Assessing humanitarian logistics and supply chain operations - a case of Catholic Relief Services/Ghana

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There have been public out-cries in recent times against the alleged poor performances of humanitarian relief organizations in Ghana. Slow response the relief organizations to the needs of disaster victims and non-delivery of donations meant for the victims have been cited in the allegations as some of the problems. With huge donations into the operations of the relief organizations by governments and other stakeholders, swift, efficient and effective relief responses are expected from them. With logistics activities constituting over 80% of the total expenditure of humanitarian relief operations (Wassenhove, 2006), relief organizations can significantly improve upon their performances in terms of cost « and cycle time reduction, by improving their logistics and supply chain management operations. In this study, humanitarian relief activities of Catholic Relief Services/Ghana (CRS/Ghana) were assessed using the relief chain model developed by Thomas (2004) to identify areas where time and cost efficiencies are very crucial in responding to disasters. The study identified assessment, human resource training, inefficient information gathering process as the areas where CRS/Ghana should focus more attention in order to improve upon its relief operations. Recommendations that were made in the study include; improving the logistical training, supply chain processes and collaboration with other relief organizations to save cost and reduce cycle time.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Information System and Decision Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Administration (Logistics and Supply Chain Management), 2008