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Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 24 December 2020

Amin Maghsoudi and Mohammad Moshtari

This paper identifies the challenges during a recent disaster relief operation in a developing country where the humanitarian response is dominated by national actors…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper identifies the challenges during a recent disaster relief operation in a developing country where the humanitarian response is dominated by national actors, with international actors having a minor role.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study design is used; the main data sources are semi-structured interviews with 43 informants involved in the 2017 Kermanshah earthquake relief operation.

Findings

The findings suggest that humanitarian practitioners deal with multiple challenges during disaster relief operations. One group of challenges relates to humanitarian logistics (HL) like needs assessment, procurement, warehousing, transportation and distribution, all widely discussed in the literature. Another involves the growing use of social media, legitimacy regulations and the engagement of new humanitarian actors (HAs) like social media activists and celebrities. These factors have not been extensively studied in the literature; given their growing influence, they require more scholarly attention.

Practical implications

The findings will help humanitarian practitioners and policymakers better understand the challenges involved in disaster relief operations conducted by multiple actors and thus help them improve their practices, including the creation of proper regulations, policies and logistics strategies.

Originality/value

The study uses primary data on a recent disaster to assess and extend the findings of previous studies regarding HL challenges. It also elaborates on the critical non-logistical challenges that influence aid delivery in emergency responses, including the growth of social media, regulations and the engagement of new HAs. The results may motivate future empirical and modelling studies to investigate the identified challenges and identify practices to mitigate them.

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Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Abstract

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Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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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: 10 December 2019

Yasmine Sabri, Mohammad Hossein Zarei and Christine Harland

The purpose of this paper is to develop an existing collaborative research methodology process (Sabri, 2018), contextualise it for application in humanitarian supply…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an existing collaborative research methodology process (Sabri, 2018), contextualise it for application in humanitarian supply chains and test it empirically.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on collaborative research methodology and humanitarian supply chain literature, the Sabri’s (2018) collaborative research methodology process is further developed to comprise eight phases of collaborative research contextualised for the humanitarian supply chain domain. The process is applied in a collaborative research case of academia–practitioner knowledge co-creation in a humanitarian supply chain setting, focussing on environmental sustainability improvement. The collaborative case analysis suggests a number of refinements to the elements of the process. This study undertook two cycles of academia–practitioner collaborative research.

Findings

In testing the process, a noticeable improvement in the collaboration among different humanitarian stakeholders was observed, leading to improved stakeholder management. The implementation improved the sustainability awareness and social inclusion of the affected population. Rurality, remoteness, security issues and resistance of field staff against change were among the main challenges for supply chain researchers to engage in collaborative research in the humanitarian domain.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the rigour‒relevance‒reflectiveness debate in the humanitarian supply chain domain. A collaborative research methodology process derived from action research is further developed using humanitarian literature, and then it is applied in a humanitarian logistics case focussed on environmental sustainability. The present collaborative research process facilitates engaged scholarship among the humanitarian stakeholders, as the researchers’ roles move from observatory to participatory knowledge broker.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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