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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2020

Saurav Negi and Gaurav Negi

The purpose of this paper is to identify the issues and challenges in humanitarian logistics and to develop a framework for effectively managing the humanitarian logistics…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the issues and challenges in humanitarian logistics and to develop a framework for effectively managing the humanitarian logistics in disaster relief supply chain operations in India.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a framework to manage humanitarian logistics effectively in disaster management through qualitative analysis. First, the author examines the challenges facing the humanitarian logistics and supply chain through the reviews of the literature on various disasters. Then, the author presented a framework based on the best practices and initiatives taken worldwide in the preparedness and response stage of the humanitarian supply chain to manage and reduce the aftermath of any disaster in context to India.

Findings

A framework has been developed to manage humanitarian logistics in the disaster relief operation, which would improve the humanitarian supply chain in India and help to effectively manage natural disasters in the preparedness and response stage at the state and district levels.

Research limitations/implications

The paper mainly emphasises on the preparedness and response stage of disaster supply chain management in Indian context.

Practical implications

None of the disaster incidents can be stopped from taking place, but the impact can be minimised by proper preparedness and effective response during the operations of humanitarian logistics. With this hope, the framework has been developed, which if implemented would help to plan and manage any disaster incident in an effective manner, which ultimately would save millions of lives and cost in terms of infrastructure, property, assets etc.

Originality/value

As natural disaster incidents are occurring frequently in Indian states, there is an urgent need for a framework to manage the logistics operations effectively and efficiently during any disaster relief operations. Limited literature is found on developing and presenting a framework focusing on the preparedness and response phase of disaster supply chain management in context to India. Hence, this paper is believed to be the first to fulfil this gap with main emphasis on the preparedness and response stage of disaster supply chain management in Indian scenario.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2019

Shirish Jeble, Sneha Kumari, V.G. Venkatesh and Manju Singh

The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, to investigate the role of big data and predictive analytics (BDPA) and social capital on the performance of humanitarian

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, to investigate the role of big data and predictive analytics (BDPA) and social capital on the performance of humanitarian supply chains (HSCs); second, to explore the different performance measurement frameworks and develop a conceptual model for an HSC context that can be used by humanitarian organizations; and third, to provide insights for future research direction.

Design/methodology/approach

After a detailed review of relevant literature, grounded in resource-based view and social capital theory, the paper proposes a conceptual model that depicts the influence of BDPA and social capital on the performance of an HSC.

Findings

The study deliberates that BDPA as a capability improves the effectiveness of humanitarian missions to achieve its goals. It uncovers the fact that social capital binds people, organization or a country to form a network and has a critical role in the form of monetary or non-monetary support in disaster management. Further, it argues that social capital combined with BDPA capability can result in a better HSC performance.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed model integrating BDPA and social capital for HSC performance is conceptual and it needs to be empirically validated.

Practical implications

Organizations and practitioners may use this framework by mobilizing social capital, BDPA to enhance their abilities to help victims of calamities.

Social implications

Findings from study can help improve coordination among different stakeholders in HSC, effectiveness of humanitarian operations, which means lives saved and faster reconstruction process after disaster. Second, by implementing performance measurements framework recommended by study, donors and other stakeholders will get much desired transparency at each stage of HSCs.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the missing link of social capital and BDPA to the existing performance of HSC literature, finally leading to a better HSC performance.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2020

Mohammad Asif Salam and Sami A. Khan

The purpose of this study is to draw lessons for logistics management in humanitarian disasters, using the earthquake in Haiti as a case study. In Haiti, there were…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to draw lessons for logistics management in humanitarian disasters, using the earthquake in Haiti as a case study. In Haiti, there were problems with the logistical response. This study investigates the humanitarian logistics challenges faced by various stakeholders in Haiti during the disaster-relief operations.

Design/methodology/approach

In this exploratory case study, the central methodology used was data triangulation. Data triangulation involved interviews with respondents grouped into three categories, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the military establishment and the governmental agencies. Prominence is given to the common themes expressed by each group. These common themes are then compared to the themes of other groups to identify opportunities and problems for future disaster relief operations.

