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IDEO EBOLA COMMUNITY ACTION ROOM - This is a complex multi-dimensional problem. We need to see the forest instead of the trees. We've created a framework for everyone actively designing solutions to come together for holistic design.

The Ebola Community Action Room is moving fast! Through Onu and others with networks in West Africa, we have established contact with a great group of community activists with many community volunteers throughout Liberia. This is true citizen-to-citizen collaboration and the local West African team members are a crucial part of the solution. The solution can only work if it is designed at every step of the way with the local community. Come join us to co-create an entire, holistic solution addressing every dimension of the problem. We are one global community.

Photo of James (Gien) Wong
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Nov 11, 2014

We have been having a group discussion of what the title of this evolving collective should be and I"m appreciative of all the feedback. Keep it coming! Currently, we're trying the title "Ebola Community Action Room" after Rebecca suggested that the word "War" has negative connotations. Others agreed. Rainer suggested adding the word "Community". Hence we have the current title. However, Bill, who has spent his life in marketing, weighed in saying that:

"If your purpose is to communicate what you are doing, then war room is perfect. That’s why you naturally chose it. It’s a term of art, not an endorsement for war, and it makes sense to anyone reading whho understands the term in a cultural context. It’s a well established concept for concentrating information to formulate an action plan. Citizen’s action room might be more delicate, but it communicates a completely different notion, which is subject to interpretation by anyone reading it."

Upon reading what Bill wrote, I tuned into my original gut feeling and it was aligned with what Bill says. I think Richard Branson's "Carbon War Room" sticks out in my mind too. A "War Room" is a centralized planning for mobilizing rapid action. It conveys a sense of urgency. So we'll hear back from everyone now after these new shared insights.

On another note, I encourage everyone to read Onu's message posted below. He is giving voice to the people most affected by this crisis and we can see how urgent and desparate the situation is. It also shows the unique opportunity that we, are that small group of concerned citizens that Margaret Mead keeps alluding to in her quote. We can make the difference.

Nov 9, 10, 2014

Things are moving fast now after our 2nd meeting. Josef did a new design and Rainer contributed an idea as well. I integrated those with all the past ones to create a new low tech indoor design. Then Andy fed off my design and created a new outdoor one...all using materials available in West Africa.

I also created a framework google document for the design specification. Instead of Ebola War Room, I thought it would be more appropriate to call ourselves Ebola Citizen's Warm Room (ECWR). We'll see what others think of this new name.

Nov 8, 2014

Great meeting today! We had a milestone...begin to bring people into our group from Liberia..Some people have decent enough internet to participate So great to have ONU, Cath and their team from Liberia including Mathew with us today. We learned a lot about what real life is like for the average citizen.

Nov 7, 2014

Andy did a nice design incorporating a number of the discussion points. It's a dfferent solution...not something that can be implemented by people on the ground. We have to manufacture it and ship in the kits. If there truly is logistics support from the army to airlift in the supplies, that would be great but these kits can also be transported in low tech ways if required as well.

Nov 6, 2014

Popup Tent design idea is getting lots of good interaction. The design page is growing pretty large but everyone's getting the hang of joining ideas with lines. Lynn brought up good point about coordinating the solution with those in charge to avoid redundant efforts.

Nov 5, 2014

Some good news today! Breakthrough vaccine presented at San Diego conference today: 
  • Maria Croyle, a professor in the College of Pharmacy at The University of Texas at Austin, Kristina Jonsson-Schmunk, a graduate student in pharmacy, and colleagues at the university developed a nasal formulation that improved survival of immunized non-human primates from 67 percent (2 out of 3) to 100 percent (3 out of 3) 
Nov 4, 2014

The POPUP TENT team is beginning to work in the Design Mandala and seems to be working well! Learning some important lessons that we will discuss on Saturday to propose some new changes to make workflow more efficient.

Nov 3, 2014
  • Create first draft of spreadsheet with all Ideo design solutions with different subcategories. Categories are a bit mixed up right now but will straighten out tomorrow.

