Improving International Governance for Global Health Emergencies

Lessons from the Ebola crisis

The 2014–15 Ebola outbreak in West Africa has demonstrated again the urgent need for strong leadership and coordination when responding to global health emergencies. All actors in the Ebola crisis appreciate that this has been a challenging response, and many agencies (including Oxfam) have struggled to identify and establish their role in the process. As a result, there have been multiple failures by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies. These failures have left many people vulnerable. 

To ensure a better international response to future epidemics in developing countries, we need to learn lessons from the current crisis. An improved system is required. This discussion paper examines shortcomings of WHO and other agencies in the Ebola response and provides recommendations for improving international structures and governance.

It is one of a series of Oxfam papers on the Ebola crisis and response.