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Procurement policies in disaster relief: Analysis of sourcing practices applied by humanitarian organizations in the field of disaster response
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Problem: Disasters cause massive destruction and their occurrence (even though declining since the last years) is still a topic of high actuality. To mitigate their negative impacts, in particular humanitarian organizations put a lot of effort into helping nations and people to recover from disasters by providing relief commodities. Responding adequately to a disaster is difficult due to its highly complex and uncertain nature. Flexible but efficient supply chains are needed, which makes high demands on procurement operations. Within disaster relief logistics, procurement accounts for 65 % of total expenditures. Despite its significance, literature does not specifically focus on problems related to disaster relief procurement, which creates the need to examine this topic further, from theory as well as from practice.

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze sourcing policies, currently applied by the largest humanitarian organizations in the field of disaster relief.

Method: This thesis conducted a descriptive and exploratory study of the literature in order to create a framework for a content analysis. During the content analysis, 108 officially published reports of the 14 biggest humanitarian organizations (concerning their annual budget) were investigated concerning their procurement policies in disaster response operations. Hence, this study uses a qualitative approach for a cross-sectional analysis of secondary data.

Conclusions: The findings of this paper present an overview of currently applied procurement concepts in disaster response. The compilation of a comprehensive sourcing toolbox allows the classification of sourcing policies. The results show a tendency, that similar procurement policies are applied in the largest humanitarian organizations regarding the area of sourcing or the number of suppliers. A lack of awareness and/or transparency was discovered regarding environmentally friendly procurement policies. The application of ethical procurement (social factors) is however highly emphasized by the organizations. An unexpected discovery was the importance of long-term agreements and the frequent application of tendering processes for supplier selection. Further research opportunities lie in the field of demand tailored sourcing instead of pre-stocking to reduce inventory costs or in the comparison of sourcing practices applied in big and small organizations. To sum up, humanitarian organizations not only focus on quick deliveries, also quality and cost efficiency are increasingly paid attention in the field of disaster response procurement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 50 p.
Keyword [en]
Humanitarian logistics, disaster relief, disaster response, sourcing, purchasing, procurement, humanitarian organization, NGO
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-21579OAI: diva2:632749
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Available from: 2013-11-19 Created: 2013-06-25 Last updated: 2013-11-19Bibliographically approved

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