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1 – 10 of over 2000
Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Jose V. Gavidia

While the need for information systems is regularly highlighted in the humanitarian logistics literature, a detailed model of what such system would look like is missing…

1468

Abstract

Purpose

While the need for information systems is regularly highlighted in the humanitarian logistics literature, a detailed model of what such system would look like is missing. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the need and advantages of enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology in humanitarian emergency logistics. The paper also proposes a model for the configuration, maintenance, operation, and improvement of the system.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper uses existing logistics and information systems literature to build the logical case for an integrated enterprise system for humanitarian emergencies, and to propose conceptual content and process models.

Findings

The problem of lack of coordination is reviewed, and a holistic solution is proposed through a structure and model of ERP systems technology to meet the specific requirements of humanitarian emergencies.

Research limitations/implications

As in any conceptual paper, a limitation of this paper is the lack of empirical validation of the proposed system. It also might be difficult to obtain the cooperation of multiple organizations. This research focuses on emergency humanitarian logistics, where effectiveness and speed have priority over simplicity or cost.

Practical implications

The model proposed in this paper links current efforts in humanitarian emergency coordination with existing supply chain information technologies, and is practically feasible both from the technological and organizational perspectives.

Social implications

Because of the critical, life or death nature of the problem, social and ethical implications of this research are broad, including the divergence of coordination in humanitarian vs commercial and military logistics, as well as inter-agency politics.

Originality/value

This paper is a bold but realistic attempt to take a holistic view of humanitarian logistics and design a system that would be effective, and calls humanitarian organizations worldwide to collaborate in its implementation.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Benita M. Beamon and Stephen A. Kotleba

To develop and test three different inventory management strategies as applied to the complex emergency in south Sudan.

5991

Abstract

Purpose

To develop and test three different inventory management strategies as applied to the complex emergency in south Sudan.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative modeling, simulation, and statistics.

Findings

This research identified critical system factors that contributed most significantly to inventory system performance, and identified strengths and weaknesses of each inventory management strategy.

Research limitations/implications

This research represents a first step in developing inventory management systems for humanitarian relief. Future work would include modeling correlation among relief items, multiple items, and considering the impact of information.

Practical implications

In a domain that has seen limited application of quantitative models, this work demonstrates the performance benefits of using quantitative methods to manage inventory in a relief setting.

Originality/value

This research has value for relief organizations by providing a real‐world application of quantitative inventory management strategies applied to a complex emergency, and demonstrated performance advantages of quantitative versus ad hoc methods. This research has value for researchers by providing a new application of simulation and mathematical modeling (humanitarian relief).

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 2 March 2021

Russell Harpring, Amin Maghsoudi, Christian Fikar, Wojciech D. Piotrowicz and Graham Heaslip

This study aims to describe the compounding factors in a complex emergency, which exacerbate a cholera epidemic among vulnerable populations due to supply chain…

2208

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to describe the compounding factors in a complex emergency, which exacerbate a cholera epidemic among vulnerable populations due to supply chain disruptions. Basic needs such as food, medicine, water, sanitation and hygiene commodities are critical to reduce the incidence rate of cholera and control the spread of infection. Conflicts cause damage to infrastructure, displace vulnerable populations and restrict the flow of goods from both commercial and humanitarian organizations. This study assesses the underlying internal and external factors that either aggravate or mitigate the risk of a cholera outbreak in such settings, using Yemen as a case study.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a system dynamics methodology to analyze factors that influence cholera outbreaks in the context of the Yemeni Civil War. A causal loop diagram with multiple components was constructed to represent the complexities of humanitarian situations that require critical decision-making. The model was built using data from humanitarian organizations, non-governmental organizations and practitioners, along with literature from academic sources. Variables in the model were confirmed through semi-structured interviews with a field expert.

Findings

Compounding factors that influenced the cholera outbreak in Yemen are visualized in a causal loop diagram, which can improve the understanding of relationships where numerous uncertainties exist. A strong link exists between humanitarian response and the level of infrastructure development in a country. Supply chains are affected by constraints deriving from the Yemeni conflict, further inhibiting the use of infrastructure, which limits access to basic goods and services. Aligning long-term development objectives with short-term humanitarian response efforts can create more flexible modes of assistance to prevent and control future outbreaks.

Research limitations/implications

The model focuses on the qualitative aspects of system dynamics to visualize the logistics and supply chain-related constraints that impact cholera prevention, treatment and control through humanitarian interventions. The resulting causal loop diagram is bounded by the Yemen context; thus, an extension of the model adapted for other contexts is recommended for further study.

Practical implications

This study presents a systematic view of dynamic factors existing in complex emergencies that have cause-and-effect relationships. Several models of cholera outbreaks have been used in previous studies, primarily focusing on the modes and mechanisms of transmission throughout a population. However, such models typically do not include other internal and external factors that influence the population and context at the site of an outbreak. This model incorporates those factors from a logistics perspective to address the distribution of in-kind goods and cash and voucher assistance.

