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Indiana University Bloomington

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Journal Articles

Using OR to Adapt Supply Chain Management Best Practices to Humanitarian Logistics

2012, International Transactions in Operational Research

Alfonso J. Pedraza Martinez, L.N. Van Wassenhove


The demand for humanitarian aid is extraordinarily large and it is increasing. In contrast, the funding for humanitarian operations does not seem to be increasing at the same rate. Humanitarian logistics has the challenge of allocating scarce resources to complex operations in an efficient way. After acquiring sufficient contextual knowledge, academics can use operations research (OR) to adapt successful supply chain management best practices to humanitarian logistics. We present two cases of OR applications to field vehicle fleet management in humanitarian operations. Our research shows that by using OR to adapt supply chain best practices to humanitarian logistics, significant improvements can be achieved.


Van Wassenhove, Luk. N., Pedraza Martinez, Alfonso .J. 2012. "Using OR to Adapt Supply Chain Management Best Practices to Humanitarian Logistics" International Transactions in Operational Research, 19 (1-2), January / March, pp. 307–322.


Humanitarian logistics; operations research in emerging markets; incentives in supply chain management.