Global Vaccine Logics

Multi-national CIHR-funded project, 2016-2021


The three-year anthropological study Global Vaccine Logics will generate and analyze accounts of Ebola interventions from community members, health care providers (formal and informal), biomedical researchers, government officials, NGOs and multilateral organizations. The accounts will be triangulated and used to develop an evidence-based, contextually-sensitive and flexible decision-making framework for use by national health authorities to prioritize health interventions and strengthen community health surveillance and response. Incorporating a broad spectrum of diverse knowledges, this research will help strengthen health systems by creating an integrated platform for research, emergency response training and community preparedness for future disease outbreaks.

Guiding the research is critical medical anthropology (CMA), a theoretical orientation that attends to political economic complexities,as well as an interdisciplinary social studies of science perspective on the concepts, processes and consequences of global health science. Driving this theory is formative work on decision-making models that considers multiple levels of criteria, including effectiveness, acceptability and feasibility, social, economic, ethical, legal and political considerations.

Global Vaccine Logics Team

Our team includes medical anthropologists, epidemiologists, and clinical experts from Senegal, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Guinea, United States, France, Germany and Canada.

Principal Investigator


Research Assistants

Throughout the grant, two workshops have been held at TRRU to foster collaboration, data-sharing and synthesis of findings. Find out more about our workshops in 2017 and 2019

Associated Research Activities 

  • Intensive literature review and mapping of the scientific, clinical and social humanitarian responses to Ebola
  • Ethnographic enquiry and analysis of diverse experiential knowledge held by community members, health providers, biomedical researchers and health officials directly engaged in Ebola activities. Led by Dr. Oumy Thiongane in Guinea and Burkina Faso.
  • Secondary analysis of approximately 150 archived interviews that were collected as part of the Ebola 100 and Institut Pasteur Biomedical Engagement in West African Ebola Outbreak studies. This analysis was led by Molly Ryan and has resulted in the publication Technologies of Trust in Epidemic Response [Full-text here].
  • Semi-structured key informant interviews including focused ethnographic participant-observation in work environments of scientists, clinicians, researchers, health officials, manufacturers, community health providers and community members to analyze their roles and experiences with Ebola therapeutic and vaccine interventions, mobile lab units, surveillance and health services linkage and humanitarian multilateral response.