In the fight against Ebola, the adaptation of processes and procedures became a race to follow the disease - constantly changing and shifting.
In the next weeks, we will aim to complement our experiences in the field with scientific analyses from our respective disciplines. Instead of presenting the results from our individual approaches in a collection or portfolio of results, we will aim at developing an integrated methodology, in which results from management, decision theory, cognition, modeling, and ethnography enforce and strengthen each other. Our aim and ambition is to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that have been driving the response to Ebola, and to develop solutions that can help both researchers and humanitarian responders to learn from each other.