Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to identify various issues and challenges that humanitarian supply chains face on the ground. The paper aims at defining the major problems facing humanitarian endeavors and searches for their possible solutions with the help of the available literature and via interactions with those who have ground-level experience of humanitarian operations. Design/methodology/approach– The authors have focussed on building a theory and proposing solutions for the real-time problems faced in disaster environments. Besides drawing insights from available and relevant literature, the paper’s authors have sought information from those people in the humanitarian supply chain who have had ground-level experience as well. The authors have quoted real examples and statements in order to make situations more clear and precise. Findings– Humanitarian relief supply chains in today’s environment often confront challenges such as information availability, inventory management, collaboration, logistics-related issues, preparedness, etc. The study explores these various challenges. After searching for the roots of these challenges in the extant literature, it proposes some substantial solutions, which can be studied further for their validity, acceptability and implementation. Research limitations/implications– The research has considered natural disasters, but not man-made ones. It has also concentrated for its examples on India. The conditions in other countries and their practices for dealing with disaster management may vary to a certain extent. There are many kinds of natural disaster, such as volcanoes, which occur elsewhere, but have not historically stricken India. As a result, the study is confined to considering disaster-specific practices that are pertinent to the Indian authorities. Practical implications– This research could initiate further work on any of the various issues explored by the study. There is scope for separate attention to be paid to each of the issues discussed. The study’s insights will help humanitarian relief practitioners to understand disaster situations better. It will also convince practitioners and future researchers to focus on and analyze the proposed frameworks. Originality/value– The paper presents issues drawn from real situations experienced on the ground in humanitarian relief environments. With the help of extant literature, the authors have tried to conceptualize these issues and their potential solutions.
Journal of Advances in Management Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 3, 2016