Nov 2, 2014
  • Created a Design page layout for the popup tent solution including a design mandala page
  • The design mandala starts at the top and new knowledge is added in a downward direction. It is divided into radial sectors with social / cultural / psychological / local environment on the left and technical / engineering / scientific / manufacturing / industrial design to the right. All these sectorial ideas can be connected to each other. 
  • start using Google spreadsheets for capturing pros and cons - this one for pros and cons of manufacturing options for popup tent. I captured Andy's thoughts and restructured them.
  • These can be used as templates for any design team doing their detailed design planning

Nov 1, 2014
Great first meeting of the Ebola War Room group on Skype today:
Present were:
  • Miriam Canadian PhD student in health sciences, Medical anthropology, native Cameroonian and doer of many health care projects in Africa
  • Siyo, Dr. and cultural expert from Africa, practicing in Canada and in Ottawa attending a conference today to present a poster on  contraceptive ideas in market women in Nigeria 
  • Andy, Industrial designer and circular economy MBA student from Australia
  • Josef, Design student from Netherlands
  • David, General Practitioner from UK who came up with the brilliant low tech popup protection tent idea we are all working on right now
  • Jay of Coolshirts, in absentia (was on a plane flight unfortunately!) but who can give us some good ideas of low tech cooling ideas for West Africa
  • Jay was featured in a great Huffpost article today: about the OPEN IDEO Challenge.
  • Today's meeting was a general introduction to each other and discussion focused on David Walker's great idea of a low tech, rapid to implement popup tent that can make a huge difference on the community side to perform harm reduction and protect caregivers from ebola. The minutes are posted up on our Kerika page if you want to help. We meet again next week at 2pm South Africa Standard Time (noon London time, 8am, Ottawa time). Send me your skype adddress if you want to participate. Our goal is to have a rough team design brief ready within a week or two based on all the ideas discussed during the meeting. We will use the design page to upload all hacks.

Oct 30,, 2014 -
  • Added color coded lines so that the lines don't look like a big mess crossing each other and makes it easier to trace major focus areas such as community, data & it, international aid, etc,
  • Added a contact list near bottom left of main brainstorming page for people to add contact details...mostly for skype calls
  • Added a new information bubble: WHO Situation Report, issued on a regular basis for team commentary.
  • Added a new intuitive holistic solution page that has intuitive icons that show the major focus areas. We will hyperlink the icons so when you click on it, it will take you to the right section in the more complex Solutions mindmap page.

Oct 29, 2014
  • restructured the architecture. It's a lot more organized now. Easier to read and less cluttered.
    • Blue rectangles contain all the IDEO solutions,
    • Yellow rectangles contain solution design details and
    • Light Orange bubbles contain reference information.
  • Create an Ex-patriate page. I'm excited about bringing ex-patriate individuals and organizations on board..they play a ciritical role to solving the problem.
  • Added Community Outreach - establish an IT link between citizens of Ideo (and the world) and West African communities hardest hit using Google Loon technology and / or Microsoft TV White Space technology.

Oct 28, 2014 UPDATE - Making all BLUE RECTANGULAR HEADINGS ICON double up as pages for reference information as well. If you need to find or place reference information on the idea named in the BLUE RECTANGE ICON, click it then open it.

Oct 29, 2014 UPDATE - Hi everyone, Just a warning that if you go to Kerika today, it may look a bit chaotic. I'm doing some major restructuring right now to try to display all the solutions in a sensible way. I'll send everyone who's interested in participating here an email to see if they would like to have a tutorial on how to use Kerika.

Oct 28, 2014 UPDATE - You may experience problems with accessing the Kerika pages. I did. Their admin sent me a message yesterday that they are having problems with Google. Kerika uses Google services on the backend and any service disruption at Google will impact Kerika. I was able to get in but only after a lot of attempts. Just be aware that you might face the same issue.

Oct 27, 2014 UPDATE - Hi everyone. I'm just starting to populate the YELLOW BOXED DESIGN PAGES so that people can actually do collaborative designs within them. It's linked up with Google Drive so you can easily import design documents uploaded to Google Drive. I am also figuring out how we can make best use of the Kerika SCRUM boards for project management. The scrum boards are a great tool for getting things done. They are used in software design and the porcess of using this boards to manage a project from beginning to end is called a SPRINT (like sprinting to the finish line!). You can use the SCRUM boards for planning milestones, assigning teammembers,seeing where bottlenecks are and overcoming them etc How far you can take your designs will all depend on the teams we can put together. A design takes a specialized team to complete. The more diverse skillsets available on the Open Ideo platform, the more chances designs will be completed. ...then there's the matter of time resources of people. It's all an experiment and we'll see where it goes! If USAID is going to select the best ideas, this platform can at least be used to refine the design solution ideas if complete designs are not possible. It would be great to have a skills database that lists people's skillset and availability. Would anyone be interested in that? Probably need specialized skills in these areas: mobile app/database/web/embedded/windows programming, CAD, health expertise, mechanical engineering, industrial design, electrical engineering, anthropology, material science, biology,biochemistry, chemistry, infectious disease, manufacturing, plastics molding, food production, waste management, renewable energy, fabric design, sheetmetal work...I'm sure there's more I missed. 

