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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 23 August 2021

Nezih Altay, Gyöngyi Kovács and Karen Spens

Humanitarian logistics has for a long time been argued to be a new discipline. Now that even the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (JHLSCM) has…

Abstract

Purpose

Humanitarian logistics has for a long time been argued to be a new discipline. Now that even the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (JHLSCM) has existed over a decade, it is time to take a closer look at its evolution. This article provides some understanding for the developments of humanitarian logistics over the past decade, reveals current trends and discovers what lies behind the curtains in the humanitarian logistics and supply chain management discipline.

Design/methodology/approach

This article brings in developments and discussions in humanitarian logistics practice into the research domain.

Findings

The article conveys the concerns of humanitarian logistics practitioners to research. These include the backlash from the COVID-19 pandemic as a prime current concern, and also other longer-term issues and developments.

Research limitations/implications

The themes identified in the article can be used to inform a research agenda in humanitarian logistics and supply chain management. The article revisits a framework of global events and their cascading impacts to include non-linearities and multiple disruptions from evolutionary disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practical implications

The article argues for more collaborative and co-designed research to increase the relevance and impact of humanitarian logistics.

Social implications

Wider societal views are brought into the area of humanitarian logistics.

Originality/value

The article highlights the gaps that remain in humanitarian logistics and supply chain management research.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Richard Oloruntoba and Richard Gray

The purpose of this article is to investigate the nature of the humanitarian aid supply chain and discuss the extent to which certain business supply chain concepts…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to investigate the nature of the humanitarian aid supply chain and discuss the extent to which certain business supply chain concepts, particularly supply chain agility, are relevant to humanitarian aid.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies elements of good practice in conventional business supply chains and applies them to the humanitarian aid supply chain, making use of published practice‐based literature and web sites associated with humanitarian aid. Particular emphasis is placed on the concept of “agility” in supply chain management. A model of an agile supply chain for humanitarian aid is developed.

Findings

Humanitarian supply chains have similarities with business supply chains, but there are significant differences. Many humanitarian supply chains have a short and unstable existence with an inadequate link between emergency aid and longer‐term developmental aid. Unlike many business supply chains, typical emergency aid appeals assign inventory to a particular destination at the supply chain source.

Practical implications

This research note is a starting‐point for empirical studies to test the agile humanitarian supply chain model.

Originality/value

This paper seeks to integrate humanitarian aid practice with concepts in the academic supply chain literature. In particular, proposes that humanitarian donors need convincing of the value of supply chain processes.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2022

Aditya Kamat, Saket Shanker and Akhilesh Barve

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the factors affecting the implementation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Indian humanitarian logistics. The factors listed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the factors affecting the implementation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Indian humanitarian logistics. The factors listed are significant as they are hindering the incorporation of this new technology into the humanitarian supply chain, thus creating inefficiencies in the humanitarian logistics sector.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is approached using a two-step process. In the first step, the particular barriers for UAV implementation are determined by a literature review and consultation with experts. Next, the proposed framework, a combination of grey-decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (grey-DEMATEL) and analytic network process (ANP), i.e. g-DANP, is used to determine a hierarchical structure for the factors and sub-factors. The grey hypothesis provides sufficient analytical data to an otherwise lacking DEMATEL technique. Also, the use of ANP gives weightage to each factor, allowing us to categorize their importance further.

Findings

This study reveals that factors like expensive commercial solutions and high transport energy costs are significant factors of the “cause” group, whereas the uncertain cost for maintenance and repair and deficiency of high-level computing are crucial factors of the “effect” category. The mentioned factors, along with many others, are the main reasons for the delayed incorporation of UAVs in humanitarian logistics.

Practical implications

The results of this study present insights for humanitarian supply chain managers, UAV producers and policymakers. Those in the humanitarian logistics sector can use the findings of this study to plan for various challenges faced as they try and implement UAVs in their supply chain.

Originality/value

This research is unique as it analyses the general factors hindering the implementation of UAVs in Indian humanitarian logistics. The study enriches existing literature by providing an analytic approach to determine the weightage of various interrelations between the identified factors affecting UAV incorporation in the humanitarian supply chain.

Details

Journal of Modelling in Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5664

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2022

Mauro Vivaldini and Maria da Penha Melo Malda Iglesias

This study intends to map the supply chain and characterize the business processes of a cultural center in an aggregated and coordinated operation to serve families in…

Abstract

Purpose

This study intends to map the supply chain and characterize the business processes of a cultural center in an aggregated and coordinated operation to serve families in need during the Covid-19 pandemic. This case study analyzes distinct aspects of humanitarian management capable of contributing to the management of commercial supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a case study approach, this research contextualizes the view on humanitarian supply chains related to the importance of participating organizations' engagement and the relationship and similarity with business organizations.

