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- PublicationAccès libreHumanitarian Logistics Operations: A ReviewHumanitarian logistics is a critical element of a successful relief operation, as it focuses on effective management of flows of persons, goods and information during and after a disaster. This field has been extensively studied so far, especially during the last three years. Although four literature reviews have been published on this topic up to now, they all focused on papers written between 1980 and 2008. Over 20 papers on this topic have been published since then; therefore our literature review gives an up-to-date insight on most recent publications. By using qualitative content analysis, we try to determine the main managerial problems studied until now, the major findings as well as proposed further research. We categorize the existing literature according to several attributes, such as topic, type and stage of disaster, methodology of the research, etc. We present the major findings from the existing literature, as well as the recommended steps for further research. Finally, we identify gaps between further research mentioned in the literature and the results of our content analysis. We find, for example that more attention should be given to slow onset, man-made disasters, as well as to the reconstruction phase following disasters. We also find that case studies and surveys should be used more in order to increase the empirical knowledge in the field.
- PublicationAccès libreGovernment restrictions on relief supply chainsResponse to catastrophic disasters often requires external assistance from international relief organizations. Literature and empirical evidence show that governments do not always welcome this assistance. Based on a multiple case study conducted among four relief organizations, we identify governmental restrictions imposed on humanitarian relief supply chains in different countries. We analyze the dependency between government characteristic and the level of restrictions. We find that the more fragile a government is, the more restrictions it imposes on relief organizations. This knowledge helps relief organizations to prepare adequately before entering a new country, by anticipating concerns and establishing trust with the government.
- PublicationAccès libreInvesting in disaster management capabilities versus pre-positioning inventory: A new approach to disaster preparednessDisaster preparedness has been recognized as a central element in reducing the impact of disasters worldwide. The usual methods of preparedness, such as pre-positioning relief inventory in countries prone to disasters, are problematic because they require high investment in various locations, due to the uncertainty about the timing and location of the next disaster. Investing in disaster management capabilities, such as training staff, pre-negotiating customs agreements with countries prone to disasters, or harmonizing import procedures with local customs clearance procedures, has been recognized as a way to overcome this constraint. By means of system dynamics modeling, we model the delivery process of ready-to-use therapeutic food items during the immediate response phase of a disaster, and we analyze the performance of different preparedness scenarios. We find that pre-positioning inventory produces positive results for the beneficiaries, but at extremely high costs. Investing in disaster management capabilities is an interesting alternative, as it allows lead time reductions of up to 67% (18 days) compared to a scenario without preparedness, at significantly lower costs than pre-positioning inventory. We find that the best performance can be achieved when combining both preparedness strategies, allocating part of the available funding to disaster management capabilities and part to pre-positioning inventory. We analyze 2828 such combined scenarios to identify the best mix of preparedness strategies for different levels of available funding. On the basis of our findings, we provide recommendations for relief organizations on how to allocate their preparedness budget.
- PublicationAccès libreA meta-analysis of humanitarian logistics researchPurpose - This paper gives an up-to-date and structured insight into the most recent literature on hu-manitarian logistics, and suggests trends for future research based on the gaps identified through structured content analysis. Design/methodology/approach - We use a quantitative and qualitative content analysis process to analyse the characteristics of the existing literature. We identify the most studied topics in six structural dimensions, and present gaps and recommendations for further research. Findings - We found that existing humanitarian logistics research shows too little interest in continuous humanitarian aid operations, in slow onset disasters and man-made catastrophes. While several papers address different phases of disasters, very few focus particularly on the reconstruction following a disaster. Empirical research is underrepresented in the existing literature as well. Research limitations/implications - While five of our structural dimensions are inspired by previous reviews, our sixth dimension (situational factors) is derived from a theoretical framework we developed and which has never been tested before. The validity of our study could therefore be increased by testing this framework. Originality/value - We analyse the broadest set of papers (174) ever covered in previous literature reviews on humanitarian logistics. We conduct a quantitative analysis of the papers in order to analyse the situational factors which have mostly been studied so far in literature. This paper is also the first in humanitarian logistics to use content analysis as the main methodology to analyse literature in a structured way, which is of particular value to the academic community as well as practitioners. Outstanding Paper Award 2013 winner (Emerald)