Of course we are talking here about new solutions only. Some suggested solutions are from existing technologies. 

Oct 27, Oct 2014 UPDATE - Rebecca made a good point...we need to somehow establish contact with local community groups in the stricken areas. I've been trying to do this but no response yet. If anyone has any contact leads, please let me know.

Oct 25, 2014 UPDATE - While creating the information architecture on the Kerika Brainstorming page and analyzing data to upload to it today whilst beginning to add some of my fav Ideo solutions found on this website, I believe I have found a compelling rationale of why 2 of the ideo solutions, when combined with current US DOD, USAID initiative to build 1700 beds in 17 x 100 bed treatment units can solve the epidemic. It is based on a combination of CDC director Tom Friedman's identification of the main problem areas on the treatment and community side AND some of the Ideo solutions. I have identified 2 Ideo generated solutions that when combined with the US DOD Operation United Assistance provides a complete solution to the problem that Tom Friedman has characterized. The two key ideo ideas are:

David Walker's popup tent:

and Kate Cho's rubber cholera bed:

David is pretty enthusiastic about his idea, and rightly so but perhaps he wasn't aware of how his solution aligns so perfectly with the CDC's identification of the problem areas. 

Operation United Assistance can go a long way in solving 1 of the 3 problems identified by Tom Friedman...rapidly providing sufficient treatment centers. This is on the treatment side of things. Tom identifies 2 other serious infection sources on the community side: home care and burial practice. A practical and low cost design that fuses David and Kate's design could solve both these problems PLUS another source of infections. Education campaigns are ramping into overdrive now and these can help reduce the cases of infection through prevention. However, there will still be people who may not heed it. If this low tech solution is culturally acceptable, it could be a middle ground between protection and cultural practices, allowing the practices to continue in a safe protective way. We would definitely need anthropologists to weigh in on this.

If the NYU hackathon coming up can work with David and Kate on this integrated solution as one of their hack ideas and come up with a low cost and robust design, it could solve the other 2 major problems identified by Tom Friedman PLUS the problem of isolation infected and highly contagious cadavers. The design would have to be done rapidly and prototyped. If successful, it should be rapidly manufactured using the fastest available techniques. 


Ideo is a great, unique platform but there's too many ideas an no way to look at them all in a holistic, integrated way. This is a complex multi-dimensional problem and unless we come up with a holistic plan that coordinates all the ideas together, we won't succeed in solving it...there are far too many feedback effects that must be taken into consideration.

Health officials say that one of the most ineffective aspects of the global response to Ebola is the lack of coordination. Too many efforts, lack of coordination = huge wasted resources.

In the same manner, we have so many ideas here, we need to organize them into a logical and integrated framework so that we can see the forest instead of the trees. If we don't, then what appears as a solution may be ineffective or worse, even harmful. Hence, solutions cannot be provided in isolation. We don't want to repeat the same mistake.

A network of solutions with social, technological, community, behavioral, cultural and educational components has to be considered simultaneously to be truly effective. It only takes one weak, unaddressed areas to cause the entire solution to come crashing down.

There is no reason why users cannot grow and extend this project organically by using other cloud tools already available. A next logical step can be to gather interest from Ideo members to have a skype or google chat teleconference to take the growing list of these ideas and put them into a logical structure. 

What I've noticed is a lot of repitition of the same theme. Those main themes and their variations can be extracted and put onto a cloud-based  agile, mind map and project planning tool I often use for project planning called Kerika.

It's free to join and I can make the first draft of the mind map that captures all the information on this Ideo Ebola campaign and cluster them into logical categories.

We can make it open access to anyone who wants to join and contribute.

