Epidemics and pandemics can result in sudden morbidity and mortality as well as social and economic disruption. However, the humanitarian logistics and supply chain management (HLSCM) field has been mostly focusing on life saving operations after natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. There is no research within the HLSCM literature neither on the unique properties of vulnerable groups, nor their underlying risk factors or how to mitigate them. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the uniqueness of some vulnerable groups and motivated us to conduct a structured literature review to identify research needs in HLSCM with regards to vulnerable populations.
The authors conduct a systematic review of literature on the intersection of epidemics/pandemics, humanitarian operations and vulnerable populations. They utilize the Scopus database to search for peer-reviewed journal articles published in English. Our search results in 366 articles which we reduced to 139 after filtering.
There is no research within the HLSCM literature on the unique properties of various vulnerable populations. The authors show that HLSCM scholars can contribute to literature by investigating operational and logistical challenges of serving vulnerable populations through multi-disciplinary research, research on the intersection of public health and supply chain management, research on the intersection of ethics and operations management, and research on cross-sectoral partnerships.
The authors’ work is limited to peer-reviewed journal articles published in English. They did not include books, conference proceedings and think-tank or NGO reports. However, the authors do recognize that these sources can be very valuable.
To best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to review the literature on vulnerable populations under the threat of epidemics and pandemics.
Yagci Sokat, K. and Altay, N. (2021), "Serving vulnerable populations under the threat of epidemics and pandemics", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 176-197. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-08-2020-0070
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