Jennifer Widner

Jennifer Widner is Professor of Politics & International Affairs at Princeton University. She directs Innovations for Successful Societies, a research program that supports practitioners who aim to build more effective, more accountable government in hard places. Before joining the Princeton faculty in 2004-5, Professor Widner taught at Harvard and the University of Michigan. Her current research focuses on the political economy of institutional reform, government accountability, and service delivery.

Responding to Global Health Crises: Lessons from the U.S. Response to the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola Outbreak

Given the seriousness of the situation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), as an interagency platform for coordinating operations to end the outbreak. In the event of a war, earthquake, hurricane, or other disaster outside the United States, OFDA can quickly mobilize such a team to assess humanitarian needs, assemble expertise from many parts of the U.S.

Professor of Politics & International Affairs
Princeton University
United States

Jennifer Widner is Professor of Politics & International Affairs at Princeton University. She directs Innovations for Successful Societies, a research program that supports practitioners who aim to build more effective, more accountable government in hard places. Before joining the Princeton faculty in 2004-5, Professor Widner taught at Harvard and the University of Michigan. Her current research focuses on the political economy of institutional reform, government accountability, and service delivery. She also works on constitution writing, constitutional design, and fair dealing—topics of earlier research. She is author of Building the Rule of Law (W. W. Norton), a study of courts and law in Africa, and she has published articles on a variety of topics in Democratization, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Development Studies, The William & Mary Law Review, Daedalus, the American Journal of International Law, and other publications. She is completing work on a book about making government work in challenging settings, drawing on experiences in Africa, Asia, and parts of Latin America.

Review the entire ISS Ebola series, which provides detail on specific functions (supply chain, social mobilization, contact tracing, Liberia IMS).

Innovations for Successful Societies makes its case studies and other publications available to all at no cost under the guidelines of the Terms of Use listed below. The ISS Web repository is intended to serve as an idea bank, enabling practitioners and scholars to evaluate the pros and cons of different reform strategies and weigh the effects of context. ISS welcomes readers’ feedback, including suggestions of additional topics and questions to be considered, corrections, and how case studies are being used: iss@princeton.edu.

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