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Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Ira Haavisto and Jarrod Goentzel

The purpose of the paper is to deepen the understanding of supply chain performance objectives in the humanitarian context by striving to understand the underlying goals…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to deepen the understanding of supply chain performance objectives in the humanitarian context by striving to understand the underlying goals and conceptual variables behind the measurement of performance, such as efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is an in-depth case study with one humanitarian organization. The data are gathered with mixed methods over a two-year period. Interviews were conducted in August 2010 and April 2012, and a survey conducted in October 2012.

Findings

Misalignments are detected among different groups in humanitarian operations and between their goals and processes. These misalignments could possibly be corrected through long-term thinking in short-term operations by considering sustainability aspects throughout humanitarian assistance, for example. In addition, efficiency was a commonly identified objective in the case organization, although the definition varied widely and extended beyond the traditional definition of productivity to include planning, accountability and quality.

Practical implications

Better communication and definition of terms is necessary to align goals and the power hierarchy in humanitarian supply chains, where operations seem to be structured more according to donor requirements then beneficiary needs.

Originality/value

This is an in-depth case study, applying goal-setting theory to study supply chain performance. The study further responds to the public “aid efficiency” discussion by striving to recognize how efficiency is understood and how it can be measured in a humanitarian supply chain.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Nathan Kunz, Luk N. Van Wassenhove, Rob McConnell and Ketil Hov

Fleet management is a key function in humanitarian organizations, but is not always recognized as such. This results in poor performance and negative impacts on the…

Abstract

Purpose

Fleet management is a key function in humanitarian organizations, but is not always recognized as such. This results in poor performance and negative impacts on the organization. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrates how the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) managed to substantially improve its fleet management through the introduction of an Internal Leasing Program (ILP), in which headquarters procures vehicles and leases them to field offices.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops a framework for fleet management based on a longitudinal case study with UNHCR. It compares fleet performance indicators before and after implementation of an ILP.

Findings

At UNHCR, vehicle procurement was driven by availability of funding. Fleet management was highly decentralized and field offices had limited awareness of its importance. These systems and behaviors led to major challenges for the organization. The introduction of the ILP positively impacted fleet management at UNHCR by reducing fleet size, average age of fleet and procurement costs.

Practical implications

This paper provides fleet managers with a tool for analyzing their fleet. The frameworks and actions described in this paper contain practical recommendations for achieving a well-performing fleet.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to analyze fleet management before and after introduction of an ILP. It describes the benefits of this model based on empirical data, and develops frameworks to be used by researchers and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Caroline C Krejci

The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for a hybrid simulation model that can be used to study the decision making and behaviors of humanitarian…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for a hybrid simulation model that can be used to study the decision making and behaviors of humanitarian logistics actors to determine how/whether certain coordination mechanisms enable better relief chain efficiency and effectiveness over time.

Design/methodology/approach

The agent-based portion of the model is used to represent human decision making and interactions in a more realistic way than has been done previously, and the discrete-event simulation (DES) portion of the model allows the movement of vehicles, materials, and information throughout a supply network to be represented in a way that allows for dynamic and stochastic behavior.

Findings

Coordinated efforts by actors in humanitarian logistics operations involve complex interactions and adaptations over time, which can be capture and explored via hybrid agent-based model (ABM)-DES modeling.

Research limitations/implications

This paper describes a framework for a hybrid ABM-DES model. The actual development and implementation of the model, including input data collection and analysis, model development, experimentation, and output data collection and analysis, will be the subject of future work.

Practical implications

The hybrid model framework provides other researchers with a starting point for model development.

Social implications

This paper provides a basis for future modeling and assessment of coordination in humanitarian logistics, an area that is in need of research.

Originality/value

The hybrid simulation modeling framework presented in this paper is a novel application of a new modeling methodology to the problem of coordination in humanitarian logistics.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Marianne Jahre and Nathalie Fabbe-Costes

– The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the use of standards and modularity for improving responsiveness in the humanitarian context.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the use of standards and modularity for improving responsiveness in the humanitarian context.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a conceptual framework and a systematic literature review, the authors conducted a longitudinal, explorative case on the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) concept in the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Society (IFRC), focussing particularly on the Health ERU in the Norwegian Red Cross.

Findings

The authors found that the ERU concept makes use of many types of standards that complement and influence each other, and that the focus on modularity is increasing due to a growing need for responsiveness. Main challenges are trade-offs between autonomy and adaptability to the context resulting in more modularization which may be in danger of breaking the concept.

Research limitations/implications

Results from this study could be refined by surveying staff involved in all types of ERU deployments. To explore the generalizability of the findings and test the propositions developed, more studies should be conducted.

Practical implications

The study provides more understanding of the use of standards and modularity for improving responsiveness. Practitioners can use the framework as a check-list to identify potential means for improvements. The case can be used for training, discussions, and reflections. The research feeds into IFRC’s and NORCROSS ongoing work to their global response tools.

Social implications

The results of the study can support improvements in humanitarian supply chains, thereby providing affected people with cost-efficient, rapid, and better-adapted responses.