Findings

The study indicates that there is a clear gap in terms of how the humanitarian efforts were coordinated between different actors. Lack of civil–military cooperation and coordination was one of the findings from the interviews, and many of the resources and initiatives were overlapping or redundant. Timeliness and efficiency need to be at the forefront of all planning and would result in more saved lives and reduced human suffering. The key goal of humanitarian logistics stipulates is to form connections and relationships, which was well illustrated through the informants' interviews. It was found that organizing different stakeholders/actors to work together by sharing processes and distribution channels demands a vision that goes beyond logistics management. Government agencies, the military establishment, NGOs, locals and victims need to collaborate to create a synergy in generating solutions that are tailored to the shock of the disaster in the first place.

Research limitations/implications

The current study relies on a single case study approach as disaster scenarios are unique in terms of their impact, magnitude, timing and location. Despite these limitations, this study provides a detailed account of the logistical challenges in dealing with the disaster that took place in Haiti. The logistics-related lessons learned from this case study should be carefully applied in other settings, taken into consideration contextual differences.

Practical implications

One important aspect of measuring efficiency for any commercial logistics system is key performance indicators (KPIs) that indicate how well the firm is doing in managing its inbound and outbound operations. From a practical standpoint, the Haiti case raised a challenging concern with regard to how to measure the performance of humanitarian disaster logistics. This is a starting point to understand the dynamics of disaster system efficiency and logistics interplay and offers a few lessons to improve the resource availability in the case of future emergencies.

Originality/value

This study lays the groundwork for future researchers to explore and debrief on the topic once disaster relief draws to a close and time has allowed logisticians and relief workers to analyze the response mechanisms used in disasters.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Koray Özpolat, Juanita Rilling, Nezih Altay and Eric Chavez

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a game-like decision tool – “Greatest Good Donations Calculator (GGDC)”, which has been collaboratively developed by scholars…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a game-like decision tool – “Greatest Good Donations Calculator (GGDC)”, which has been collaboratively developed by scholars from the University of Rhode Island and the USAID Center for International Disaster Information.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is grounded in two streams of research – human learning through games and systems dynamics literature. The problem of “unsolicited in-kind donations” is discussed followed by the development of the GGDC.

Findings

The GGDC is a game-like decision tool that informs users on some of the complexities associated with humanitarian supply chains, and the ineffective nature of unsolicited in-kind donations compared to monetary contributions when sent in response to international disasters.

Research limitations/implications

The GGDC could be made more interactive and playable that could improve user engagement. The GGDC’s value to the humanitarian community and public could also be measured in other ways, such as surveys and A/B split tests after a major donation campaign.

Practical implications

Games, simulations and game-like tools could successfully be used to educate donors about smart compassion.

Social implications

Humanitarian researchers and scholars should consider more games to motivate/drive social change in the humanitarian world.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to introduce the GGDC to the humanitarian logistics community with detailed content about positioning the study in the academic literature, and stages of development. Scholars, searching to adopt games or developing new games for the humanitarian world may find the information valuable. The GGDC is a unique example of federal government – academia collaboration in raising public awareness of the unsolicited good donations problem.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2020

Aruna Apte

The purpose of this research is to understand whether an organization knows if it is ready to respond to a disaster and whether it has the capabilities to deliver relief…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to understand whether an organization knows if it is ready to respond to a disaster and whether it has the capabilities to deliver relief. Our initial motivation was to identify unique resources possessed by the United States Navy (USN) and United States Marine Corps (USMC) due to their unique and critical capabilities for humanitarian operations. The recent frequency of disasters around the world suggests these events will continue to create demand for relief capabilities. For this reason we need to understand readiness metrics not just for USN and USMC but for humanitarian organizations (Hos) in general.

Design/methodology/approach

We survey relevant literature for understanding how HOs define and develop readiness metrics and associated factors. We studied documents including peer-reviewed scholarly articles, government documents, white papers, research papers and Department of Defense (DoD) briefings. We study literature that is significantly written for DoD, one, the vast experience of USN and USMC and two, the lessons learned have been documented. The literature offers substantial information on what readiness means and why it is important. This documented information is critical because it is known to the researchers in humanitarian operations that data is hard to come by.