Social implications

This study has been aligned with six of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using their associated targets in the model as variables that influence the cholera incidence rate. Recognizing that the SDGs are interlinked, as are the dynamic factors in complex humanitarian emergencies, the authors have chosen to take an interdisciplinary approach to consider social, economic and environmental factors that may be impacted by this research.

Originality/value

This paper provides an insight into the underlying inter-relations of internal and external factors present in the context of a cholera outbreak in a complex crisis. Supply chains for food; water, sanitation and hygiene; and health products are crucial to help prevent, control and treat an outbreak. The model exposes vulnerabilities in the supply chain, which may offer guidance for decision makers to improve resilience, reduce disruptions and decrease the severity of cholera outbreaks.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2012

Alessandra Cozzolino, Silvia Rossi and Alessio Conforti

The purpose of this paper is to identify the specific stages of the humanitarian logistics process in which the agile and lean principles are needed.

5463

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the specific stages of the humanitarian logistics process in which the agile and lean principles are needed.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this purpose, the authors propose an original conceptual framework and apply it to evidence from a “best practice” case study in the humanitarian sector: the United Nations World Food Programme and its efforts in the Darfur (Sudan) crisis.

Findings

Although several previous works introduced the agile principle as suitable for disaster relief, when and how to embrace the agile and lean principles remained unclear. This paper demonstrates the proper combination of the agile and lean principles in disaster relief phases. The correspondence is based on the coincidence of the objectives that arises in every stage and that each principle is capable of achieving.

Research limitations/implications

Further empirical research is needed to support the framework and to enrich the results that arise from this first explorative work.

Practical implications

The proposed framework is targeted at leading actors involved in the operation and planning of humanitarian logistics when a crisis emerges. This approach, which is based on the combination of the agile and lean principles, is not exclusive to the humanitarian sector. This perspective may be useful to create business logistics that address disruptions to traditional supply chain flows and other forces that disrupt logistics, production and information handling.

Originality/value

The paper clarifies how agility and leanness should be emphasised in specific stages of the humanitarian logistics process, to reach a higher level of effectiveness and efficiency when planning disaster relief.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 February 2021

Jorge García Castillo

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analytical model to decide between cash-based and in-kind distributions during emergency responses considering the needs of…

1026

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analytical model to decide between cash-based and in-kind distributions during emergency responses considering the needs of beneficiaries and market conditions. To allow the switch between modalities, a preparedness framework for humanitarian organizations (HOs) is provided.

Design/methodology/approach

A mathematical model is proposed to help humanitarian responders make quantitative decisions on the type of programs to implement in emergency responses. The model was applied to a field response by an international HO during the COVID-19 emergency in Colombia.

Findings

Cash-based and in-kind distributions are not mutually exclusive response modalities during emergencies, and the real needs of beneficiaries and market effects should be included in the modality selection decision to improve program effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The research is focused on short-term immediate response to emergencies; the proposed model assumes favorable market conditions and limits the aid options to direct in-kind and multipurpose cash assistance, excluding other types of cash transfers.

Practical implications

The research outlines practical preconditions to operationalize switching between programs during an emergency. The study provides evidence that HOs should consider dynamics decision tools to select aid modalities and evaluate their response depending on market conditions.

Social implications

Considering aid modality as a dynamic decision and including the needs from beneficiaries in the choice can have profound impact in the dignifying of humanitarian response to emergencies.

Originality/value

The quantitative model to decide between aid modalities is a novel approach to include beneficiaries' needs and market dynamics into humanitarian supply chain research. The preparedness framework closes the gap between the emergency preparedness literature and the operational constraints that organizations face for fast program implementation.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 July 2019

Qing Lu, Jie Wu, Mark Goh and Robert De Souza

The ramp-up in humanitarian logistics operations is a stage when the demand surges, often at the start of an emergency. In response, agility is a key strategy used by the…

Abstract

Purpose

The ramp-up in humanitarian logistics operations is a stage when the demand surges, often at the start of an emergency. In response, agility is a key strategy used by the humanitarian organizations (HOs). However, the HOs are constrained by their existing resources and have to respond in the ramp-up process under their resource dependency. The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework on agility-building strategies used by HOs for the ramp-up.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applies both the dynamic capabilities perspective and resource dependence theory to humanitarian relief operations, and develops four testable propositions to explore the agility-building strategies of the HOs for the ramp-up process. A multiple-case study is conducted on six international HOs operating in Indonesia to verify them, in addition to an extensive literature search.

Findings

The case study shows that the human resource management, pre-positioning, standardization and supplier management of the HOs are all related to their resources and environment in the ramp-up process. The authors highlight the practical differences between the few super large, resource rich and centralized HOs with the second-tier HOs.

Research limitations/implications

Given the small sample size and single country as the site of study, some findings may not be applicable to the other HOs or in other regions.

Practical implications

The propositions could be applicable to other HOs operating under similar environments, and potentially to the commercial enterprises operating in a highly volatile environment with severe resource scarcity.