Originality/value

The authors develop a framework for categorization of standards and modularity in the humanitarian context. The authors provide the first empirical study on how humanitarian organizations use standards and modularity to improve responsiveness concluding with a set of propositions on how the concepts are linked.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Tunca Tabaklar, Árni Halldórsson, Gyöngyi Kovács and Karen Spens

Within the emerging research field of humanitarian supply chain management (HSCM) the use of existing theoretical concepts and frameworks to provide explanation and…

Abstract

Purpose

Within the emerging research field of humanitarian supply chain management (HSCM) the use of existing theoretical concepts and frameworks to provide explanation and understanding of the phenomena under scrutiny is not yet well understood. There is still a lack of research on which theoretical approaches are used in this field, and to what extent this emerging field “borrows” theories from other disciplines. The purpose of this paper is therefore to deepen the understanding of HSCM from a theoretical point of view by identifying and evaluating the use of theories in HSCM literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review is conducted based on academic journal articles included in a well-recognised and publicly available bibliography on HSCM articles (Tatham, 2015). A content analysis is applied to the articles in terms of level of theory, research methodology, disaster management stages, disaster types, and disaster name/region.

Findings

A trend towards using more established, “middle- range” theories, is evident. However, the use of theoretical approaches is not evenly spread between the different phases of disaster relief. A strong emphasis on SCM as a background discipline is also mirrored in the choice of theories used, which indicates the solidification of humanitarian logistics as a primarily supply chain discipline. The lack of use of other theoretical perspectives and grand theories is, however, still evident, which provides an interesting research agenda for future research.

Research limitations/implications

The use of the bibliography limits the generalisation of the findings although some trends are evident.

Originality/value

This is a first review of theories used in HSCM. It provides an overview of the state of the art of HSCM research but contributes to the maturation of research in this field. The paper concludes with a research agenda.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2008

Benita M. Beamon and Burcu Balcik

The purpose of this paper is to compare performance measurement in the humanitarian relief chain with performance measurement in the commercial supply chain, develop…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare performance measurement in the humanitarian relief chain with performance measurement in the commercial supply chain, develop performance metrics for the humanitarian relief chain, and present a framework that can be used as a basis for a performance measurement system in the relief sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The performance measurement analysis is developed through extensions on an existing performance measurement framework. Details regarding relief chain system were obtained through off‐site and on‐site interviews with relief professionals from World Vision International.

Findings

The paper finds that this work yielded: a comparison of performance measurement in the humanitarian relief chain with performance measurement in the commercial supply chain, new performance metrics for the humanitarian relief chain, and a performance measurement framework for the relief chain.

Research limitations/implications

The paper shows that future work includes performance measurement in community involvement and empowerment, performance measurement in community development, performance measurement in the combined relief and development mission, and understanding the role and impacts of cooperation and coordination in the relief chain.

Practical implications

This paper provides a practical procedure for developing effective performance measurement systems for relief logistics processes.

Originality/value

The paper presents to humanitarian relief professionals a new approach to performance measurement for relief logistics and to researchers in supply chain performance a comparison and contrast between performance measurement for relief and performance measurement in the commercial chain, new performance metrics for the relief chain, and implications for modern, quick‐response supply chains.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 May 2013

Abstract

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2010

Burcu Adivar, Tarik Atan, Bengü Sevil Oflaç and Tuğba Örten

The purpose of this study is to introduce the concept of social welfare chain and address the challenges in decision making through the development of an optimal planning…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to introduce the concept of social welfare chain and address the challenges in decision making through the development of an optimal planning model for a nongovernmental organization (NGO). The distinctive properties of the social welfare chain and its relationship with the humanitarian relief chain in the context of supply chain management are also discussed. The paper presents a real decision problem and analyzes the managerial impacts of the proposed solution.

Design/methodology/approach

The study of social welfare policy and the review of the humanitarian literature has necessitated the introduction of the social welfare chain. Based on its definition, an optimal facility location distribution model that consolidates the non‐integrated style of logistics functions with a cost minimizing approach is developed. The General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS) is used in order to optimize the coal distribution model of an NGO. Data is obtained from an NGO that aims to help vulnerable people through distributing coal and basic food such as rice and sugar.

Findings

Besides laying the foundations of social welfare chain, an analytical tool for decision support systems of the NGOs can be considered as the major finding of the research. Despite the increased number of stages in the proposed network configuration, the optimal solution resulted in significant cost reduction and distribution efficiency due to the availability of temporary distribution center locations at no extra cost. Furthermore, this study brings out the advantages of using intermodal transportation in the distribution process of cost‐sensitive networks.

Practical implications

This paper provides a detailed analysis that contributes to the efficiency and the effectiveness of social welfare chains. Moreover, it represents a cooperation established between university and NGOs.

Originality/value

The planning efforts of nongovernmental organizations targeting at the periodical aids to improve the social welfare level have received little attention in the literature. This paper is the first to propose the concept of “Social Welfare Chain”, at the same time addressing the distribution planning for the NGO.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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