Humanitarian organizations operate long-term development programs and respond to a diverse set of disasters, e.g. to natural disasters, armed conflicts and epidemics. Yet, the vast majority of humanitarian operations research focuses on best preparing for and responding to large-scale sudden-onset natural disasters, ignoring other types of disasters. In this study, we provide quantitative empirical evidence on the effect of the disaster context on humanitarian operations. Specifically, we study an important but often neglected leg of the humanitarian supply chain: the international transportation. First, we study supply chain flexibility, i.e. the international transportation decisions of an international humanitarian organization (IHO) in varying disaster contexts. Second, we study the stakeholder environment in international transportation, i.e. how the market players and host governments adapt in varying disaster contexts and the subsequent effect on the IHO’s delivery performance. For that purpose, we empirically analyze international transports of Doctors without Borders (MSF) to 32 recipient countries that experience varying disaster contexts over a period of eight years. We find that MSF is responsive to changes in the disaster profiles of countries over time. Surprisingly, we cannot identify adverse performance effects of disaster intensity through the stakeholder environment.
Caspar Höyng is a PhD candidate at the Kühne Logistics University in collaboration with the KEDGE Business School since February 2018. His research focuses on the operations and supply chain management of humanitarian organizations and is supervised by Prof. Maria Besiou (KLU) and Prof. Walid Klibi (KEDGE).
Prior to joining the PhD program at the KLU, Caspar received the CEMS Master in International Management, a M.Sc. in Supply Chain Management and a B.Sc. in Business Administration with specializations in Supply Chain Management and Finance from the University of Cologne. He spent his CEMS term abroad at the NOVA School of Business and Economics in Lisbon, Portugal. Caspar conducted his master thesis in France, optimizing the output of flow production lines in an automotive production facility. Further, he gained multiple practical experiences in the field of supply chain management during domestic and international internships in the automotive and consumer goods industry.