The Typhoon Haiyan response
by Humanitarian Practice Network January 2015

This edition of Humanitarian Exchange focuses on lessons from the humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan, the worst disaster ever to hit the Philippines. Making landfall on 8 November 2013, the typhoon killed more than 6,000 people and affected more than 14 million. It also triggered a swift, large-scale national and international (Level 3) response.

  • In the lead article, David Carden and Ashley Jonathan Clements highlight the important coordination role of the Philippines government in the response.
  • Katie Peters and Mirianna Budimir analyse why such heavy losses were sustained despite significant government investment in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
  • Gemma Ocon and Olaf Neussner assess the early warning efforts prior to the typhoon.
  • Julie Hall analyses the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s long experience of responding to disasters in the Philippines, emphasising that government structures need to be able to handle multiple waves of health needs for months or even years after an event.
  • Articles by Barb Wigley and Alex Jacobs reflect on the attitudes and tools needed to build a culture of accountability to affected populations
  • Caroline Austin and Nicki Bailey discuss lessons learned from a review of support to enhance two-way communications with communities.
  • Articles by John Tipper, Anne Street and Michiel Hofman and Sandrine Tiller focus on the need to improve the quality of partnerships and engagement with local actors by clusters and individual agencies.
  • Alesh Brown reflects on the collective cash response in the Philippines, one of the largest humanitarian cash-based interventions ever mounted
  • Serena Brown points out the extensive and growing role of the private sector in the Haiyan response.
  • The issue ends with articles by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Philippines and Victoria Maynard and Phil Barritt discussing key aspects of the shelter response.

As always, we welcome any comments or feedback, which can be sent to or to The Coordinator, 203 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ.