Browsing by Subject "humanitarian logistics"

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  • Harpring, Russell; Maghsoudi, Amin; Fikar, Christian; Piotrowicz, Wojciech; Heaslip, Graham (2021-03-03)
    Purpose: This research describes 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 work assesses the underlying internal and external factors which 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 which 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 which require critical decision-making. The model was built using data from humanitarian organizations, NGOs, and practitioners, along with literature from academic sources. Variables in the model were confirmed through semistructured interviews with a field expert. Findings: Compounding factors which influenced the cholera outbreak in Yemen are visualized in a causal loop diagram, which can improve understanding of relationships where numerous uncertainties exist. A strong link exists between humanitarian response and the level of infrastructure development in 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 research presents a systematic view of dynamic factors existing in complex emergencies which 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 which 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 research has been aligned with six of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, using their associated targets in the model as variables which influence the cholera incidence rate. Recognizing that the SDGs are interlinked, as are the dynamic factors in complex humanitarian emergencies, we have chosen to take an interdisciplinary approach to consider social, economic, and environmental factors which may be impacted by this research. Originality/Value: This paper provides an insight into the underlying interrelations of internal and external factors present in the context of a cholera outbreak in a complex emergency. Supply chains for food, WASH, and health commodities 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. Keywords: Humanitarian logistics, complex emergency, cash and voucher assistance, epidemics, in-kind assistance, system dynamics, resilience, cholera outbreak, disruptions, casual loop diagram
  • Vaillancourt, Alain (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2015-07-02)
    Major disasters, conflicts and poverty afflict many millions of people around the world. To address the needs of these people, humanitarian organizations deploy a vast array of resources supported by material, financial and information flows. Some of these resources need efficient logistics support to achieve their goals and through vertical or horizontal coordination, humanitarian organisations can improve the way to respond to a situation. A specific approach to coordination is consolidation which this thesis explores in depth. The thesis and its articles aim to understand the competence and underlying resources for consolidation of materials in supply chains. This thesis covers material consolidation concepts and humanitarian logistics activities such as warehousing consolidation, procurement consolidation and transportation consolidation. The research presented in the thesis is composed of three individually authored articles, the first one is a conceptual paper based on a literature review entitled “A Theoretical Framework for Consolidation in Humanitarian Logistics”. The second article is entitled “Procurement Consolidation in Global Humanitarian Supply Chains” and the third article is entitled “Kit Management in Humanitarian Supply Chains”; both these two articles are based on empirical case studies. This thesis further contributes to dynamic capabilities as it identifies a result that can be expected from the lower supply chain competition and interest in coordination and cooperation by humanitarian organizations: facilitating access to competencies in between organizations through specific consolidation activities. Humanitarian organizations do not seek profit neither do they compete through their supply chains and instead sometimes cooperate and coordinate to improve aid delivery.
  • Grange, Ray; Heaslip, Graham; McMullan, Caroline (2019-12-04)
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify how coordination has evolved in humanitarian logistics, what were the triggers for change, and how have they been facilitated. Design: Systematic literature review of academic journals. Findings: This is the first paper to discuss the concepts of network orchestration and choreography in a humanitarian context. The research revealed that network coordination has moved on in the commercial sector to include orchestration and now, choreography concepts which have not been tested in HL literature. This reveals a lag exists between HL research and practice. Research limitations/implications: This paper represents an exploratory study and provides the basis for further research on the concepts of orchestration and choreography in humanitarian logistics. The paper sets a research agenda for academics. Practical implications: This paper is the first to discuss the concepts of network orchestration and choreography in a humanitarian context. Originality/value: The areas of orchestration and choreography have 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.
  • Sohn, Minchul (Hanken School of Economics, 2019-06-17)
    Natural hazards are events that take place as a result of naturally occurring processes. They have the potential to become disasters when they destroy the lives and/or livelihoods of a vulnerable population that cannot anticipate, cope with, resist, or recover from the impact of natural hazards using their own resources. For example, combined with the critical conditions of exposure and vulnerability, recurring small-scale seasonal climate risks (e.g., floods or droughts) become a disaster if a community’s functioning is undermined. In addition, there is substantial evidence that patterns of climate variability are changing, especially in terms of increased heavy rainfall events, prolonged dry spells, and shifts in seasonal rainfall patterns. Such seasonal climate risks are undoubtedly affecting many developing regions of the world and have significant implications for the vulnerable people living in these areas. To mitigate the negative impacts of recurring seasonal climate risks, there is a need to effectively manage humanitarian logistics and supply chains as well as develop strategies to cope with these risks and their associated uncertainty in terms of variability, even if their consequences do not always have catastrophic impacts. Thus, it is important to build and implement a preparedness approach that can fully exploit the risk mitigation strategies available to manage climate-related hazards as a means of improving the ability of humanitarian supply chains to deal with the potential impacts of seasonal climate risks and unpredictable variability. The overarching objective of the thesis is to investigate how humanitarian logistics preparedness can contribute to efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of a particular set of recurring natural hazards. It aims to examine conceptually how mitigating disaster risk could be incorporated into the management of humanitarian logistics and supply chains. This aim is addressed by developing the argumentation in support of the concept of developmental relief. Empirically, this thesis aims to explore the utilisation of seasonal climate information as part of humanitarian logistics preparedness activities to mitigate the negative impacts of seasonal climate risks. Seasonal climate information is rarely used in humanitarian logistics preparedness, even though there is a wealth of available information on seasonal climates and the whole area is well-recognised as foundational for effective disaster risk management. In this thesis, seasonal climate information and its utilisation by responding organisations constitute an important medium to explore the primary aim set out above, which addresses the inter-relationships between humanitarian logistics preparedness, mitigation of disaster risks, and seasonal climate risks. In addition, and as a result of the author’s experiences when conducting the fieldwork research underpinning this study, this thesis also examines the benefits and challenges associated with the process of performing fieldwork-based research that can drive solid insights into the phenomenon of interest.
  • Altay, Nezih; Kovacs, Gyöngyi; Spens, Karen (2021-08-23)
    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.