Right now, in the world, we are seeing a dramatic failure at global governance playing out in many different cases:

1. Climate Change - this lack of leadership has been going on for decades and has now endangered humanity.
2. Middle East - no resolution for decades. ISIL or ISIS is just the latest consequence of decades long failed governmental policy.
3. Ebola - MSF is crying for help and nothing is coming except more talk as indicated in these recent stories:

It's up to the people to step up now and do something.

People can them contribute their ideas in a more organic way not constrained by fixed column format and together, users can create a global mind map that reflects a holistic solution. This can allow us to make a citizen's war-room. Everytime I look at the news all they say is the projections it is getting worse.There is a paucity of information of how it is actually spread. We need to know what is happening on the ground in order to stop it. Why is that information not available? In the age of the internet, you would think there is at least a few computers with internet and email or bloggers from those countries? Why can't we the people, contact the people there ourselves and begin direct dialogue so we hear directly from the horse's mouth what is going on?

My vision is: why wait for sponsors to do something? We can also do it ourselves. Let's turn these great ideas into real action. Brice de le Vingne, director of operations Medecins Sans Frontieres, the leading medical charity that has been at the forefront in the fight against Ebola in West Africa referring to governments and international organizations said: "They are deploying as we speak, but we still don't see the results on the field," he said. "The speed of the deployment is still lower than the speed of the epidemic, and that is problematic."

A recent Guardian story:

reveals what many have suspected, that economic interest likely delayed the right actions. There was a critical breakdown within WHO itself with the Guinean branch not informing head office of the seriousness of the situation. It took aggresive action from frontline agency Medecins Sans Frontieres to finally reveal to WHO head office what was happening. This gives us yet another reason why a citizen's movement operating synergistically in parallel has value. It's difficult to put trust in authorities when there is economic and poltical interest at stake in a crisis as serious as Ebola.

This is where agile citizen's movements can contribute with little time dealy. We can devise an action plan, bring in community stakeholders, set milestones and see if we can hit them. At the very least we can have an action plan we can turn over to the project sponsors that will already give them a planning leg up.

We should definitely invite people who have been on the ground and also speak to people from those countries to give us insight into the culture and what daily life is like, etc...

Anyone who is interested can just comment on this post. Power to us, the people.



Join the conversation:

Photo of Freda Yawson

Hi James - this is excellent. I'm a little late to the party but we are started a design challenge in Ghana as well focusing on low-cost isolation units ( so i'm excited to see the pop-up tent design gain traction. i will be encouraging students to use the human centered design processes but since we cannot be there, we would love you and your teams feedback on the design criteria we should consider. Let us know if there are any additional areas you have not covered that you would like students to think about. Once our challenge is over here, we would be happy to share our ideas with you as well to see if any of them would be useful and or easy to implement. Keep up the good work!

Photo of OB Roy

The very real and big challenge is how to translate these innovative principles concepts into practical models and guidelines that rural communities can apply RIGHT NOW, next week, using traditional /modern materials easily available at hand so they can collectively face the challenge of the Ebola Crisis whilst protecting themselves from infection terms of:

Caring for the Sick
Transporting the Sick
Respect and Care for the Dead
Caring for Children whose Parents have Died
Caring for pregnant mothers
Caring for the elderly and infirm

This message needs to be formulated and conveyed immediately through local social hierarchies to support communities in facing the Ebola Crisis until the international community mobilises sufficiently to reach them with more sophisticated solutions.


I strongly recommend all contributors consider this idea and provide reccomendations accordingly. I believe this will enable us to further clarify our concepts through defining immediate practical applications of our innovations that anyone can set up and use in their own back yard!

We would expect these practical considerations to feed back into the design loop and manufacturing innovation.

Photo of James (Gien) Wong

Totally agree with both Freda and OB Roy. We need to get practical designs that are social, culturally, technologically and economically appropriate to the community asap.

Freda, if you provide me with a gmail address either here or send to, I'll invite you into the Kerika project page where you can see our designs evolving on an hourly basis. Working with OB Roy and other local Liberian or West African networks, together, the citizens of the world including those in West African and those outside can develop the best solutions possible.

What Onu points out as well is that, as a citizen's movement, to be effective we have to address the problem holistically. This is why I developed the solution framework. We can respond to the needs of the people directly, citizen-to-citizen and take advantage of other organizations to accomplish this goal. We here have the unique opportunity to work directly with the citizens, to hear what their needs are and respond directly to those needs.

We have to address all the items Onu listed above because that is the interconnected network of problems that have emerged out of this crisis...and we have to develop a plan to address these challenges in a holistic, integrated way.

