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Research Areas

Our research is organized into the following principal streams:

Disaster Preparedness

The success of a disaster relief operation depends on the execution of the humanitarian supply chain to support the strategies and objectives of the public authorities in order to provide effective aid to those affected by the disaster. Until recently, the major thrust of the emergency planners was on operational details; however, this cannot be accomplished without long-term commitments, the most important of which is the pre-establishment of adequate capacity and resources that enable an efficient response. Such disaster preparedness begs the questions: What assets need to be in place in anticipation of a disaster? And, where should they be located?

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Response Supply Chain

At any given time, a response supply chain in humanitarian logistics supplies a wide range of products and services fulfilling surges in demand while sharing the networks and capacity that support the flow of other relief items. The supply chain for humanitarian relief must be agile to respond to abruptly changing supply and demand, and must also be adaptive to market (or demand) and strategy changes.

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Interagency Collaboration

Humanitarian organizations offer stability during disaster through relief operations. Organizations or nations observing a disaster event often reach out to support or enable the recovery of important resources, services, and infrastructure. These efforts, whether internal or external to affected areas, require collaborative relationships among and between humanitarian providers.

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Contingency Contracting

Specific examination and analysis of actual logistics and contract capability in real-world response, especially in the ability of the US Department of Defense, to deliver the right mix of goods and services, when and where they are needed given limited resources, can be utilized to create a more robust capability for future events. Having contingency contracting in place increases the ability to react effectively and efficiently, especially when there are constraints of resources such as budget and manpower.

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Case Studies

Case studies uncover the processes and problems underlying humanitarian logistics efforts through lessons learned, and are valuable for describing progress made by humanitarian organizations in responding to disasters. Case studies also direct us toward the needs for future research and investigation. These case studies of the past, combined with the challenges of today as experienced by the humanitarian officials, set an agenda for research in the field of humanitarian logistics by inspiring readers to pursue research in those areas.

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