Originality/value

This study provides new insights into ramp-up operations and into how HOs build their agility and reduce their resource dependencies. Theoretically, the paper applies two established theories in the strategic management literature to a new field.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 October 2022

Jeevan Karki, Steve Matthewman and Jesse Hession Grayman

This paper aims to critically examine the post-disaster emergency response amongst marginalised and disadvantaged social groups following the 2015 Nepal Earthquake (7.8 Mw).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to critically examine the post-disaster emergency response amongst marginalised and disadvantaged social groups following the 2015 Nepal Earthquake (7.8 Mw).

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research method was employed by conducting interviews with disaster survivors from marginalised and ethnic social groups, humanitarian aid workers and government officials in the four districts worst hit by the 2015 Nepal Earthquake.

Findings

This research found that community members demonstrated remarkable cooperation in the aftermath of the disaster; however, caste-based discrimination still manifested in post-earthquake emergency environments. Further, this research showed that the engagement of government and local and international humanitarian organisations was noteworthy in the earthquake emergency response in Nepal as it localised relief packages and adapted the assistance corresponding to the fast-changing post-disaster environments. However, some relief materials were culturally inappropriate and climatically unsuitable. This paper also shows that the poor dissemination of relief distribution plans, resource duplication and ineffective targeting disproportionately impacted the oppressed and marginalised households in receiving humanitarian assistance.

Originality/value

Studies have been undertaken on the emergency response to the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, however, few have focussed on the lived experience of marginalised and disadvantaged social groups. Further, this research builds on, and contributes to, the humanitarian mobile sovereignty discourse.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Cécile L'Hermitte, Peter Tatham, Ben Brooks and Marcus Bowles

The purpose of this paper is to extend the concept of agility in humanitarian logistics beyond emergency operations. Since the humanitarian logistics literature focuses…

1607

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend the concept of agility in humanitarian logistics beyond emergency operations. Since the humanitarian logistics literature focuses primarily on emergencies and sees longer term and regular operations as being conducted in relatively stable and predictable environments, agile practices are usually not associated with humanitarian protracted operations. Therefore, this paper explores the logistics and supply chain environment in such operations in order to identify their basic features and determine if agility is an important requirement.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study of the United Nations World Food Programme, the authors collected and analysed qualitative and quantitative data on the characteristics of protracted operations, the risks and uncertainties most frequently encountered, their impact, and the ways that field logisticians manage contingencies.

Findings

The research demonstrates that unpredictability and disruptions exist in protracted operations. Therefore, short-term operational adjustments and agile practices are needed in order to support the continuity of humanitarian deliveries.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should focus on a wider range of humanitarian organisations and move from a descriptive to a prescriptive approach in order to inform practice. Notwithstanding these limitations, the study highlights the need for academics to broaden the scope of their research beyond emergencies and to address the specific needs of humanitarian organisations involved in longer term operations.

Originality/value

This paper is the first empirical research focusing exclusively on the logistics features of humanitarian protracted operations. It provides a more concrete and complete understanding of these operations.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Ana Laura R. Santos, Linda S.G.L. Wauben, Richard Goossens and Han Brezet

The purpose of this paper is to collect information about barriers and enablers experienced by international experts when transferring medical equipment to countries…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to collect information about barriers and enablers experienced by international experts when transferring medical equipment to countries affected by humanitarian emergencies and to discuss the suitability of the principles of “openness”, “interconnections” and “non-linearity” of systems to understand the nature of the barriers and enablers as described by the international experts.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, six semi-structured interviews were conducted with experts from humanitarian organizations. The interviews were based on a simplified model of the transfer of medical equipment adapted from supply chain literature. The model ensured that all the process steps undertaken by humanitarian organizations were considered. Afterwards, the interviews were transcribed and structurally analysed to derive barriers and enablers. Finally, the results were described in light of three theoretical principles of systems thinking.

Findings

In total, 14 types of barriers and 12 types of enablers were uncovered that illustrate the complexity of transferring medical equipment in humanitarian emergencies. The paper concludes with a proposal for future research to investigate if, and how, an approach guided by systems thinking could help to create a designated space for the formulation of original, synergetic solutions that address the identified barriers.

Originality/value

This study is the first to explore the specific logistic challenges implicit in the transfer of medical equipment in humanitarian emergencies with a lifecycle perspective. Furthermore, the concept of systems thinking is rather novel in the field of transfer of medical technology.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 1995

Jon M. Ebersole

Presents the Mohonk Criteria for Humanitarian Assistance inComplex Emergencies, produced by the Task Force on Ethical and LegalIssues in Humanitarian Assistance, convened…

1013

Abstract

Presents the Mohonk Criteria for Humanitarian Assistance in Complex Emergencies, produced by the Task Force on Ethical and Legal Issues in Humanitarian Assistance, convened by the Program on Humanitarian Assistance at the World Conference on Religion and Peace, as guidelines for co‐operative relationships between political, humanitarian and military actors in complex humanitarian emergencies created by armed conflict.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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