We are that "small group of individuals" that Margaret Mead famously alludes to in her quote. We are the ones who can make a difference if we believe we can.

I encourage everyone to read OB Roy's Nov 10, 2014 comment which gives voice to the Liberian people. You can get a sense of the urgency and desparation and motivate you to do your best. A lot of us like myself have day jobs so we are doing this ontop of day job, family life and everything else. It may be a lot of work but its nothing compared to what people are going through in the afflicted areas. I appreciate everyone for all the time and effort and heart they are putting into this. Though I don't know each person's story, I know that you are each giving a lot. But in times of crisis, it sometimes brings out the noblest of human qualities.

Photo of Jeddlee Kinnii

Thank you all for your contribution toward Africa.

Photo of carilyn c

Name - how about "situation room"?

Photo of OB Roy

Greetings All
This is what we are working on through our volunteer network in Liberia. We need to get into action on this immediately. We need to think in terms of solutions we can deploy this week, next week,  this month. The only way to turn the tide is through communities mobilising to face Ebola now with the resources they have at hand.


Each Ebola survivor becomes immune and can help many others. The only way to face and conquer Ebola is as a strong cohesive community.

We wish to reach local communities through the Chiefs and Elders to convey a detailed message on how they can mobilise to face the Ebola Crisis as a community at little or no cost utilising resources they have readily at hand to organise specific separate places for specific actions:

1) Cleaning and caring for the sick
2) Drinking Water
3) Preparation of Food

4) Resting
5) Recreation
6) Sleeping

7) Recieving Visitors

8) Transport of the Sick
9) Burying of Waste
10) Caring for the Dead
11) Pathways to and from for the sick and the dead

We wish to formulate a detailed message to explain the organization and implementation of this model.

This message needs to convey:

1) Means and Cycle of Infection
2) Bodily reactions to expel infection
3) Community Infection Protection
4) Importance of replacing water lost
5) Importance of replacing food lost
6) Importance of Hygeine/Sanitation
7) Caring for the Sick,  Dying, Dead
8 ) Local Emergency Services
9) Transportation / Care of Sick
10) Transportation / Burial of Dead
11)  The Roles of Ebola Survivors

We wish to convey this message immediately, for communities to apply  this week,  next week,  this month. The only way to turn the tide is for local communities to mobilise together to face Ebola now.

The only way to acheive this is to work through the traditional tribal heirarchy with the guidance and blessings of the Paramount Chiefs.

I would like you to think about the 11 places listed above and the problems of each. I have asked our logistics expert in Liberia and the team over there to come up with a schematic model based upon local knowledge that we can work to. Perhaps James can set up a basic schematic in Kerika.

Then we have the 11 aspects of the 'Message'. Each of these potentially comprises a lot of information.  We need to distill the principles.  Our final Message should be no more than 3 pages,  with a simple schematic (page 4) and a list of mottos people can sing and dance whilst working (page 5).

The concept is to convey 4 stories.
1. Fatu saved herself and 3/5 children with plastic bags and bin liners as Ebola Protection.
2. The Nigerian Doctor saved patients by coaxing them to drink lots of water and easily assimilated food right through the process of fever, sickness and diarrhoea.
3. The Ebola Survivor from the treatment centre was able to touch Ebola Patients and help in ways others could not due to his immunity which last up to 10 years.
4. The people of Lofa County have reduced the number of beds required in the treatment centre front 140 to 40 by organising home care in the villages.

I am trying to contact the Paramount Chief in Lofa and have also tried to contact Dominic Sam Ex UNDP Director Liberia who is an honorary Paramount Chief. We have a list of the 242 Paramount Cheifs in Liberia but need to get contact details.

We need to build all the information we wish to convey into these 4 stories including medical: several questions arise.

Eg Ebola is transmitted to all parts of the body by the white blood cells of the immune system. Rates of Ebola Infection across West Africa are historically higher when temperatures are relatively lower and humidity is higher. The immune system response is different at lower temperatures to higher temperatures. Do we need to keep the patients warm and at lower humidity? Big question? .....

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi James, what amazing work you are doing! We've brought it across to the ideas phase so that the community can be inspired by what you are doing and build on it to make even better solutions. Feel free to update your post as it develops. We look forward to seeing it grow. Good luck!

