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Modelling the inter-relationship between factors affecting coordination in a humanitarian supply chain: a case of Chennai flood relief

Abstract

The humanitarian supply chain (HSC) aims at providing relief to affected people in the wake of a disaster at the right place and at the right time to reduce their suffering. One of the major challenges faced by the HSC is the coordination between various actors. Previous studies have identified the factors affecting coordination but the literature is silent on the inter-dependence between these factors (criteria). In this study, we identify the factors affecting coordination based on the review of extant literature in HSC and interviews with multiple individuals representing various stakeholders involved with the relief activities carried out during the Chennai floods. These factors were grouped into four categories: information sharing, diversity (of the humanitarian agencies), organizational mandates and material convergence. We use a hybrid fuzzy DEMATEL-ANP methodology to identify the interdependence and develop the network relationship diagram by mapping the interdependence between the factors affecting the effective coordination between the actors in HSC. Our results indicate that information exchange between the humanitarian actors (HA) tantamount to achieve coordination in post disaster response phase. However, with the improvement in the post–disaster coordination, the HAs need to focus on pre-disaster preparedness phase through strong alignment of organizational mandates of HAs and focus on the diverse nature of HAs to align their operational strategies through standardized operations, inter-operability of activities and building trust through long term associations.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Janardhanan, Arun (2 December 2015b). "Chennai drowns in deluge of water; flight services suspended". The Indian Express.

  2. 2.

    Ibid.

  3. 3.

    Rajendran D. and Ramanathan S. (2015) Chennai floods: What happened at Chembarambakkam, negligence or nature’s fury? The News Minute (Retrieved on 9 December, 2015).

  4. 4.

    "As sky turns menacing again, rescue efforts intensified". The Hindu. 5 December 2015.

  5. 5.

    "Navy rushes amphibious ship to Chennai for relief ops". The Hindu. 3 December 2015.

  6. 6.

    "Chennai floods: Centre sends 17 tonnes of snacks, 5000 litres milk to Tamil Nadu". The Indian Express. 4 December 2015.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the members of Tamil Nadu Water Board, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Ms. Saritha Sugunan (Pepper Corn), Prof. Gladston Xavier, and all others who shared their valuable experience and insights on their experience during the Chennai Floods.

Author information

Correspondence to Vipul Jain.

Appendix

Appendix

See Tables 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

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John, L., Gurumurthy, A., Soni, G. et al. Modelling the inter-relationship between factors affecting coordination in a humanitarian supply chain: a case of Chennai flood relief. Ann Oper Res 283, 1227–1258 (2019) doi:10.1007/s10479-018-2963-3

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Keywords

  • Disaster management
  • Humanitarian supply chain
  • Fuzzy
  • DEMATEL
  • ANP
  • Coordination
  • Floods
  • Chennai