WHO's To Blame? | A Comparative Case Study of the Consequences of the World Health Organization´s Interventions in the Epidemic Outbreaks of SARS in 2003 and Ebola in 2014

Celine Suhr Nielsen, Svava Kristinsdóttir & Dina Illeris Simonsen

Studenteropgave: Fagmodulprojekt


This project is a comparative case study, researching World Health Organization’s (WHO) interventions during the SARS epidemic outbreak in the Western Pacific Region in 2003 and the Ebola epidemic outbreak in West Africa in 2014. The consequences of the interventions are analyzed, compared and discussed in order to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of WHO.

The project asks the question of to what extent the local and cultural settings in the affected areas contribute to either halter or improve the efforts of WHO.
The two cases are systematically compared using the theory of unintended consequences by Robert Merton and the actions taken are analyzed in order to find a causal relationship between action and consequence.
The project also raises the question, that the organization might not be able to work in accordance with its constitution´s goals due to political pressures from large voluntary contributors.

This research reveals that WHO is not equipped to work to their best abilities, when an epidemic breaks out in poor developing countries, and furthermore it sees a pattern of failure of communication during each epidemic, which had different results in each case. The research therefore reiterates that communication between WHO, the member states and the public is of tremendous importance.

UddannelserBasis - Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Bachelor
Udgivelsesdato25 maj 2016
Antal sider59
VejledereJohanna Hood