Disaster Relief Operations and Continuous Aid Program in Human Supply Networks: Are they congruent?—An analysis

  • V. G. Venkatesh
  • Rameshwar Dubey
  • Sadia Samar Ali
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 259)


Humanitarian supply chain and logistics has succeeded in attracting research attention in recent years as the special field of attention. Purpose of this paper is to introduce the difference between the Continuous Aid programmes from the disaster relief chains in a Humanitarian Supply System. So far the literature was so biased towards only Disaster relief chains. Through the case study and other research, this paper is to establish and advocate that all Humanitarian Supply networks are not having the disaster management orientation and also to establish scope for further discussions and analysis to the area of Continuous aid category. This paper is primarily the conceptual framework for researching the internal operations strategy of any human Supply Network Operations. It reviews the existing literature in Humanitarian supply network and disaster relief measure to establish the current meaning of Humanitarian Supply network. It adopts the micro case based approach to authenticate the concept of including the Continuous Aid programs in “Humanitarian Supply network” which is currently biased towards Disaster relief management. The paper has found the usage of Humanitarian Supply network term in a complement way with Disaster Relief operations/management so far. However, there are operations which do not support the disaster relief measures; On the other hand—it supports the livelihood of the society. Those operations should also be called and classified under the Continuous Aid Category under Humanitarian Supply network operations. Further research and arguments are indispensable to differentiate the Operations dynamics of Continuous Aid Program from the disaster relief management. The discussions can help the re-orientation of research to strengthen and streamline the definitions and areas of Human Supply network. The conceptual paper is analyzing the operations of Humanitarian Supply Chains in detail and gives a new dimension and school of thought with a definition towards Humanitarian Supply networks. This is the original paper written based on the author’s experience with NGOs operating in this field. The concept “Humanitarian Supply Networks” should be established and explored carefully, not to be used extensively only on the disaster relief measures, based on the facts established through this paper. The points discussed in the paper will help to widen the discussions on the Humanitarian Supply Networks field.


Humanitarian supply network Disaster relief operations Competitive strategy Humanitarian logistics 


  1. 1.
    Kovacs, G., Spens, K.M.: Identifying challenges in humanitarian logistics. Int. J. Phys. Distrib. Logistics Manage. 39(6), 506–528 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Oloruntoba, R., Gray, R.: Humanitarian aid: an agile supply chain? Supply Chain Manage. 11(2), 115–120 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Trunick, P.A.: Special report: delivering relief to tsunami victims. Logistics Today 46(2), 1–3 (2005)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Balcik, B., Beamon, B.M.: Performance measurement in humanitarian relief chains. Int. J. Public Sect. Manage. 21(1), 4–25 (2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Thomas, A., Kopczak, L.: From Logistics to Supply Chain Management: The Path Forward in the Humanitarian Sector. Fritz Institute, San Francisco, CA (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ertem, A.M., Buyurgan, N., Manuel D.R.: Multiple-buyer procurement auctions framework for humanitarian supply chain management. Int. J. Phys. Distrib. Logistics Manage. 40(3), 202–227 (2010)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lee, H.L.: The triple-a supply chain. Harvard Bus. Rev. 82, 102–112 (2004)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Thomas, A., Mizushima, M.: Logistics training: necessity or luxury? Forced Migr. Rev. 22, 60–61 (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chang, M.-S., Tseng, Y.-L., Chen, J.-W.: A scenario planning approach for the flood emergency logistics preparation problem under uncertainty. Transp. Res. Part E 43(6), 737–754 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sowinski, L.L.: The lean, mean supply chain and its human counterpart. World Trade 16(6), 18 (2003)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Altay, N., Prasad, S., Sounderpandian, J.: Strategic planning for disaster relief logistics: lessons from supply chain management. Int. J. Serv. Sci. 2(2), 142–161 (2009)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wassenhove, L.N.: Humanitarian aid logistics: supply chain management in high gear. J. Oper. Res. Soc. 57(5), 475–489 (2006)CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Byman, D., Lesser, I.O., Pirnie, B.R., Benard, C., Waxman, M.: Strengthening the Partnership: Improving Military Coordination with Relief Agencies and Allies in Humanitarian Operations. Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, CA. Available at: www.rand.org/pubs/monograph%20reports/MR1185/ (accessed April, 2012)
  14. 14.
    Pettit, S.J., Beresford, A.K.C.: Emergency relief logistics: an evaluation of military, non-military, and composite response models. Int. J. Logistics Res. Appl. 8(4), 313–331 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chandes, J., Paché, G.: Investigating humanitarian logistics issues: from operations management to strategic action. J. Manuf. Technol. Manage. 21(3), 320–340 (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tomasini, R.M., van Wassenhove, L.N.: Pan-American health organization’s humanitarian supply management system: de-politicization of the humanitarian supply chain by creating accountability. J. Public Procurement 4(3), 437–449 (2004)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Simpson, G.R.: Just in time: in year of disasters, experts bring order to chaos of relief; logistics pros lend know-how to volunteer operations; leasing a fleet of forklifts; bottlenecks on the tarmac. Wall Street J. (Eastern edition), Nov 22, p. A1 (2005)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Charles, A.: Apprentissage croise´ entre secteur humanitaireet industriel pour une meilleure gestion des chaıˆnes logistiques, Actes du IXe’ Congre’s EDSYS, Toulouse, pp. 1–6 (CD-rom) (2008)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gupta, A.: Clothes for Work. Outlook Business (2009)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Long, D.C., Wood, D.F.: The logistics of famine relief. J. Bus. Logistics 16(1), 213–229 (1995)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bhasin, S.: The Material Man. Tomorrow, India (2011)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Thomas, A.: Humanitarian Logistics: Enabling Disaster Response. White Paper, Fritz Institute, San Francisco, CA (2004)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Towill, D., Christopher, M.: The supply chain strategy conundrum: to be lean or agile or to be lean and agile. Int. J. Logistics: Res. Appl. 5, 299–309 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rajpal, U.: The benevolent gatherer. Log. India (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. G. Venkatesh
    • 1
  • Rameshwar Dubey
    • 1
  • Sadia Samar Ali
    • 2
  1. 1.Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (Constituent of Symbiosis International University)New NashikIndia
  2. 2.Fortune Institute of International BusinessNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations