School of Business MSc shortlisted for award

The MSc in Humanitarian Logistics and Emergency Management has been shortlisted for the best new postgraduate programme at the upcoming GradIreland awards. The winners will be announced on April 30th. The MSc in Humanitarian Logistics and Emergency Management is the first in the world to combine the academic disciplines of humanitarian logistics and emergency management. The programme builds on the established strengths and reputation of Ireland and in particular Irish Aid, in delivering humanitarian assistance to those in need. Recently students of the MSc in Humanitarian Logistics and Emergency Management participated on Exercise Viking 2014 in the Curragh from April 2nd to April 5th.  VIKING 14 is a Command Post Exercise/Computer Assisted Exercise in the “Spirit of Partnership for Peace” Continue reading here [...]

Who should you donate your money to after a disaster strikes?

The Philippine crisis has raised more questions than answers especially in the area of funding of disaster relief.  People and institutions genuinely want to donate to assist those suffering in the Philippines but are unsure as to which agency they should support. Irish non governmental agencies (NGOs) are typically development agencies and are very good in the development sphere. Irish NGOs have fallen by accident rather than by design into the arena of emergency management as the public assumes this is their function, which it is not – development aid is their core function. So why do Irish NGOs rush to disasters such as those in the Philippines and Haiti? Simple, they need a presence to secure funding from donors. Donor fatigue is a big problem for NGOs, particularly for development Continue reading here [...]

The future role of Ireland in natural disasters

Why does the international aid community fail to learn lessons from sudden-onset natural disasters? In Haiti and more recently in the Philippines the aid community has been too slow in delivering aid to those in need. In Ireland, the response to sudden-onset natural disasters is to send money, people and aid. But is that the most effective use of Ireland’s resources? The aid agencies in Ireland are primarily development agencies and are renowned as such.  However, just because you are a development agency doesn’t mean that you are skilled at emergency relief. These are two distinctly different fields requiring different competencies. Organisations providing the first phase of disaster response need the logistical capacity and capabilities to deliver goods and services quickly to those Continue reading here [...]

Typhoon Haiyan and the humanitarian relief effort

Typhoon Haiyan has hit the Philippines and according to the IFRC and UN over 10,000 deaths have resulted. The Philippine government have mobilised their military in support of the aid community on the ground to provide aid to those in need. In a humanitarian crisis, distributing the correct volumes of assistance efficiently and effectively where and when is needed is crucial. Logistics is the bridge between preparedness and response, procurement and distribution – the critical role being coordination of all activities required to minimize the response time and to maximise the relief in a disaster zone.There are many challenges facing humanitarian organisations after an emergency is declared. How to bridge the relief resource and capability gap is the first challenge. To stage a response and Continue reading here [...]

Sabbatical Post – The ADDIE Model, Practitioners and Academics Living Apart

Having crossed over the line between HRM practice and academia I am conscious more than ever of how these two communities live very much apart. I'm sure the way it's supposed to work is that the practice 'surfaces' its concerns and the academia takes up the challenge ultimately informing practice of what its concerns should  be. Or something like that. However, during my time as a practitioner I never felt assisted by Irish academics helping me to understand my challenges as a manager and now that I'm in academia I'm often puzzled at how oblivious Practice is regarding the work that is going on in Irish universities. A good example of this is the ADDIE model. This model is a staple approach to identifying training needs and implementing and evaluating training. Developed (perhaps) by the Continue reading here [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]