Photo of James (Gien) Wong

Thanks so much Ideo team! It's all about teamwork. We have an amazing group of people here....combination of heart and brains.
What we're doing here is creating a common platform for solution designers who want to take their ideas to the next level. We've designed a platform for all you visionaries that gives you the opportunity to extend your ideas into real designs.

 We are using the cloud-based, open-collaborative project management tool called Kerika to do the collaborative project planning and running specific project tasks. So any of you Ideo dreamers who want to put a team together and start working on your solutions, you are all welcome to come to the framework and taking your ideas to the next stage.

The other important point about the space we are creating is that we are involving people on the team who are from the hotspot countries and have large networks on the ground. Our next step is to engage community activitists and health workers/organizations in Liberia, Seirra Leone and Guinea and welcome them as participants on this platform. We are creating pages for the local community members of these countries and also of expatriate communities.

The idea is that as this platform grows, it will be a common space for everyone working on these solutions. This helps break down silos and encourages very important feedback. The community can vet all our solutions so we have a very strong chance of the technology working and avoiding surprises. It's really the only viable way to design properly for this kind of problem.

I also envision this space to be around for a long time and be used to tackle many of the systemic problems that have led to this unprecedented outbreak. It can represent a real citizen-to-citizen breakthrough that can drive a fundamentally different approach to development....massive people-driven, grassroots development.

I have taken one promising idea, Dr. David Walkers POPUP TENT idea and set up the big framework then began working with a group of interested Ideo collaborators on this specific project. We are all learning as we go. None of us have ever collaborated in this way before so we are growing the tools organically. It's very rewarding to see so much good will and the designs are coming along fantastically. It shows what multi-dimensional collaboration can achieve! We suggest that anyone who wants to come work on their designs in this space first come join the group working on David's popup tent to see how the team working on this project have evolved a systematic approach. Then you can copy all of this into your own solution design page and evolve your solution with your evolving team of collaborators. It's a lot of fun!

If you want to begin working on a solution idea and take it to the next step, send me your gmail address to and I will send you an invitation to the platform. The idea is that different people and groups will use the space to work on individual solutions. By seeing what everyone else is doing, we can compliment each others solution and create an integrated approach.

Photo of OB Roy

My daily update from Johnson KB Pewu, Founder & CEO BUPOTRA Inc. LIBERIA "BUILDING POTENTIALS FOR TRANSFORMATION" a Liberian volunteer based NGO that reaches isolated Rural Communities through a network of Core Volunteers based in 70 communities across 8 counties.

Johnson has been putting the word out to the local volunteers to make contact with local groups and the elders.
Today another young volunteer told me of how so many of his immediate family and close relatives have died in the last 3 weeks.

Jeddlee S Kinnii Executive Director FELS a volunteer based NGO in Grand Cape Mount.
Jeddlee has had several meetings with the Elders and communities on how to face Ebola more recently after they all attended the funeral of his father.

I am glad I have been offer a camera today by a friend Whatsoever will be done in Cape Mount will be photographed I am finding  chance to get there by the grace of God
My district is and my people are my major concern and Liberia at large I was in the 12 grade when I dream of this (he is now 23 yes old)   

You can believe that I some time sleep with hunger just to get on the internet

Currently I am under stress I have lost my father, 2 sisters, uncle and my sitster children are the Island Clinic and and long with one of my sisters but live much continue  (3 of the 5 children died last week)

One I live, by the grace of God I there will be a positive change

Jeddlee S Kinnii is going to Cape Mount to try to get photos of what is happening to show WHO and other NGOS in Monrovia who have not yet responded to his letters requesting support and intervention for his community in Porkpa. We pray that he lives. He cannot stand idle whilst his people are dying all around him.

This is why I urge you all to focus on what we can do now. Tomorrow, next week, this month. We must turn the tide.
We need to help these people today, not tomorrow. They have faith that we, the international community will somehow, despite the obstacles, reach out and help them.

Report from Johnson KB Pewu

Hi Onu;
Thank you for fording the message which contains the contact details for Prof. Magona Flomo Sr. (Several Farming Cooperatives, Youth Development, Empowerment of Women and Young Mothers)
I will sure contact him and connect him with Jessie Kollie who is in Gbarnga, Bong County.
This Morning there was conversation with the fellow at Clara Town who was told the initiative and the need to work along with the community leadership. While we spoke via phone he connected me with the youth Chairman who after the over view of the initiatives and why we think it is important for every on to take actions now to help safe the lives of others and ourselves by working together.
He agreed and said he endorse this venture as this is the only way we all can make progress in the fight to prevent the spread of the virus.
I then asked him as I suggested to Mambu, if he could let Mambu have the list of leadership, number of house holds and total population in the community which is divided by blocks. The youth Chairman is Moses Mambu of Clara Town. He said they have this information and will let Mambu have them to pass on and he stressed that it will be good for us to have meeting and he can arrange further meeting with the council of leaders and elders in the community about the initiatives.
I acknowledged this as our way of intervention and stressed that it is our plan to ensure that the volunteer in their community who is passionate about this initiative be giving access to interact as a means of capacity to carry out the implementation of the initiative by working closely with the community structure. We exchanged numbers and I assured him that I will discuss with team his suggestion and inform him on the date so that we can work out the time.
In Stephen Toilbert the volunteer there said he has mobilized 17 volunteers and he was thinking about the need for T-shirt, caps,messages etc  to continue the initiative and he knows the sign language which he can be able to interpret  messages to the deaf and dum in the area.
I talked with the fellow in Kakata as well who is also passionate about the initiative.
The fellow with the  village CBO in Todee (14 vvillage farming cooperative) and I could not meet before he  left for Todee as promised even though he is very much interested in working along with the initiative.

Johnson KB Pewu

Photo of James (Gien) Wong

Thanks OB, very poignant sharing to motivate us all. We are also heartened to know that there are so many people on the ground taking proactive action. Hopefully, together we can make a big difference.

Photo of Howard Boyle

Can you get the people on the ground to upload videos of the existing field conditions ...?

Photo of OB Roy

Good question. Sounds simple but we are faced with power cuts, lack of equipment, lack of ..... yes we've budgeted for all this but we have no funding yet. So I've been pressing for photos videos etc but with little results. Plus the cost of living is skyrocketing as food and fuel are becoming scarce and no shipments are coming in. So if you tell me what you need to know we can try to find out but please be concise and appreciate that that resources are extremely limited.

Photo of Howard Boyle

OB Roy, Thank you for the reply. I hope openIDEO can update this site to include a video library. I hope my question and your reply help James with his Ebola war-room designs. Please pardon me if my question oversimplifies the problems. I have never traveled abroad to the affected areas. I have nascent ideas about how to help with this terrible outbreak of Ebola.

Photo of James (Gien) Wong

Hi Howard, send me your gmail email address to and I will invite you to the Ebola War Room planning page where all the information from everyone on this team is being uploaded.

Photo of Lynn Lawry

Howard, many of the larger international NGOs have videos on the ground as does BBC where they have gone into rural areas of Sierra Leone and Liberia. IMC, IRC, MSF have all posted videos and pictures on their websites (these are the main international medical NGOs in the areas). IMC has been in Sierra Leone since the war so they are well established. They had a great video that showed the inside of a treatment center.

Photo of Rainer Winkler

What I need are videos that are uncut, long and show typical situations. So that we can get a better picture of what is going on.
This is not the type of video a typical television company broadcasts.

Photo of OB Roy

See my update from Liberia on the risks of going to an infected area. Remember how Mathew Rogers described in our skype. In the isolated Rural communities there are no roads the are dirt roads which get very muddy and tracks/paths to villages through the bush. When people are infected they are sick and have diarrhoea outside hopefully on the bush or inside where it has to be cleaned up except..... to carry the sick down the paths to the road they make wooden stretchers from what ever is available and tie these to the head or back of the person in front with another carrying behind. Or else they just carry the person somehow. The journey can take 2,4 or even 10 hours along tracks through the bush and then if there is no transport along the muddy dirt road. So we can imagine the people are covered in mud, sweat and bodily fluids at the end of this long journey. Does this help?

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Hi James and team! Thanks so much for joining the conversation with your amazing insights, expertise and passion. Congratulations on making our highlights list, we were really impressed by the potential your idea has to help rapidly equip care communities in the fight against Ebola and we hope that it will inspire the community to contribute more to the cause. Thank you!

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Thanks guys. Together we are developing a truly holistic solution...with vital feedback from teammates on the ground in West Africa working with a multi-disciplinary team to try to create the best possible solution that can empower the people of the communities most affected to protect themselves from infection and to care for those who are in a safe manner.