A significant proportion of the
world’s population has suffered in recent
years as a result of disasters; both natural and manmade. Humanitarian
responses to the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the 2005 earthquake in
Pakistan, various hurricanes in the United States, the conflict in Sudan, and
the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa have largely been neither effective nor
efficient. A recent example of this is the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the
devastation after that. The reasons are
many, but are partly attributable to the sheer size and scope of such disasters.
change has caused several natural disasters in recent years and forecasts
over the next 50 years, natural and manmade disasters will increase fivefold in
number and severity (Thomas and
Kopczak, 2005). These events and their consequences illustrate how
challenging the response to extreme events can be
(Holguín-Veras et al., 2007).
The large number of victims and the unpredictable
nature of such events make
humanitarian operations a critical characteristic of
disaster management and one of the main ways
to improve the time, cost and quality of relief operations (Blecken et al.,
Specifically, the activities of ”planning, implementing and controlling
the efficient, cost-effective flow of and storage of goods and materials as
well as related information, from point of origin to point of consumption for
the purpose of alleviating the suffering of vulnerable people” are known as
”humanitarian logistics” (Thomas and Kopczak 2005)
Again humanitarian logistics is ‘the process of planning,
implementing and controlling the efficient, cost-effective flow of and storage
of goods and materials as well as related information, from point of origin to
point of consumption for the purpose of meeting the end beneficiary’s
requirements’ (Thomas and Mizushima, 2005).
To humanitarians, logistics is the processes and systems involved
in mobilizing people, resources, skills and knowledge to help vulnerable people
affected by disaster” (Van Wassenhove 2006)
In humanitarian logistics, the originating supplier may also be a
donor who has to be convinced that humanitarian action is taking place at the
most efficient cost. Thus, as observed by Oloruntoba and Gray (2009) measures
of “customer service” are perhaps, overly aimed at the supplier/donor. This is
because, mostly, donors are the “customers” to whom NGOs (and other agencies)
are accountable and have a reporting responsibility. Therefore, the “key
customers” the victims of crises and their perspectives and requirements may
become of secondary importance because donors are usually more powerful than
those affected by disasters (Benini et al., 2009; Oloruntoba and Gray, 2009).
In recent times Humanitarian actions has become neccesary as: is
crucial to the performance (effectiveness and speed) of current and future
operations and programmes; serves as a bridge between disaster preparedness and
response, between procurement and distribution and between headquarters and the
field.(Thomas and Mizushima, 2005); provides a rich source of data, since it is
this department that handles the tracking of goods, which could be used to
analyse post-event effectiveness (Thomas and Mizushima, 2005); and is the most
expensive part of any relief operation and the part that can mean the
difference between a successful or failed operation
any one time, there can be as many as several hundred humanitarian organizations
at the scene of a disaster, not always acting in a coordinated fashion. All
with different political agendas, ideologies and religious beliefs and all
fighting for media and donor attention. The greatest challenge here lies in
aligning them without compromising their mandates or beliefs. humanitarians
often have to contend with many stakeholders, including large numbers of
uncoordinated and disparate donors, the media, governments, the military not to
mention the final beneficiaries.
general roles played by humanitarian organizations cannot be downplayed. In
Adopting a downstream position, such as the provision of installed base
services, organizations have to be service oriented and value services (Oliva
and Kallenberg, 2003). In humanitarian logistics this could be the tracking and
tracing of relief goods. These organizations provide solutions through
product-service combinations and tend to be client-centric and providing customized,
desirable client outcomes organized around particular capabilities competences
and client requirements (Miller et al., 2002).
role of the media in humanitarian logistics is also something with which
organizations rarely have to contend. It can best be described as a love–hate
relationship born out of a need to highlight the plight of those affected by disaster.
In spite of the increasing role of the media, humanitarian organizations and
journalists do not seem to have understood their mutual interdependence very
well. Following appeals in the media,
humanitarian organizations are often inundated with unsolicited donations which
can cause bottlenecks in the supply chain as much-needed resources, including
personnel and transportation, are sacrificed to sort through and transport the
supplies. In addition, a more strategic use of resources allows humanitarian
organizations to raise donor trust and long-term commitment by increasingly
skeptical benefactors (Scholten et al. 2010). Humanitarian organizations are
therefore under greater scrutiny to monitor the impact of aid and the
arrangement of their entire operations; they have to prove to donors, who are
pledging millions in aid and goods, that they are really reaching
the ones in need (Van Wassenhove 2006)
Ghana, humanitarian action is gradually gaining recognition in the society and
beyond though not encouraging. Humanitarian action is clearly to do with
notions of man, and the value of humanity. It must be action oriented; it must
be non-coercive; it must be provided solely for the benefit of those we seek to
assist. But in addition, humanitarian action must demonstrate an ethic of
restraint. Humanitarian action cannot be subordinated to political interests,
military rationales or even socially progressive moves towards peace and
democracy. Humanitarian action over the years in Ghana has gained a lot
political significance, as politicians bolster their legitimacy and popularity
or shroud their lack of political action. In order to have the credibility to
be allowed to work, it must be perceived as independent of any political
current popularity of humanitarian action has led to a proliferation of
agencies, all of which claim to be humanitarian, and compete for money, media
coverage and influence. This perverts the simple, precise requirement of
humanitarian action to remain fully committed to helping people in
need. The public become confused, and governments try and define a
coordination structure. Trying to create a single efficient machine out of the
international community of donor governments, UN agencies and NGOs without recognizing
their considerable differences and enforcing institutional behavior and
interests over personal moral commitment undermines the entire humanitarian endeavor.
