Marly Anne Bacaron
Marly Anne Bacaron’s immersion in Mindanao started when she left the Middle East, her home for 12 years, to pursue her university studies in the southern Philippine island. The experience she gained in the 10 years she lived there inspired her to do development work, particularly in the areas of education, gender and peace building. She has since engaged with civil society, grass-roots organizations and international nongovernmental organizations in project management, capacity development and evaluation.
Following her stint as an ASEAN Foundation scholar at the Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, Bacaron wrote her master’s thesis on social protection policies among evicted HIV communities in Cambodia, and two papers on indigenous conflict resolution in Mindanao as well as the role of community participation and decentralization reforms in Cambodia.
Bacaron has worked in Cambodia and Sri Lanka for local organizations engaged in HIV and AIDS, social accountability, and decentralization reforms. She also worked for multilateral donors and international organizations such as World Bank, UNAIDS and World Vision. She led teams in work on governance and decentralization reforms, formed a network of health NGOs to work on social accountability concerns for better coordination and harmonization, and enabled technical teams and more than 30 field offices to innovate and develop holistic interventions.
For Bacaron, “development is not just for communities but should also enrich the people we work with.” This belief is manifested in the way she leads her teams and works with organizations. Not only does she foster the ability to inject empathy into the context of a problem, she also gives them the creative space to come up with rational and context-based solutions.
Bacaron is currently Save the Children’s senior manager for Mindanao. She has been working on the organization’s emergency response to Typhoon Pablo. She has also been coordinating with other humanitarian groups and U.N. agencies, particularly in the area of education.