In light of the continuing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, on May 18-19 2015 the EAN held a workshop entitled “Outbreak anthropology for epidemiologists” in London, UK, focussing on the contribution that anthropology can make to epidemiologists' traditional approaches to infectious disease outbreak management.

The objectives of the workshop were:

  • to give participants a comprehensive knowledge of the main methods and tools used to generate and analyse anthropological data
  • to demystify the process of qualitative research and break down barriers between epidemiologists/microbiologists and their qualitative research colleagues
  • to explore opportunities for increased collaboration between field epidemiologists/microbiologists and anthropologists in order to improve outbreak response measures
  • to prepare field responders heading to Ebola/other outbreak areas for what they might encounter and how best to approach their fieldwork to reflect local socio-cultural contexts 

Several of presentations from the workshop are below. Active EAN members can also access videos of the workshop presentations and proceeds; please email for the access password.

The workshop was kindly hosted by the Infectious Disease Research Network ( and funded by the University of Glasgow.

Working interdisciplinarily

Presenter: Cathriona Kearns, Queen's University Belfast
Working interdisciplinarily_C.Kearns


Qualitative research in disease management

Presenter: Georgia Ladbury, University of Glasgow, on behalf of Elizabeth Hull, School of African and Oriental Studies
Qualitative Research in Disease Outbreak and Management-Hull


Human behaviour in outbreak situations

Presenter: David Napier, University College London

Contribution of anthropology to international outbreak response - status quo, barriers and opportunities

Presenters: Annie Wilkinson, Institute of Development Studies and Fred Martineau, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
The contribution of anthropology to international outbreak response_Martineau-Wilkinson


Ebola response - experiences from the field

Presenters: Giovanna Jaramillo Gutierrez and Aileen Kitching, EAN; Annie Wilkinson, IDS