Supply chain management best practices during natural disaster operations in Southern Africa : a case study of the United Nations World Food Programme.
Ngwenya, Ngonidzahe Kenneth.
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The research study was aimed at giving an insight into the supply chain management best practices that are employed by the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) during its humanitarian natural disaster operations in the southern African region. The motivation behind the study is the increasing number of natural disaster occurrences that have been experienced from time to time, which have resulted to the increased suffering and loss of lives for the affected communities. The UNWFP together with other relief organisations in an attempt of minimising the impacts of natural disaster occurrences have been implementing measures to improve their relief operations. Humanitarian supply chain involves a coordinated system of activities and stakeholders with an overall objective of satisfying beneficiary needs, the UNWFP in its bid of making a difference during its relief operations has implemented various supply chain management practices that are aimed at improving its efficiency. In ensuring that the goals of this study are achieved the qualitative research approach has been used which has been implemented through the use of the exploratory and case study research designs. Various data collection tools and methods have been used including conducting in-depth interviews, documentary and report analysis which have provided important data used for the study. In analysing the data collected the thematic analysis technique was employed which categorised the data into different themes, categories and codes all of which provided a description of the supply chain practices that are relevant during disaster operations. The main findings highlighted the fact that for successful disaster operations essential supply chain activities such as procurement, transportation and logistics, collaboration and information management should be strategically planned and controlled as critical success factors. The study has also discussed agile, flexible and responsive supply chain practices that have been successfully implemented in commercial organisations, these when properly implemented can contribute to the success of humanitarian efforts in southern Africa.