Findings

The study presents the model adopted to undertake the aid operations, maps the cultural center's humanitarian supply chain, clarifies the relationships and operations developed and compares the business processes with those of commercial chains. Possibilities and initiatives are discussed that can contribute to business organizations' greater engagement in humanitarian actions.

Research limitations/implications

Restricted to one case involving the cultural center and the other agents researched, the information and considerations are limited, and any generalization should be treated with caution.

Practical implications

The study is a practical example that clarifies how business organizations can engage in the supply chain of humanitarian institutions. It also illustrates ways to help these institutions improve their fund-raising initiatives.

Social implications

This study is justified by the representativeness of humanitarian actions in critical periods such as the Covid-19 pandemic. The study also presents potential ways to contribute to operations of this nature and to encourage business organizations to improve participation in humanitarian movements.

Originality/value

Many studies on the subject have highlighted the importance of comparing humanitarian and business supply chains through real case research.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 10 December 2021

Chandra Prakash, Vivek Roy and Parikshit Charan

Governance is the key to establishing effective collaboration among humanitarian logistics partners addressing an ongoing relief work. With a focus on humanitarian

Abstract

Purpose

Governance is the key to establishing effective collaboration among humanitarian logistics partners addressing an ongoing relief work. With a focus on humanitarian interorganizational collaboration, this research draws on governance theories to investigate how conflicts can be mitigated in this challenging setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The focus on governance extends attention to the frontiers of contractual agreement, trust and environmental uncertainty to be applied in the humanitarian setting. To develop perspectives, an online survey of 289 field executives working in humanitarian organizations across the globe is conducted. The findings are based on hierarchical regressions.

Findings

Environmental uncertainty, in humanitarian logistics, is not straightforward, but wields distinctive challenges in the response phase (immediate to the disaster) as well as the recovery phase (beginning of build back) – to loom prospects of conflict between partners. Findings outline that contractual agreement can increase conflict during the response phase (high environmental uncertainty), but mitigate it during the recovery phase (low environmental uncertainty). Furthermore, contractual agreement interactively strengthens the ability of trust to reduce conflict. Yet, trust acting alone shows best outcome to mitigate conflict.

Research limitations/implications

Contrary to the established understanding in traditional logistics suggesting the vitality of contracts to easily mitigate challenges posed by environmental uncertainty, the humanitarian setting extends a unique outset for interorganizational governance based on the temporality of response and recovery phases.

Originality/value

This research pioneers to quantitatively examine the setting of humanitarian logistics based on survey. Given the difficulty of data acquisition, the extant research has largely relied on qualitative investigations when considering the agenda of governance.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 25 August 2021

Isaac Sakyi Damoah

This study explores the critical success factors (CSFs) in humanitarian supply chain management (HSCM) by focussing on flood disaster management (FDM) in Ghana.

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores the critical success factors (CSFs) in humanitarian supply chain management (HSCM) by focussing on flood disaster management (FDM) in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth semi-structured interview and questionnaire surveys in a sequential data collection approach were used to collect data from definitive stakeholders of humanitarian organisations. The data was analysed using exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factors analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM) techniques.

Findings

Seventy-four factors were identified as success factors of HSCM of flood disaster management. However, 41 of these factors were statistically significant and considered as critical. In descending order, these factors relate to management practices, education and training, stakeholder involvement and cooperation, infrastructure, innovation and technology, materials and resources, administrative practices, socio-cultural and economic. Whilst some factors are internal to the humanitarian organisations, others are external factors that are beyond the control of humanitarian organisations.

Research limitations/implications

Even though this study offers empirical results that could guide policymakers in their decision-making about humanitarian operations, care needs to be taken since the data is within one country and within a specific disaster context – hence, policymakers need to consider the local contextual dynamics. Future studies could look at different disasters context to make a comparative analysis of various types of disaster operations.

Practical implications

Institutions such as World Health Organization, Red Cross organisations and UN seeking to curbs global-warming-related disasters and the reduction of the effects of flood disaster can use findings as a guide during the formulation of HSCM policies and strategies.