Findings

The framework for readiness proposed at the end of this article is context the emergency responder probably uses in an informal fashion. The validation of readiness framework, we find exists in the supporting literature we review.

Originality/value

The understanding of readiness metrics for humanitarian operations for the organizations we study may offer insight into other HOs. The insights we gain may not be pivotal or counterintuitive to the conclusions based on commonsense. However, they are supported by the literature review. We formalize the concept based on conclusions of a set of diverse set of researchers and practitioners such as academic scholars, DoD personnel and government officials involved in humanitarian missions, USAID representatives that are repeatedly tasked for being ready, military and government officers from host and foreign countries and many more.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

Gyöngyi Kovács and Karen Spens

The purpose of this paper is to identify the challenges of humanitarian logisticians with respect to different types of disasters, phases of disaster relief and the type…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the challenges of humanitarian logisticians with respect to different types of disasters, phases of disaster relief and the type of humanitarian organization. A conceptual model is constructed that serves as a basis to identify these challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a country as a case, namely Ghana. Structured and unstructured data are collected in a workshop with humanitarian logisticians, and complemented with presentations of humanitarian logisticians, as they perceive their challenges. Disaster statistics and country profiles are used as secondary data.

Findings

The paper shows that some disasters defy a categorization between natural and man‐made causes. Challenges of humanitarian logisticians depend not only on the disaster at hand, but also on the local presence of their organization. The most emphasized challenge is the coordination of logistical activities. Challenges can be managed better if attributing them to different stakeholder environments.

Research limitations/implications

Applying stakeholder theory to logistics, this paper provides a greater understanding for the challenges of humanitarian logisticians.

Practical implications

A stakeholder categorization of the challenges of humanitarian logisticians helps to find potential collaboration partners as well as to mitigate these challenges.

Originality/value

Humanitarian logistics is a rather new field in logistics literature. What is more, there is a lack of empirical cases in the field. This paper proposes a conceptual model based on an actual empirical case.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Graham Heaslip and Elizabeth Barber

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a greater understanding of the challenges of civil military logistical cooperation, coordination and collaboration in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a greater understanding of the challenges of civil military logistical cooperation, coordination and collaboration in humanitarian relief logistics.

Design/methodology/approach

Systematic literature review of academic journals.

Findings

This paper has four main findings. First, a categorisation of humanitarian logistics literature is achieved through a systematic review. Second, a classification of military involvement in humanitarian relief logistics is presented. Third, the research substantiated systematic differences in the kinds of military cooperation not only due to stage of operations but also depending upon whether the disaster is “natural” or “manmade”. Fourth, the research identifies the challenges of civil military logistical cooperation, coordination and collaboration and posits recommendations to overcome the identified challenges.

Research limitations/implications

This paper represents an exploratory study and provides the basis for further research on cooperation, coordination and collaboration between military and civilian agencies in humanitarian operations. The paper sets a research agenda for academics.

Practical implications

This paper is the first to offer practical guidance to military commanders and managers of humanitarian agencies on solutions and recommendations to overcome the challenges to civil military logistical cooperation/coordination in humanitarian operations.

Originality/value

The area of civil military logistical cooperation/coordination has received limited consideration within the humanitarian aid logistics literature to date. This paper is designed to redress this shortfall. As a result, it is hoped that it will act as a catalyst for further research and to widen and deepen the resultant debate with a view to improving the outcome for those affected by current and future disasters.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Aruna Apte, Paulo Gonçalves and Keenan Yoho

Both the military and non-military organizations (NMO) bring assets, skills, and capabilities to a humanitarian crisis, however, their capabilities and competencies are…

Abstract

Purpose

Both the military and non-military organizations (NMO) bring assets, skills, and capabilities to a humanitarian crisis, however, their capabilities and competencies are very diverse. Identification of the specific competencies and capabilities that are core to these types of organizations can enable better planning by both military and NMOs, allowing them to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency in the humanitarian response. The purpose of this paper is to explore the core capabilities of the military and NMOs engaged in humanitarian operations.

Design/methodology/approach

The work builds on existing literature on the core competency of the corporation. The authors extend the concept of the ability to identify, cultivate, and exploit the core capabilities in the private sector to the organizations that want to respond efficiently and effectively to disasters. The authors develop a core competencies test for such organizations.

