A significant proportion of theworld’s population has suffered in recentyears as a result of disasters; both natural and manmade.
Humanitarianresponses to the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the 2005 earthquake inPakistan, various hurricanes in the United States, the conflict in Sudan, andthe spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa have largely been neither effective norefficient. A recent example of this is the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and thedevastation after that. The reasons aremany, but are partly attributable to the sheer size and scope of such disasters.Climatechange has caused several natural disasters in recent years and forecastsestimate thatover the next 50 years, natural and manmade disasters will increase fivefold innumber and severity (Thomas andKopczak, 2005). These events and their consequences illustrate howchallenging the response to extreme events can be(Holguín-Veras et al., 2007).The large number of victims and the unpredictablenature of such events makehumanitarian operations a critical characteristic ofdisaster management and one of the main waysto improve the time, cost and quality of relief operations (Blecken et al.
,2009).Specifically, the activities of ”planning, implementing and controllingthe efficient, cost-effective flow of and storage of goods and materials aswell as related information, from point of origin to point of consumption forthe 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 storageof goods and materials as well as related information, from point of origin topoint of consumption for the purpose of meeting the end beneficiary’srequirements’ (Thomas and Mizushima, 2005).To humanitarians, logistics is the processes and systems involvedin mobilizing people, resources, skills and knowledge to help vulnerable peopleaffected by disaster” (Van Wassenhove 2006)In humanitarian logistics, the originating supplier may also be adonor who has to be convinced that humanitarian action is taking place at themost efficient cost. Thus, as observed by Oloruntoba and Gray (2009) measuresof “customer service” are perhaps, overly aimed at the supplier/donor. This isbecause, mostly, donors are the “customers” to whom NGOs (and other agencies)are accountable and have a reporting responsibility. Therefore, the “keycustomers” the victims of crises and their perspectives and requirements maybecome of secondary importance because donors are usually more powerful thanthose affected by disasters (Benini et al., 2009; Oloruntoba and Gray, 2009).
In recent times Humanitarian actions has become neccesary as: iscrucial to the performance (effectiveness and speed) of current and futureoperations and programmes; serves as a bridge between disaster preparedness andresponse, between procurement and distribution and between headquarters and thefield.(Thomas and Mizushima, 2005); provides a rich source of data, since it isthis department that handles the tracking of goods, which could be used toanalyse post-event effectiveness (Thomas and Mizushima, 2005); and is the mostexpensive part of any relief operation and the part that can mean thedifference between a successful or failed operationAtany one time, there can be as many as several hundred humanitarian organizationsat the scene of a disaster, not always acting in a coordinated fashion. Allwith different political agendas, ideologies and religious beliefs and allfighting for media and donor attention. The greatest challenge here lies inaligning them without compromising their mandates or beliefs. humanitariansoften have to contend with many stakeholders, including large numbers ofuncoordinated and disparate donors, the media, governments, the military not tomention the final beneficiaries. Thegeneral roles played by humanitarian organizations cannot be downplayed. InAdopting a downstream position, such as the provision of installed baseservices, organizations have to be service oriented and value services (Olivaand Kallenberg, 2003). In humanitarian logistics this could be the tracking andtracing of relief goods.
These organizations provide solutions throughproduct-service combinations and tend to be client-centric and providing customized,desirable client outcomes organized around particular capabilities competencesand client requirements (Miller et al., 2002).Therole of the media in humanitarian logistics is also something with whichorganizations rarely have to contend. It can best be described as a love–haterelationship 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 andjournalists do not seem to have understood their mutual interdependence verywell. Following appeals in the media,humanitarian organizations are often inundated with unsolicited donations whichcan cause bottlenecks in the supply chain as much-needed resources, includingpersonnel and transportation, are sacrificed to sort through and transport thesupplies. In addition, a more strategic use of resources allows humanitarianorganizations to raise donor trust and long-term commitment by increasinglyskeptical benefactors (Scholten et al.
2010). Humanitarian organizations aretherefore under greater scrutiny to monitor the impact of aid and thearrangement of their entire operations; they have to prove to donors, who arepledging millions in aid and goods, that they are really reachingthe ones in need (Van Wassenhove 2006) InGhana, humanitarian action is gradually gaining recognition in the society andbeyond though not encouraging. Humanitarian action is clearly to do withnotions of man, and the value of humanity. It must be action oriented; it mustbe non-coercive; it must be provided solely for the benefit of those we seek toassist. But in addition, humanitarian action must demonstrate an ethic ofrestraint.
Humanitarian action cannot be subordinated to political interests,military rationales or even socially progressive moves towards peace anddemocracy. Humanitarian action over the years in Ghana has gained a lotpolitical significance, as politicians bolster their legitimacy and popularityor shroud their lack of political action. In order to have the credibility tobe allowed to work, it must be perceived as independent of any politicalagenda.
Thecurrent popularity of humanitarian action has led to a proliferation ofagencies, all of which claim to be humanitarian, and compete for money, mediacoverage and influence. This perverts the simple, precise requirement ofhumanitarian action to remain fully committed to helping people inneed. The public become confused, and governments try and define acoordination structure. Trying to create a single efficient machine out of theinternational community of donor governments, UN agencies and NGOs without recognizingtheir considerable differences and enforcing institutional behavior andinterests over personal moral commitment undermines the entire humanitarian endeavor.Humanitarianorganizations help to ensure that there is swift, efficient humanitarianassistance available when sudden natural disasters strike or wars occur or inconnection with long-term conflicts.
InGhana, international bodies such as UN, DANIDA, JICA, ECOWAS, NGO’s and othergovernment agencies has ensured to response to emergencies crisis. ProblemStatementHumanitarianaction over the years in Ghana has gained a lot political significance, aspoliticians bolster their legitimacy and popularity or shroud their lack ofpolitical action. This has resulted in the withdrawal of aid when it mostneeded.Today,humanitarian organizations in Ghana are feeling insure as it affects theirobjective of responding to victims during emergencies. The continuous use ofaid to reward political loyalist and supporters them and show them to do so.This situation is currently affecting humanitarian aid to alleviate thesuffering of victims.
Also,inability to secure aid is really affecting victims. This is in the sense thatmost victims hit by disaster rightly depend on the aid received within 72 hoursof the tragedy to alleviate the suffering. This means, these victims affectedby the tragedy will be left without food and shelter.
Moreover,emergencies are likely to affect the supply of goods to the disaster proneareas. Humanitarian organizations that do not have provisions for backup arelikely to have shortages which becomes a challenge on their stock and may inthe long run affect their supply of goods.Theabove examples points to the fact that any disruption in planning, controllingand monitoring of aid can have a negative impact on disaster preparedness andrecovery. Therefore, the research seeks to examine the contingency approach ofNADMO, the extent of preparedness and recovery, the challenges that mitigateagainst effective humanitarian logistics and proposed recommendation ofmitigating against these challenges.
1.3 Research ObjectivesThepurpose of the study is to examine the contingency preparedness towardsHumanitarian Logistics in Ghana, a case of NADMO. However, the specificobjectives are as follows:1. To investigate the existencehumanitarian logistics plan of NADMO.2.
To determine the contingency approachtowards humanitarian logistics by NADMO.3. To examine the extent of preparednessand recovery for disaster management by NADMO.4. To examine challenges that mitigateagainst effective humanitarian logistics in Ghana 1.4 Research QuestionsThesequestions would be answered by the proposed research;1. What is the humanitarian Logistics planat NADMO?2.
What is the contingency approach towardshumanitarian logistics by NADMO?3. What is the extent of preparedness andrecovery for disaster management at NADMO?4. How can these challenges affectingeffective humanitarian logistics be mitigated? 1.5 Significance of the studyEffectiveHumanitarian Logistics will help NADMO, assess, control and monitor aid thatimpact upon achievement of the humanitarian aid objective which is to ensurealleviate the suffering of victims during the 72 hours of disaster.
Moreover,findings and recommendations that emerged from the study will serve as aplatform to generate interest for further research into other aspects of supplychain risk management. Finally,from an academic point of view, the research work will be of great benefit tovarious levels of educational institutions within and outside the country,especially the universities, serving as a reference material for furtherstudies and research work on Humanitarian Logisticsand also in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of a BSc.Business Administration Degree. 1.
6 MethodologyThissection focuses a review of literature, discusses how the study will beorganized and the methods that will be used in collecting and analyzing therelevant data for the study. Weintend to conduct a review of the literatures on Humanitarian Logistics. Onlinesources will be used to search for general information about humanitarianlogistics. This literature review would seek to answer the research questionsabove.Tocarry out the primary research, the National Disaster Management Organizationwould be visited.
We intend to use purposive sampling since the NationalDisaster Management Organization is critical to our study.Questionnaireswill be sent to the various managers within the various department of NationalDisaster Management Organization since they are expected to have much knowledgeabout humanitarian logistics. This will help us obtain the necessary data toachieve our research objectives.Qualitativedata analysis will be used to analyze the data because the exact quantificationof risk is often difficult since precise assessment of the probability ofoccurrence and impact is usually impossible.
That is to say, that, aftergathering these data, an in-depth analysis would be made to measure thepossibility of the risk and the extent of its impact on the HumanitarianLogistics.Fromthe findings, conclusions would be drawn and recommendations made.