Post-disaster social capital: trust, equity, bayanihan and Typhoon Yolanda

Pauline Eadie (School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Yvonne Su (College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Publication date: 4 June 2018



The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of disaster rehabilitation interventions on bonding social capital in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.


The data from the project are drawn from eight barangays in Tacloban City, the Philippines. Local residents and politicians were surveyed and interviewed to examine perceptions of resilience and community self-help.


The evidence shows that haphazard or inequitable distribution of relief goods and services generated discontent within communities. However, whilst perceptions of community cooperation and self-help are relatively low, perceptions of resilience are relatively high.

Research limitations/implications

This research was conducted in urban communities after a sudden large-scale disaster. The findings are not necessarily applicable in the rural context or in relation to slow onset disasters.

Practical implications

Relief agencies should think more carefully about the social impact of the distribution of relief goods and services. Inequality can undermine community level cooperation.

Social implications

A better consideration of social as well as material capital in the aftermath of disaster could help community self-help, resilience and positive adaptation.


This study draws on evidence from local communities to contradict the overarching rhetoric of resilience in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.



Eadie, P. and Su, Y. (2018), "Post-disaster social capital: trust, equity, bayanihan and Typhoon Yolanda", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 334-345.

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