Identifying challenges in humanitarian logistics

Identifying challenges in humanitarian logistics Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the challenges of humanitarian logisticians with respect to different types of disasters, phases of disaster relief and the type of humanitarian organization. A conceptual model is constructed that serves as a basis to identify these challenges. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a country as a case, namely Ghana. Structured and unstructured data are collected in a workshop with humanitarian logisticians, and complemented with presentations of humanitarian logisticians, as they perceive their challenges. Disaster statistics and country profiles are used as secondary data. Findings – The paper shows that some disasters defy a categorization between natural and man‐made causes. Challenges of humanitarian logisticians depend not only on the disaster at hand, but also on the local presence of their organization. The most emphasized challenge is the coordination of logistical activities. Challenges can be managed better if attributing them to different stakeholder environments. Research limitations/implications – Applying stakeholder theory to logistics, this paper provides a greater understanding for the challenges of humanitarian logisticians. Practical implications – A stakeholder categorization of the challenges of humanitarian logisticians helps to find potential collaboration partners as well as to mitigate these challenges. Originality/value – Humanitarian logistics is a rather new field in logistics literature. What is more, there is a lack of empirical cases in the field. This paper proposes a conceptual model based on an actual empirical case. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0960-0035
DOI
10.1108/09600030910985848
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the challenges of humanitarian logisticians with respect to different types of disasters, phases of disaster relief and the type of humanitarian organization. A conceptual model is constructed that serves as a basis to identify these challenges. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a country as a case, namely Ghana. Structured and unstructured data are collected in a workshop with humanitarian logisticians, and complemented with presentations of humanitarian logisticians, as they perceive their challenges. Disaster statistics and country profiles are used as secondary data. Findings – The paper shows that some disasters defy a categorization between natural and man‐made causes. Challenges of humanitarian logisticians depend not only on the disaster at hand, but also on the local presence of their organization. The most emphasized challenge is the coordination of logistical activities. Challenges can be managed better if attributing them to different stakeholder environments. Research limitations/implications – Applying stakeholder theory to logistics, this paper provides a greater understanding for the challenges of humanitarian logisticians. Practical implications – A stakeholder categorization of the challenges of humanitarian logisticians helps to find potential collaboration partners as well as to mitigate these challenges. Originality/value – Humanitarian logistics is a rather new field in logistics literature. What is more, there is a lack of empirical cases in the field. This paper proposes a conceptual model based on an actual empirical case.

Journal

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 10, 2009

Keywords: Aid agencies; Distasters; Stakeholder analysis; Ghana

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