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Facebooking Disaster Relief: Mobilizing Resources and Performing Accountability for Citizen Aid


Citizen aid refers to informal volunteer groups and individuals who self-fund and raise money nationally and internationally for disaster response. It also refers to corporations and/or formal organizations that gear up or shift focus of operations in order to do relief work. The authors are studying how citizen aid groups use social media networks, particularly Facebook, to mobilize resources for their operations and to perform accountability for donors around the world. Using ethnographic and online data on citizen aid during Typhoon Haiyan, the authors argue that mediation is a new site of brokerage, producing financial, cultural, and social capital for organizations and individuals that choose to act in response to a disaster.


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The Newton Tech4Dev Network research team is led by Dr. Jonathan Corpus Ong, Prof. Peter Lunt, and Prof. Julio C. Teehankee.