Kovács, G. and Spens, K. (2013), "New winds and the maturing of humanitarian logistics research", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 3 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/jhlscm.2013.51003aaa.001Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
New winds and the maturing of humanitarian logistics research
New winds and the maturing of humanitarian logistics research
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Volume 3, Issue 1.
The Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management starts 2013 in a musical fashion. The history of JHLSCM can be dated back to the starts of the HUMLOG group that brought researchers and practitioners in humanitarian logistics together, led to many projects as well as publications at conferences, special issues, eventually playing a role in establishing the journal itself. David Taylor's song that was presented at the Relief Supply Chain Management final seminar in October 2012 encapsulates the essence of these times. Now JHLSCM does not have a tradition in publishing songs but inspired by this song, as well as in fact traditions of Emerald journals in other disciplines (accounting), we welcome this poetic contribution to the journal.
There are though more than just musical changes to the journal. We welcome a new Africa regional editor, Charles Mbohwa from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Already by its second volume, the journal had received contributions from all continents, but considering the sheer amount of humanitarian projects " both in practice and research " that are carried out on the African continent, the appointment of an Africa regional editor should facilitate the channeling of these research results to publications that reach out to a larger audience through JHLSCM. Charles Mbohwa is an experienced editor, and contributes to the field of humanitarian logistics as an active researcher himself.
The journal would not be the same without its regional editors, whom we would all like to thank for their continuous active support and even their active editorship " the next issue of JHLSCM being edited by Nezih Altay and Peter Tatham in fact. They edit the first themed special issue of the journal on humanitarian logistics education.
More special issues are being planned as we speak. Mirroring current trends in humanitarian logistics that encompass the changing role of humanitarian organizations as service providers, the development of tailor-made services in the area of humanitarian logistics, the relationships between humanitarian organizations and logistics service providers, we will be launching a special issue on the topic of services. Interestingly, one of the papers in this issue (by Graham Heaslip) is already focussing on this topic and provides a good basis on further research in humanitarian logistics and services.
This special issue is also integrated with the Humanitarian Logistics and Crisis Management branch of the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) where again, our regional editors Nezih Altay and Steve Melnyk are very active. Links to the POMS conference are strengthened, as well as links to a variety of conferences in logistics (e.g. the humanitarian logistics tracks of NOFOMA and EUROMA) as well as disaster management. But this is also a call for sending ideas on themed special issues to the editors.
At this point we would also like to extend our gratitude to Lucy Sootheran and Chris Harris who had taken care of the journal from Emerald's side until late 2012, they will be greatly missed. This is a simultaneous welcome to Mark Moreau and Katie Spike from Emerald joining the team.
This issue of the journal includes a total of five papers. It is particularly interesting that two of them use mixed methods in their empirical studies, which is a big leap from previously mostly conceptual papers being published in the area of humanitarian logistics. This is a good sign of the maturation of research in this discipline.
A first, invited paper that has been selected from the previous POMS conference is Green, de Weck and Suarez’ paper on “Evaluating the economic sustainability of sanitation logistics in Senegal” that takes up three very important aspects of humanitarian logistics practice and research to date: how to manage public-private partnerships, the aspect of service development and provision in the area of humanitarian logistics, and last but not least, the question of sustainability. Their paper is also very interesting from a methods perspective as they use GIS-assisted route analysis in Senegal, draw on data from a variety of private as well as public sector stakeholders, and then also use Monte Carlo simulation to evaluate the economic sustainability of the proposed public-private waste transportation service in focus.
Another invited paper is Sheppard, Tatham, Fisher, and Gapp's discussion of “Humanitarian logistics: enhancing the engagement of local populations.” They focus on another aspect of sustainability in humanitarian logistics, in bringing in the local population. This is an interview study related to Typhoon Ondoy (September 2009 in the Philippines), on the basis of which the authors develop a conceptual model to increase local capacity for disaster preparedness and response.
The third paper in this issue focusses on the topic of “Services operations management and humanitarian logistics.” The paper by Heaslip lays a good foundation for the upcoming special issue of the journal related to humanitarian logistics and services. Several important topics are outlined for future research in this area: servitisation, service development, service standardization, and the role of humanitarian organizations as logistics service providers.
Next, Mohanty and Chakravarty look at humanitarian health care supply chains in their paper on “An epidemiological study of common drugs in the health supply chain: where does the compass point?” They report the findings of a study in the Dhenkanal district of Odisha, in India, where they focus on drug requirements, availability (including stock positioning), and procurement of drugs for three groups of common childhood diseases in the region: acute respiratory infection, diarrhea, and malaria " linking supply chain activities to impacts in terms of morbidity. Again using mixed methods, this study provides a more macroeconomic view on the health care system on a regional level. The paper emphasizes the need for more cross-disciplinary understanding between health care and logistics, something that the MedLog certification of CILT UK is currently trying to address.
Finally, Bemley, Davis, and Brock present a stochastic facility location model for “Prepositioning commodities to repair maritime navigational aids.” Their aim is to explore the effectiveness of prepositioning strategies for port recovery in response to natural disasters, particularly under conditions of damaged aids to navigation. Their paper is unique in that it addresses the value of prepositioning in light of business recovery from severe weather events.Gyöngyi Kovács and Karen Spens