Findings

The research identifies the competencies and capabilities that are core to the US military and NMOs for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. By identifying such abilities the authors establish a vein of research for exploring the role of such organizations to facilitate greater understanding among academics, policy makers, and decision makers in public administration, public health, and international aid.

Originality/value

Existing literature in humanitarian logistics does not adequately address identification of those competencies and capabilities that are core to the military organizations and NMOs and are most needed during the operational life cycle of a humanitarian crisis. In addition to identifying them, the authors compare the core capabilities of the military and NMO.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Ioanna Falagara Sigala and Tina Wakolbinger

The purpose of this paper is to empirically explore the potential of outsourcing of humanitarian logistics activities to commercial logistics service providers (LSPs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically explore the potential of outsourcing of humanitarian logistics activities to commercial logistics service providers (LSPs) throughout the different disaster phases. The authors identify incentives for initiating outsourcing of humanitarian logistics activities to commercial logistics providers, humanitarian logistics activities to be outsourced and selection criteria for partners.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on empirical data collected by interviewing 12 practitioners from commercial LSPs and 12 practitioners from humanitarian organizations (HOs). A review of related literature guided this research.

Findings

This research shows that incentives for initiating outsourcing engagements, partner selection criteria and activities to be outsourced are changing throughout the different disaster phases. A number of research propositions are presented.

Research limitations/implications

This research constitutes a first step towards the goal of a comprehensive analysis of humanitarian logistics outsourcing throughout the different disaster phases. The authors collected data from practitioners and large organizations based mainly in Europe and the USA. Hence, insights from national and local organizations of other parts of the world are missing.

Practical implications

This research provides a deeper understanding of outsourcing of humanitarian logistics activities. As the main implication for practice, the research suggests a strategic use of outsourcing during the three disaster phases. The authors acknowledge that business objectives, risks, stakeholder agendas and requirements, as well as costs play a vital and changing role for outsourcing decision-making during the three disaster stages. The managerial implications arising from the research can provide support to commercial LSPs and HOs that initiate or develop strategic outsourcing relationships.

Originality/value

This study covers the gap in the humanitarian literature related to context-specific factors of outsourcing in humanitarian logistics by empirically investigating the phenomenon. This is one of the first studies that empirically investigate the potential of outsourcing of humanitarian logistics activities throughout the disaster phases.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2020

Sachin Agarwal, Ravi Kant and Ravi Shankar

This paper intends to explore and appraise the humanitarian supply chain management enablers (HSCMEs) for efficient and effective humanitarian operations. This research…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper intends to explore and appraise the humanitarian supply chain management enablers (HSCMEs) for efficient and effective humanitarian operations. This research aims to analyze the interaction of enablers for humanitarian supply chain management (HSCM) using a proposed hybrid framework consists of fuzzy Delphi (FD), interpretive structural modeling (ISM)–matriced impacts croises multiplication appliquee a un classement (MICMAC) and revised Simos approach.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is deliberate to identify 28 HSCMEs through a literature review and experts' opinions; out of which 20 HSCMEs are selected using FD. ISM is applied to know contextual relationship among the selected HSCMEs for developing a hierarchical model. The MICMAC analysis classifies the HSCMEs based on driving power and dependence power to validate the developed hierarchical ISM structure. The revised Simos technique is used to prioritize the HSCMEs to access its relative significance in humanitarian operations.

Findings

The finding of the analysis suggests that government policy and leadership support obtained the highest priority, having high driving power and low dependence power is significantly strategic and emerged as the leading driver for the HSCM implementation.

Research limitations/implications

ISM model presents an insight into interrelationship among HSCMEs, but this cannot quantify the impact of each HSCMEs.

Practical implications

Disaster relief aid agencies and stakeholders may focus on the enablers having high driving power and higher weight in designing and executing an effective and efficient humanitarian supply chain and to improve their activities and strategies of HSCM.

Social implications

This research helps humanitarian logisticians and humanitarian organizations to make better decisions to improve their operational performance in pre and postdisaster phases.

Originality/value

This paper explores the application of proposed hybrid framework to analyze the HSCMEs that can be considered as the original contribution.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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