Agility in Humanitarian Response Operations for Water Based Disasters


  • Joshin John1 (Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship, India)

The purpose of this paper is to explore relationships between two dimensional components of agility i.e. flexibility and responsiveness in humanitarian response operations with special reference to water based disasters such as cyclones and floods. Empirical data from four case-studies on cyclones and floods were collected to study and analyze humanitarian response operations. This includes data from 142 interviews, participant observation and documents obtained during field visits. The analysis revealed that supply chain visibility had a positive influence on both reactivity and volume flexibility. However, in-station last mile logistical capabilities mediated the relationship between reactivity and velocity of the supply chain. Delivery flexibility was observed to be dependent on reactivity. The results suggest that humanitarian organizations should focus on enhancing last mile delivery capabilities, communication and infrastructural resilience, and improve training of field forces for disaster-specific operations. Community involvement was observed to have a positive effect on response operations. This paper is the first to study agility of response operations for water based disasters. The insights will be useful for practitioners and researchers to build models that are more realistic. The theoretical contribution is the development of model capturing relationships between flexibility and responsiveness dimensions of supply chain agility.

Download full PDF Get metrics Rate article