Journal Articles

On the Use of Evidence in Humanitarian Logistics Research

2013, Disasters

Alfonso J. Pedraza-Martinez, Orla Stapleton, Luk N. Van Wassenhove


This paper presents the reflections of the authors on the differences between the language and the approach of practitioners and academics to humanitarian logistics problems. Based on a long-term project on fleet management in the humanitarian sector, involving both large international humanitarian organisations and academics, it discusses how differences in language and approach to such problems may create a lacuna that impedes trust. In addition, the paper provides insights into how academic research evidence adapted to practitioner language can be used to bridge the gap. When it is communicated appropriately, evidence strengthens trust between practitioners and academics, which is critical for long-term projects. Once practitioners understand the main trade-offs included in academic research, they can supply valuable feedback to motivate new academic research. Novel research problems promote innovation in the use of traditional academic methods, which should result in a win—win situation: relevant solutions for practice and advances in academic knowledge.


Pedraza-Martinez, Alfonso J., Orla Stapleton, Luk N. Van Wassenhove (2013), "On the Use of Evidence in Humanitarian Logistics Research", Disasters, 37 (1), pp. 51-67.


Applied Research, Fleet Management, Humanitarian Logistics

Kelley School of Business

Faculty & Research