Purpose – This research was performed with the aim of determining if the emptying of latrines in a flood‐prone urban slum area would be a sustainable and profitable business for private‐sector service providers. Design/methodology/approach – Monte‐Carlo analysis was used to evaluate the economic sustainability of a proposed public‐private waste transportation service. A GIS‐assisted route analysis was also performed, with participation by private and public sector stakeholders. Findings – The analysis also showed that if a low‐cost subscription service is implemented in the area, the commercial service providers will operate at a loss in all cases, unless changes are made in the truck fuel efficiency, the operating hours of discharge sites, and the transportation network. Research limitations/implications – The research was based on service provider operations costs extrapolated from previous studies and updated through informal interviews. A thorough and transparent review of cost accounting procedures is necessary to validate the results. Practical implications – This study identified challenges and potential solutions which must be addressed by practitioners in order to ensure success of a subscription‐based service. Originality/value – This study adds to the existing literature by demonstrating the applicability of an analytic modeling technique based on Monte‐Carlo simulation and provides an example of how academic research can be tightly coupled with practitioner needs in order to have a direct impact on operational humanitarian projects.
Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 17, 2013
Keywords: Humanitarian logistics; Supply chain management in disaster relief; Sanitation; Sustainability; Transportation; Distribution management; Supply chain management
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