organizations help to ensure that there is swift, efficient humanitarian
assistance available when sudden natural disasters strike or wars occur or in
connection with long-term conflicts. In
Ghana, international bodies such as UN, DANIDA, JICA, ECOWAS, NGO’s and other
government agencies has ensured to response to emergencies crisis.
action over the years in Ghana has gained a lot political significance, as
politicians bolster their legitimacy and popularity or shroud their lack of
political action. This has resulted in the withdrawal of aid when it most
humanitarian organizations in Ghana are feeling insure as it affects their
objective of responding to victims during emergencies. The continuous use of
aid to reward political loyalist and supporters them and show them to do so.
This situation is currently affecting humanitarian aid to alleviate the
suffering of victims.
inability to secure aid is really affecting victims. This is in the sense that
most victims hit by disaster rightly depend on the aid received within 72 hours
of the tragedy to alleviate the suffering. This means, these victims affected
by the tragedy will be left without food and shelter.
emergencies are likely to affect the supply of goods to the disaster prone
areas. Humanitarian organizations that do not have provisions for backup are
likely to have shortages which becomes a challenge on their stock and may in
the long run affect their supply of goods.
above examples points to the fact that any disruption in planning, controlling
and monitoring of aid can have a negative impact on disaster preparedness and
recovery. Therefore, the research seeks to examine the contingency approach of
NADMO, the extent of preparedness and recovery, the challenges that mitigate
against effective humanitarian logistics and proposed recommendation of
mitigating against these challenges.
1.3 Research Objectives
purpose of the study is to examine the contingency preparedness towards
Humanitarian Logistics in Ghana, a case of NADMO. However, the specific
objectives are as follows:
To investigate the existence
humanitarian logistics plan of NADMO.
To determine the contingency approach
towards humanitarian logistics by NADMO.
To examine the extent of preparedness
and recovery for disaster management by NADMO.
To examine challenges that mitigate
against effective humanitarian logistics in Ghana
1.4 Research Questions
questions would be answered by the proposed research;
What is the humanitarian Logistics plan
What is the contingency approach towards
humanitarian logistics by NADMO?
What is the extent of preparedness and
recovery for disaster management at NADMO?
How can these challenges affecting
effective humanitarian logistics be mitigated?
1.5 Significance of the study
Humanitarian Logistics will help NADMO, assess, control and monitor aid that
impact upon achievement of the humanitarian aid objective which is to ensure
alleviate the suffering of victims during the 72 hours of disaster.
findings and recommendations that emerged from the study will serve as a
platform to generate interest for further research into other aspects of supply
chain risk management.
from an academic point of view, the research work will be of great benefit to
various levels of educational institutions within and outside the country,
especially the universities, serving as a reference material for further
studies and research work on Humanitarian Logistics
and also in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of a BSc.
Business Administration Degree.
section focuses a review of literature, discusses how the study will be
organized and the methods that will be used in collecting and analyzing the
relevant data for the study.
intend to conduct a review of the literatures on Humanitarian Logistics. Online
sources will be used to search for general information about humanitarian
logistics. This literature review would seek to answer the research questions
carry out the primary research, the National Disaster Management Organization
would be visited. We intend to use purposive sampling since the National
Disaster Management Organization is critical to our study.
will be sent to the various managers within the various department of National
Disaster Management Organization since they are expected to have much knowledge
about humanitarian logistics. This will help us obtain the necessary data to
achieve our research objectives.
data analysis will be used to analyze the data because the exact quantification
of risk is often difficult since precise assessment of the probability of
occurrence and impact is usually impossible. That is to say, that, after
gathering these data, an in-depth analysis would be made to measure the
possibility of the risk and the extent of its impact on the Humanitarian
the findings, conclusions would be drawn and recommendations made.