This brief summarises key considerations concerning changes in behaviour and care-seeking practices in the context of the outbreak of Ebola in the Grand Nord of North Kivu, DRC, September 2018. Further participatory enquiry should be undertaken, but given ongoing transmission, conveying key considerations and immediate recommendations related to community engagement have been prioritised. This brief is based on the input of expert advisers in close communication with networks of contacts in North Kivu (community leaders, religious leaders, local authorities, clinicians, health workers, NGO staff, community members, local researchers etc).
It builds on a rapid review of existing published and grey literature, experience of previous Ebola outbreaks in the DRC and elsewhere, and informal discussions with colleagues from UNICEF, WHO, IFRC, Oxfam, GOARN Social Science Group and others. Prior to finalisation, it was reviewed by expert advisers from Anthrologica, Institute of Development Studies, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, University of Basel, University of Notre Dame, University of Ghent, Pole Institute, University of Florida, CNRS-MNHN, Musée de l’Homme Paris, University of Sussex and risk communication and community engagement colleagues from UNICEF, WHO and CDC. The views expressed in the document are not unanimously held by all reviewers. Responsibility for this brief lies with the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP).