Besiou, Maria and Luk N. Van Wassenhove

Humanitarian Operations: A World of Opportunity for Relevant and Impactful Research

Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 22(1): 145-135, (2020).

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Abstract: The number of people affected by disasters has increased over the past decades, whereas funding has declined. The need for effective humanitarian aid is, therefore, larger than ever. Humanitarian organizations have recognized the critical role of supply chain management in reaching beneficiaries, and they have introduced commercial routines and best practices. Academics realized that humanitarian operations constitute a fruitful new research area and adapted solution techniques developed for commercial operations to disaster situations with mitigated success. Meanwhile, the problems that humanitarian practitioners face quickly evolve. In this paper, we highlight challenges in matching practitioner needs with academic publications and outline the great opportunities for impactful and relevant research.

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