Food Supply Chains

International trade is a necessity in many supply chains. Global markets present opportunities for growth. Global suppliers often produce product less expensively than it could be produced domestically, supplement domestic production capacity when demand outstrips supply. However, industry and government have become increasingly familiar with the complexity and risks that are characteristic of international trade. Factors contributing to global supply chain risk and complexity include threats of terrorism and the related security measures established to defend against this threat. Further, natural disasters (e.g. floods and hurricanes) impact domestic and global supply chains. Finally, as we have seen in recent days with the meat/horse meat scandal, significant recalls relating to product Continue reading here [...]

Funding for Humanitarian Relief

Humanitarian aid is being stretched. Millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa are living with conflict and its legacy; natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan have the power to disrupt and sometimes even paralyse economic and social infrastructure; recovery and reconstruction remain uneven following large-scale conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan; and political turmoil is escalating in parts of the Middle East and North Africa. In many instances the people already affected by crises face additional threats, their livelihoods made more insecure by the effects of climate change and the vagaries of the global economy. The international humanitarian response to these needs reached US$16.7 billion in 2010. If this preliminary, partial estimate proves to be accurate Continue reading here [...]

The Humanitarian Urban Risk Divide

An earthquake can bring hospitals, schools and homes tumbling down with unspeakably tragic consequences. A volcano can throw city airports into chaos. Flood waters can turn well-kept streets into detritus-strewn canals. The drug trade can turn an inner city into a war zone.An epidemic can spread rapidly through a crowded slum. As the pendulum of human development swings increasingly away from the countryside to the city, we see that rapid urbanization and population growth are combining to create enormous new challenges for the humanitarian community and pushing us out of our comfort zone to deal with a strange new urban world. When it comes to the impact of natural disasters, well-run cities can be among the safest places on earth. They can also be the best places to raise a family, for schooling, Continue reading here [...]

MSc Humanitarian Logistics and Emergency Management

As part of the new 3U partnership between NUI Maynooth, Dublin City University and the Royal College of Surgeons, Dr. Graham Heaslip (School of Business, NUIM) and Dr. Caroline McMullan (DCU Business School) have recently launched the establishment of a new MSc in Humanitarian Logistics and Emergency Management. The programme has been designed to meet the requirements of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government for practitioners in the management of humanitarian disasters and major emergencies.  It is aimed at practitioners in public, private and voluntary sectors who are engaged in Humanitarian Logistics & Emergency Management. The programme further strengthens NUI Maynooth’s connectivity with the Humanitarian Continue reading here [...]

How even the biggest brands can lose their sparkle

I have just two words to say to companies who think they don’t need to innovate on their brand: Waterford Glass.  Innovation is at the top of every business agenda.  Peter Drucker says that companies should concentrate on innovation and marketing –‘everything else is just costs.’  But many businesses are justifiably cautious about investing in innovation.  There is a fine balance between, on the one hand, the imperative that companies that don’t innovate die and, on the other, 90% of innovations fail.  Moreover, there is often considerable organisational discomfort around embracing the chaos that is necessarily a part of the innovation process.  Let’s face it, it doesn’t take long in any meeting for someone to innocently ask ‘how, exactly, are we going to measure that?’ Continue reading here [...]

Performance management in humanitarian logistics: A cultural collision or a meeting of minds

There is a general acceptance that logistics is the cornerstone of emergency response with some estimates suggesting that between 60 and 80 per cent of expenditure of aid agencies can be classified under this broad heading. In the face of major challenges such as the response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, there is increasing pressure to improve the logistics response in order to facilitate the provision of aid to end beneficiaries in a more effective and efficient manner. This pressure for improved analysis of the impact of humanitarian assistance has grown in line with the increase in resources allocated to the sector, and a broader focus on results based management techniques in the public sectors of Western governments. Donors believe that without mechanisms to monitor performance, objectives Continue reading here [...]