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Title: Investigating alternative logistics structures in times of crisis: an exploration of collaborative aid networks and their impacts on humanitarian operations in post-earthquake Nepal
Other Titles: Investigating alternative logistics structures in times of crisis
Authors: Bealt, Jennifer
Advisors: Mansouri, A
Slutskaya, N
Keywords: Humanitarian logistics;Humanitarian supply chains;Disasters;Community participation
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Current trends have seen a rise in the frequency and severity of disasters on a global scale, with disasters in recent years having some of the most devastating impacts ever seen on the societies they affect. As a result, there are increasing pressures on the Formal Humanitarian Sector (FHS) and their resources, resulting in a growing need to examine the logistical processes essential to humanitarian operations. Existing research within the humanitarian logistics (HL) domain has highlighted a plethora of challenges relating to the efficient and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance to those affected by disasters. Through a systematic literature review, it was discovered that current research predominantly focuses on the activities of humanitarian organisations (HOs); overlooking the social and logistical capacity already present within affected communities. In order to address the gap left by HO-centric HL research, this investigation approaches the challenges of efficient and effective humanitarian assistance from a novel perspective. Drawing upon the notion of Collaborative Aid Networks (CANs), this research explores the role of communities as drivers of HL processes, and of their own relief and recovery. In a field in which empirical data is lacking, this enquiry utilises a constructivist grounded theory methodology in order to gather empirical insights from post-earthquake Nepal. Interviews and observations were conducted over a period of seven weeks, with data being continuously analysed and refined throughout this process. The findings from this research culminated in the development of a theoretical framework which illustrates the interrelationships between CAN characteristics and their outcomes on HL. This study contributes to the emerging debates concerning community participation in disaster contexts, and provides revelatory insights regarding CANs’ unique attributes and competencies, which enable them to positively impact disaster affected communities. In levying CAN support, the FHS could increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their HL operations, whilst improving collaboration and communication between the FHS and the community; in turn supporting the legitimacy and downward accountability of FHS programmes.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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