Paper: From Fragility to Resilience: working on the post-Ebola resilience in Guinea

Paper details

Paper authors St├ęphanie Maltais
In panel on Urban Preparedness and Resilience
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


Health crises affect every country in the world, but the impact is greater on fragile states, because of inefficient institutions, lack of resilience or precarious economies. The case of Ebola in Guinea, is an example of the gaps in the prerequisites of resilience that led to difficulties in the management of the crisis. The important fact about Ebola in West Africa is that, for the first time, the epidemic had reached urban areas.

The single case study targets stakeholders involved in the management of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, and analyzes their intervention methods in relation to health resilience variables. Through a multiscale approach, forty interviews were conducted and more than thirty-five events were observed. The documentary analysis completes the triangulation of the data.

It is through the theory of complexity that the results have been analyzed. Since the Ebola outbreak, actors are aware of the gaps and needs to be filled in order to have a resilient system. Before Ebola, there were weaknesses in all dimensions of crisis management (surveillance, coordination, communication, logistics...). Since then, the state has put in place various mechanisms to strengthen the health system as an increase in the budget allocated to health; the recruitment of 4000 young health workers; the establishment of a National Health Safety Agency and 8 regional multi-purpose epidemic alert and response teams; etc.

Given the shortcomings in resilience before Ebola, it is to be expected that Guinea will still take a long time to put in place a resilient system following the model proposed in the literature.



St├ęphanie Maltais
University of Ottawa, Canada