Originality/value

Unlike previous studies of humanitarian operations that focussed extensively on theoretical expositions, simulations, conceptual frameworks and models, this present study offers empirical evidence of humanitarian operations in the context of SCM. Further, by highlighting on the HSCM CSFs, this study contributes to disaster reduction and their effects on humanity in the context of FDM. This research could be used as guide by governments and FDM organisations to make informed decisions on SCM areas to focus the most during FDM.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2021

Tachia Chin, Jianwei Meng, Shouyang Wang, Yi Shi and Jianxin Zhang

A serious global public health emergency (GPHE) like the COVID-19 aggravates the inequilibrium of medical care and other critical resources between wealthy and poor…

Abstract

Purpose

A serious global public health emergency (GPHE) like the COVID-19 aggravates the inequilibrium of medical care and other critical resources between wealthy and poor nations, which, coupled with the collision of cultures, indicates the vital need for developing humanitarian knowledge transcending cultures. Given the scarcity of literature addressing such unprecedent issues, this paper thus proposes new, unconventional viewpoints and future themes at the intersection of knowledge management (KM) and humanitarian inquiry.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is conceptual in nature. The data of the World Bank and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs are analysed to introduce some emerging real impact topics regarding cross-cultural conflicts and humanitarian knowledge in the post-COVID business world. The theoretical foundation was built upon a critical literature review.

Findings

This paper synthesizes the perspectives of culture, KM and the humanistic philosophy to distil the core component of cultural intelligence and comparatively and thereby illuminating why cross-cultural metacognition acts as a priori for achieving cosmopolitan humanitarian knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides profound implications to academics by highlighting the importance to formulating new, inter-disciplinary themes or unorthodox, phenomenon-driven assumptions beyond the traditional KM domain. This paper also offers practitioners and policymakers valuable insights into coping with the growing disparity between high- and low-income countries by showing warning signs of a looming humanitarian crisis associated with a GPHE context.

Originality/value

This paper does not aim to claim the birth of a new domain but call for more research on developing a normative theory of humanitarian knowledge as transcendence of cultures. It implies uncharted territories of great interest and potential for the real impact KM community.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2008

Jacques Fontanel and Albane Geslin

The political economy of the humanitarian is a new or a very old concept. On the one hand, if we have the main reference of the “humanitarian interventions” such as they…

Abstract

The political economy of the humanitarian is a new or a very old concept. On the one hand, if we have the main reference of the “humanitarian interventions” such as they were applied these last decades, there is no specific analysis of political economy on the question. On the other hand, if we introduce the concept of “humanitarian missions,” this one is already more ancient, but not older of two centuries. However, “humanitarian interventions” must not be mixed up with “humanitarian missions.” The first are military actions against a State to protect people within its borders from suffering grave harms. The second are peaceful actions and economic decisions to protect the life of victims of war, internal violence, natural or technologic disasters….1 Thus, there are two “political economies of the humanitarian,” expressed both in the civil and military fields.

Details

War, Peace and Security
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-535-2

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Book part
Publication date: 7 August 2019

Marian Konstantin Gatzweiler and Matteo Ronzani

This study explores how thinking infrastructures can orchestrate collective sensemaking in unstable and socially contested environments, such as large-scale humanitarian

Abstract

This study explores how thinking infrastructures can orchestrate collective sensemaking in unstable and socially contested environments, such as large-scale humanitarian crises. In particular, drawing from recent interest in the role of artifacts and infrastructures in sensemaking processes, the study examines the evaluative underpinnings of prospective sensemaking as groups attempt to develop novel understandings about a desired but ambiguous set of future conditions. To explore these theoretical concerns, a detailed case study of the unfolding challenges of managing a large-scale humanitarian crisis response was conducted. This study offers two contributions. Firstly, it develops a theorization of the process through which performance evaluation systems can serve as thinking infrastructures in the collaborative development of new understandings in unstable environments. Secondly, this study sheds light on the practices that support prospective sensemaking through specific features of thinking infrastructures, and unpacks how prospective and retrospective forms of sensemaking may interact in such processes.

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Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2019

Vandra Harris and Swornima Tuladhar

Achieving localisation (the transfer of control to local actors) has proven extremely challenging in the development sector, and the humanitarian sector appears to be…

Abstract

Achieving localisation (the transfer of control to local actors) has proven extremely challenging in the development sector, and the humanitarian sector appears to be facing equal challenges. This chapter seeks to engage with that struggle and examine why this lesson has been so difficult to learn. Drawing on conference workshops and 10 key informant interviews, this paper examines the obstacles and opportunities for localisation, seeking to understand what makes it so hard for those who hold disproportionate power in humanitarian encounters to hand over power. The authors found a clear sense of localisation being a process rather than an outcome; optimism that momentum is slowly gathering towards this process, and a clear sense of the steps required to fully achieve it. Examining practitioners’ perspectives in this way adds an important voice to discussions of humanitarian practice.

Details

Ethics in a Crowded World: Globalisation, Human Movement and Professional Ethics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-008-5

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