Pamela G. Combinido
De La Salle University
Jonathan Corpus Ong
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Despite the massive humanitarian response and high investment in coordinative platforms in the Typhoon Haiyan response, disaster-affected people faced significant challenges in receiving and negotiating aid. We identify that brokerage practices by individual barangay [village] captains had a significant impact in the quality of aid received by their communities, making for an “aid interface” (D’Exelle 2009) that was highly politicized, localized, and variable. In a volatile post-disaster context, local officials had decision-making capacities and operational responsibilities in beneficiary selection and aid distribution, such that they enacted dual roles as both patron-brokers and broker-clients, causing anxiety within communities. Problematizing current trends in the aid sector of technological solutionism and vague emphasis to “build local capacities,” we identify challenges and opportunities for responsible aid brokerage.
Combinido, Pamela and Jonathan Corpus Ong. (2017). “Silenced in the Aid Interface: Responsible Brokerage and Its Obstacles in Humanitarian Interventions” Philippine Sociological Review.